So, I drive a car and someone crashes into me. I rarely ever drive. I was on the road 10 min and some (insert your own word here) 17 year old girl smashes into the back of my Dad’s car. I was borrowing the damn thing for 2 days and within 10 minutes, BAM! Oh yeah, my new bike was on a rear rack on the car. Bike = toast.  I will have to come up with a new plan for my summer Lake Michigan trip. We will see. I was pretty pissed off since I was also going to drive out a bit on Sat. morning then bike to Starved Rock, trip cancelled. Undaunted me and the Shannanator (“see me now”) went on “The Great 2010 Chicagoland Bike Your Ass Around In A Big Circle Ride”. Check the route. Good times, I would not recommend stopping overnight in Elgin (nasty). But I would put a big recommendation on breakfast at Bennedict’s in East Dundee. Ate like a champ all weekend. Also got to learn about windmills and particle accelerators. What fun. And in  a sign that sometimes things work out we came across bumper boats mid day in the 96 degree weather. You know we bumped them boats good.

Pretty damn good route if I do say so myself. Click Me.

Breakfast tomorrow morning at Yolk (michigan ave, 6:00 ish). peace, love, and happiness.

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Merry Independence Day

July 5, 2010

I renewed my membership in Active Trans Alliance in order to get the new Chicagoland Map. I was feeling like checking out a new area so I decided to head to the great Southwest. What a big craptastic adventure that was. A warning to anyone attempting to go out towards Palos Hills or Joliet, many of the suggested streets on the map are not safe. To be fair many of the roads i ended up on were marked with yellow lines which means they are a suggested street but use caution because of narrow shoulders or high speed. I should have known better then to attempt Archer Avenue, it sucked and was utterly depressing. Side note: what’s up with the Polish totally ruling the angled streets, Milwaukee, Archer? My goal was to make it the I & M trail head. I got close but turned around in Hickory Hills, by that time i had seen enough depressing environments and near death experiences. I turned back and could not stomach the same route back so I decided to take my chances on the West side. It’s amazing how ones cadence can significantly improve when riding there. I think I’m going to try to make it to Starved Rock but I have given up on the bike down to the trailhead in Willow Springs. Better to take the Metra down there and then take off, it’s 65 miles from Joliet to the rock or 87 from Willow Springs. Should be a good day, have not been on that trail yet but hear good things.

On my way home I passed the Chicago Portage and happened upon one of Illinois’ two national historic sites (the other is Lincoln’s home). The Chicago Portage (or what is left of it) is an area that Illinois’ first explorers and native Indians used to connect from the Mississippi River via the Illinois River, Des Plaines River, and now gone Mud Lake to the Chicago River and then to Lake Michigan. It’s cool to think that by knowing about this 1.5 mile prairie that you could drag your canoe across you could get from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. Pictured below is a statue honoring this important part of Illinois history, I think that’s Joliet or Marquette pointing the way back to Chicago. So we all learned something today, i guess my trip down south was not a total waste.