The LLama, asleep with his helmet on just in case something fell on his head. Maybe a chucked beer can. Spent the night in a backyard shed at the hardware store and listened to Trucks downshift all night.
I would like to congratulate all riders that toed the line for the start of the Fruit Loop. Here are the total miles for each rider. We all hit personal bests and it was a great day to do it.
Ari 255 Miles
Franny 90 "
Jelly Boy 90 "
Cookie 255 "
B.B. 255 "
Mike B 100 (?) "
Josh 100 (?) "
Tom K 143 "
Paul 130 "
Llama 255 miles
As you might have heard the ride started on July 31st at 4 am from Ari house. We hit straight down 64 towards Oregon. Everyone was utterly on time and ready to go. Everyone had lights and everyone was prepared. Wow!
I have worked double shifts on Friday and Saturday and had little to no time to prepare. My bike was set and I had opted for 900 gram Schwalbes. Same setup for the rest of the bike as DK200.
The weather promised to be cool in the morning but as soon as the burner came out we started to get hot. You would not believe if I told you that there was absolutely no wind that day. Also the sun was burning like Hell and there was 9 foot corn all around trapping us on the road with no air to breath. We made it to Savanna where Franny and Jelly Boy were to be picked up by my ever patient and lovely wife.
We continued on as she was in transit and started to hit some severe hills around the palisades. Scenic Ridge rd was great, so was Hanover rd heading west with some real steep grades. We arrived at Hanover and took a break at the gas station, we then continued on Black Jack but turned on Rodeen and then Irish Hollow, which is way tougher than Black Jack. We struggled with heat, cramps and relentless hills all the way to Galena. There we fixed Paul's tire and went on for burgers, fries and huge cokes.
Stage Coach Trail burnt my legs and I was already fighting cramps for about 4 hours then. I had switched to the new Carborocket fuel mix and I think my body was not taking it. I walked, streched, ate, drank and drank and drank to no avail. I told Cookie I was done and wanted to be alone. I would finish no matter what.
Jay said we would stick together. So as the sun started to hide behind the big hills I started to cool off a bit. The cramps subsided and I started to feel better. At this point everyone was really starting to feel the ride. We arrived around Apple Canyon around 8 something and as the sun went down, the Slender Fungus started to awake. We started heading south and had all of rte 78 to ourselves since a bridge was out. Llama and Paul started to bonk and finally made it to Mt. Carroll. I think as they were getting more and more tired they stopped eating and drinking and that caused them to hit the wall. Cookie, B.B and I stuffed our faces and mounted up as Llama slept on a D.Q. Picnic table and our rider of the day, Paul , waited for a ride. Good Job Paul, you were very impressive!
We started on rte 64 and had a really long way home. 40 miles to Oregon and then another 33 to Sycamore. We stopped at Mt. Morris for coffee and then headed home. Cookie and B.B. went ahead as they wanted to get it over. I chilled, and had a ton of thoughts through my head. I thought about what an amazing day it was, I thought about how brave my kids are. I also thought about how tough everyone was that day. I was truly grateful. All our equipment functioned perfectly. We never flatted, just rubbed a tire down to the casing before we replaced it.
I hope we can gather again for another adventure like this. I am still looking for my ziploc bag that had my license and debit card. My legs are still sore 4 days after the fact but rode on tuesday, wednesday and today did 30 miles with the wife on the crossbike.
Thanks for reading,