42 Mile Ride on a Whim


Yesterday I decided to go for a quick bicycle ride, which turned out to be a 42 mile trek. I have lamented about the lack of good bicycle routes in Bolingbrook, but did some thinking yesterday about a route to get onto the Centennial Trail right from my house. Well, it totally worked out great and I can even get onto the Cal-Sag trail too if I really wanted to pull an insane day of riding. 

This is also the first ride testing Strava on my Apple Watch. I have done a few rides now with the native fitness app, and I really like that a lot. The interface is great. I do miss Strava a bit though for the social integrations that is has. I'm not a premium user, so we'll have to see how I continue to use it or not. 

Overall it was a brutal, but fun ride. 

First Bicycle Ride of 2017

The weather was great in Illinois this past week. Highs were in the upper sixties all weekend long, which meant everyone was able to get outside. 

Megan and I both got out and enjoyed a quick ride at the nearby Centennial trail. It is a great afternoon ride that we have done on numerous occasions. It is an all paved bike path for about 13 miles. A section of the path that was closed and under construction for all of last year had just opened up and we were able to experience it for the first time. It was a nice six mile stretch on the I&M canal which had water on both sides of the path. It was really fantastic. 

We also had the opportunity to try out both of our fitness watches for the first time cycling. Her with her Apple Watch and me with My Fitbit Charge 2. 

Both worked out great, but there were a few hiccups along the way. Megan's Apple Watch has built in GPS, but it seems that the Strava app on it has not yet leveraged that. We left her phone in the car so we missed the first few miles of recording for her. Instead we used the watch's built in fitness recording and that ended up working out great without the phone. Lets hope Strava updates their app soon.

On the Fitbit Charge 2, the connected GPS to my phone worked out well. I had to record the route using the Fitbit app instead of Strava, but the data did push over to Strava in the end, including the heart rate data. Very cool and something I hope to use more of in the future. 

2016 Pumpkin Pie Ride

Fall is here and it is time for the Pumpkin Pie ride out in Ottawa Illinois. This is the second year that we have done the ride, but this year Megan had a true road bike. The weather could not have been better. It was about 65 degrees and overcast and we did the 45 mile ride. Megan did great and we had a really fun time. This is definitely going to be a regular ride for us. 

Biking Barrington Hills

The weather was great this weekend and Megan and I took the opportunity to do another ride from our "Biking Illinois" book. This time we hit up Barrington Hills, which is a well known biking area in Illinois. Lots of really quiet country roads nestled in with horse farms. It is quite a picturesque area. 

The ride worked out that we were also heading up to the parents and in-laws places for an afternoon grill out so this was on the way. The ride was a ton of fun and I would love to head back to this area in the fall when the leaves change. Megan had some difficulties with the hills. We did end up cutting our ride a few miles short since she also got a flat tire near the southern end of the ride. We literally had just left a small ret area in the DuPage Forest Preserve when she got the flat. We were a mile away, but the road we were on had forest preserve on either side of us and almost no shoulder. We changed the flat there, but my small bike pump couldn't pump the tire back up to the 110 psi she needed for her bike. We got her back up to around 55 psi and worked our way back north on Old Sutton Road. 


National Ride Your Bike to Work Day - They Forgot to Tell the Motorists

This past Friday, May 20th was national ride your bike to work day. I have been wanting to do this for the past several years, but rain and other factors at work have prevented that. This year however the weather promised to be nearly perfect and I had nothing conflicting with work that would prevent me from participating. So I went off this past Friday with my bike and some research from Google Maps to find the best bike route to get to work. The ride in for me is 17 miles each way, which makes for a pretty robust bike ride. It is doable, but not exactly something that is easy or one would do on a daily basis. 

My ride was going great until I was about 2/3's of the way done, whereI ended up in the bicyclists worst nightmare. A car driver turned the corner off of the road heading into the entrance of a Mcdonald's and cut me off. I was just feet from the car. Thankfully, I didn't hit the car, but I did end up locking up my breaks and "high siding" the bike. I basically did a front flip on the bike, over the handlebars and onto the pavement. I hit the pavement pretty hard and my Strava map actually seemed to capture my crash, which you can see below. 

It took me a few seconds to realize what just happened. The woman who pulled in front of me did ask if I was "OK", but she did not get out of the car nor did she actually apologize. Several other motorists asked if I was "OK" as well. Thankfully, I wasn't badly hurt. I had a nasty raspberry on my knee which was bloody, but really not that bad. I also landed hard on my shoulder and my back, which later in that day ended up hurting a lot. As of a couple of days later, they still hurt, but they are feeling much better, so I think I just bruised some ribs and my shoulder. The only other major casualty was the strap on my bag which tore off from the impact. 

So of course I had to ride home from work at the end of the day. Thankfully, the ride home was without incident. It was however pretty tiring though. Overall and interesting experience to say the least. Perhaps I'll do it next year, or perhaps not. Can't quite say at this point.