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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Odds N Ends

Okay so this is going to be a bunch of stuff I was going to post about all week and other times and never got to it cuz I didn't think there was enough substance to any one of the subjects yet. So here goes.
    Back when we had bike to work week I managed to get in commuting by bike all week for a total of over 200 miles! It is 20 miles one way to work by bike. Then I switched shifts at work since my training was done. So I took a while before getting up the nerve to try a ride on second shift. I went this last Friday, considering I would not have to work the next day. So the ride to work was a new route I worked out. It has a few miles of roads but it is less hilly than the original Fox River Trail route I had been taking. It ended up being a half mile shorter than the other route. So I was pleased with that ride. But then at the end of the shift was my real test. A twenty mile night ride home. My bike has been equipped for night riding fairly well for a while now. Front and rear Blackburn lighting, reflectors, and a set of Monkeylectric lights for the back wheel. It is just that this route at night is new to me. So I had my concerns and reservations. Would the few miles of road be an issue at night? Also there is a bad neighborhood that gets skirted on this route. Well I only saw 8 cars on the road part of the route. And two of them got stopped by a train. So no big deal there! The shady neighborhood that I had to pass near did not produce a single miscreant let alone a single person to be seen! I liked the ride overall and I guess I will have to think about if I want to do this on any kind of a regular basis.
East of Raymond Rd. on the IPP in Elgin.

The section of IPP between the Stearns Rd. Trail and the Fox River Trail is finally all paved now.

Train crossing at Smith and Powess Roads.

The underpass at Rte 25 on the IPP./Stearns Rd. Trail at night.

    In other news, here is some pics of some bike lane work in Chicago that someone from the Chainlink website has posted:
The left turn box at Elston/Division, looking west

More bollards installed on Elston

Looks like some pretty interesting ideas are being put into effect with the bike lanes! Yeay!

I also read a couple of interesting articles on the web lately:

The Bike Lane Is Not Your Parking Spot

Cameras Are Cyclists’ ‘Black Boxes’ in Accidents

How-to: Choose a Camera for Touring

 Outdoor Survival on the Trail 

Chicago and Bikes: A Long History of a Strong Community 

   Also finished another  item from my 2012 biking list. Last weekend I took a ride From the Western end of the Hebron Trail to the McHenry Prairie Trail and then South on the MCPT to the Fox River Trail. And I don't believe it! Half of the Summer is gone and I still only have 3 of 13 items from the list done! Time to get to some more riding!

Headed East on Hebron Trail.
Hebron Trail
Mile 25.5.

This is in the North Branch Conservation Area near Richmond, Il.
The North Branch Conservation Area is a camping point for Grand Illinois Trail users, if they need it. Permits required.
This is looking West on the trail in the North Branch Conservation area.
This connects the Hebron Trail to the McHenry Prairie Path.
Just a few tenths of a mile to the left is the Wisconsin State border.
A Gary Fischer bike frame has been deposited here next to the trail.
Front wheel, back wheel and seat have all been removed. Who would do such a thing?
Railroad cars in Crystal Lake, Il.
The trail is off to the right in the picture.
Looking North on the newly completed bridge.
Looking South on the newly completed bridge.
Looking East from the new bridge over Rakow Rd.
Looking West on the new bridge over Rakow Rd. and Pyott Rd.
Gravel pit by the LITH Airport.
The new bridge slope and the trail curves to the West at the bottom.

It's about time they finished this bridge!

Friday, July 13, 2012

First page of GIT 2011 finished

I have finally finished the first page of my long promised GIT 2011 travel log. I spent a bit of time and thought trying my hand at setting up the website myself. Hence the way late appearance of the first pages.
I am sure I will be updating this page as I finish the other pages. So check back and lemme know if you like it. For those of you that don't know, last year I rode the whole Grand Illinois Trail around upper Illinois from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. And from as far South as Joliet to the Wisconsin border. I did so over the course of ten intermittent days. I hope to have the first day of the trip loaded onto the webpage soon. Hope you enjoy it. And keep on biking!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thank you mission

Today, went on a trip to somewhere near Apple River Canyon to drop off a thank you 6er at a garage in the middle of nowhere. Last year I was biking part of the Grand Illinois Trail by Apple River Canyon and had run out of water. I had reached a point of severe heat exhaustion. When out of nowhere popped this garage in a field by the road:
Garage in the middle of nowhere.
There was a man there fixing his sons car and was loaded down with water Gatorade and beer. He offered me all of it. After I had my fill of water and Gatorade, I thanked him and was on my way again. Had he not been there to offer water, I am not sure if I would have made it to Apple River Canyon. The temperature was over 100 degrees that day.
So I decided to drop off a thank you six pack for the nice person in return. As you can see in the picture below, I left it by the garage door in a cooler.
Looking East on Townsend Rd.
After dropping off the cooler, I decided to head up the street to Apple River Canyon to check it out before I head back home for work.
A small rock dam on the Apple River.
Bridge over Apple River.

The picnic pavilion and park office.
Large rock in background of park has a metal plaque with some Army Colonels name from the 1800s.

Picnic pavilion in background.

Apple River Canyon State Park sign at North entrance to park. North Canyon Park Rd. in background.
After taking this picture of the sign I decided to head along on East Canyon Rd. retracing some of the biking route in my car.
Modern windmills in fields just South of Nora, Illinois.
Windmills on Stagecoach Rd. South of Nora.
A look back from whence I came as I turn South onto Stagecoach Rd from East Canyon Rd.
More windmills.
On East Canyon Rd approaching the turn onto Stagecoach Rd.
Approaching the windmills.
If I had more time I would have gone by Lake Le Aqua Na. That is a nice place. I had lunch there on the day I rode thru for my Grand Illinois Trail ride. I would like to go fishing there sometime.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Thought I would post this picture.
I saw these bikes in the parking lot when I was going to breakfast. It seems like these bikes are getting a bit more popular. I saw one at last Fridays Chicago Critical Mass ride. I wonder if it is difficult to make many miles on one of those? And did that guy make it all the way through the CCM ride on one of those? Speaking of CCM, here is a picture of me in the midst of the CCM ride for June:

PrideRide 039 That's me in the grey and black and wearing a faded blue Cubs hat.