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Monday, July 25, 2011

First attempt at video from bike

So today I bought a Minoura SGS-300 Light and Computer Holder as well as a Electra Custom Parts camera mount. I got that all onto the bike and attached my Canon PowerShot SD870 IS digital camera. So I decided to ride North on the Fox River Trail to Crystal Lake and back. And here is my first attempt at a video from my bike:
 This video is on the Fox River Trail from Maple Avenue in Carpentersville, Illinois to the intersection of Skyline Rd. and Williams Rd. I didn't figure out that I needed to tighten the socket head screws on the camera mount until I was already riding. So the camera flopped around quite a bit in this first clip.

A few things learned for the first time out with the video camera on the bike.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Easy day on the FRT

I am finally back after a six day vacation from biking due to my very first endo of the year. I managed to beat up my shoulder pretty good from that. So I decided to take it easy for a bit. So I went for a 32.8 mile ride up the FRT today. The recent storms have left much debris and standing water on the trail, as well as running water!

Debris on the trail behind my bike where a creek normally passes UNDER the trail.

Gravel from the pit that got washed into the creek and then over the trail.

Water standing on the trail by the gravel pit.

Building in gravel pit.

Sand washed onto trail from gravel pit

Debris and standing water in foreground. Running water over trail in background.

At the Gail Borden Library in Elgin. I helped this guy put his giant kayak on his SUV.
In all it was a good ride today.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Trail Mapping Websites

Today posted this blog. It lists a host of sites useable for mapping and monitoring routes for biking, etc. Very nice! I was going to look around for some of that when I got a chance. Thanks for the leg work,! :D

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

C'ville to Rte. 14 in Crystal Lake and back

Decided to get some miles in today before work. Went from Carpentersville to Crystal Lake in a pretty good time, I thought.
1hr 24 min and 26 sec riding time.
Distance of 20.15 miles.
Average speed of 14.3 MPH(did same route four days ago with an avg of 13.8 MPH).
Max speed of 23.7 MPH.
ODO: 1282.5 miles.

Was surfing some biking blogs and saw this persons touring setup on her bike. Looks pretty good. Maybe I need to get paniers for the front wheel too! Just not sure if I can do so on a bike with front shocks? Will have to find out.
   Also, I found this video to be kinda kewl:

I found that video at this biking blog that I follow.

Oh, and dis onez kewl too!

Fixtape #3 from Ronnie on Vimeo.

I like the Flava Flave n Chuck D music from Public Enemy. Got the video from Fixed Gear blog.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Yesterday I went for a little reconnoiter of the West end of the Pecatonica Prairie Path. On the way I spotted a few would be cyclists traveling about.
I think the bike was a Bianchi racing bike.

The following pictures are from various locations along the trail from Freeport,IL to Pecatonica,IL.
Looking South at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking East at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking West at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking North at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking South at the very West end of the PPP.

Only a quarter mile East on the PPP.

Looking back West from the clearing in the below picture.

First clearing encountered on the PPP.

A slight bit more rough.

Wtf? This is a bike trail?
Here I was eventually forced to abandon the trail for the adjacent IL Rte 75. Glad I did too. The trail goes up an incline to part of a bridge and then drops off into a swamp very near where it should cross over Rte 20. Apparently when Rte 20 was increased from two lanes to four lanes, they removed the bridge while doing so and was never replaced. So I was able to go over the adjacent roads bridge and on the other side I encountered an access road for utility vehicles that led to what is supposed to be the PPP. Unimpressed with the trail at this point, I decided to drive on down the road a bit and crisscross over the path at various locations between here and Pecatonica. I found more of the same including this location:

crazyguyonabike blog

So I went a bit East of Pecatonica to where Hoisington Rd. intersected the path and got the bike out for another little jaunt.

Looking West from Hoisington Rd. on the PPP

Back near the first pole is a new bridge.
All the bridges and/or new patches of 'developed trail' that I met with had gravel that was so loosely packed that the bike would skid left or right so much, threatening to throw me from the bike. This kind of thing will sap a riders strength fairly fast. This combined with the 90 degree plus temperatures helped make up my mind about this trail.

Trail under development according to that sign.

Looking East from Hoisington Rd.
I took a ride down this way to verify the paved trail I saw on the way by on Rte 20. The pavement only lasted as long as the other side of Rte 20 after Sherman tunnel. Shortly thereafter the trail became all grass and encroaching bushes and shrubs.
Trail under development

After yesterdays recon work, I have decided that this trail will have to be a separate trip altogether. Also this will have to happen with my mountain bike instead of the hybrid due to the rough trail. This will also take place in the fall months when it is a bit cooler. This is because a machete might be necessary, as well as long pants for protection from the flora. I will have to stick to the alternate cue sheet directions from the Recycle blog while finishing my GIT tour.
Pictures starting from the East end of PPP

On the way home from the PPP I saw the remnants of this nasty accident outside the Chrysler plant.


Here is a kewl map of bike factories and warehouses in the USA:

Bike factories and warehouses

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Saturday June 25th, 2011 was the second day of my Grand Illinois Trail ride. It started with a train ride from Elgin on the Metra rail system to Union Station in Chicago.
Sign inside train car.

I assembled my Montague/Swissbike TX right there on the train platform.

All my equipment including bike, panniers, helmet and cue sheets.

Same equipment assembled.

Less foggy view with Metra train in background.

I then exited the station and made trax for Navy Pier.

bikes on the north side of the train station

looking west from the north side of the train station



canal st.

train crossing on canal st.

closing in on Navy Pier
This is funny. Look at what the satellite did to my straight line ride!

Hahah! Too funny. It looks like someone needed to take a DUI test. Oh well, I can't expect technology to work right every time.
   So I got to Navy  Pier at about 8:45 AM and left immediately down the Lakefront Trail. The trail was completely clogged with pedestrians! There apparently was some kind of  walk for hunger being sponsored. There were THOUSANDS of people on the trail! So I quickly glommed onto a passing bike tour at the end of the line. I knew there would be no easy way through. So I let the other bikers generally clear the way before me. I only made 7 miles in the first hour. The first 4 were hell trying to get through all those people. I even heard many of them say that it sure isn't a good day to be a biker!

The bike tour stopped here at The Queens Landing.

Looking North at The Queens Landing.

Buckingham Fountain


In front of the Shedd Aquarium.

Shedd Aquarium

People everywhere!
Watch that drop off!

Look at all the people on the trail up there in the trees!

people people people


Finally outa that! Look at these two guys turn around! heh.
Chicago skyline

Sears Tower(Circle of Willis)

me and the Chicago skyline

A bridge over Lake Shore Drive

That was four miles of people, people and more people!

A tour path around the whole of Lake Michigan!

All fishes point to here!