Free Your Mind, And Your Legs Will Follow

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Assault on the Mississippi

 Cold rides require lots of booze


The bonk king, Kurt, and I....Ari took this photo

It rained a little....

Nothing going on here....nothing at all, thanks to my dad for some great trail mix. Ari and I enjoyed it and it held us to the great river. 

Arrival at greasy pizza USA aka Manny's! Where everyone is drunk and swears at the top of their lungs during football games even when kids are around, yay!

The bridge to our motherland


This dog was awesome

 Some amazing discoveries out there....

Ari's family is great! We had a good time


My training partner and the head of the Slender Fungus Cooperative planned a ride out to the west end of Illinois: the Mississippi River. 

I had a great ride Saturday morning with some customers of the shop where I got really tired and my legs were feeling really sore and tired. I was telling these guys my friend Ari planned this ride out to the Mississippi on Sunday and there was a 70% chance for rain and a high of 57 degrees. I told them that I was hoping he would cancel and I could sleep in my warm bed and get some stuff done around the chance of that. Later that night I talked to Ari and he said he was going rain or shine and I could meet him in Sycamore if I wanted. Well, this meant that I had to go.....

I got up early to the sound of rain, loaded up my gear in the rain, and drove to the rain.... to meet the bonk king and Kurt. Ari had arrived at 7 and we were ready to roll out in the rain. I had my Gore jacket on with a wool jersey and craft baselayer with Gore shorts and Assos knee warmers with some thick Gore socks on. I was carrying my backpack full of clothes for the end of the ride with me that must have weighed 30 pounds.

We hit some untraveled roads out to Oregon where we were soaked to the bone. We stopped for some hot coffee and pastries to refuel for the onward push to the river. The bonk king and Kurt left us for some hoagies at subway, gave us their flask, and wished us well. When we left the gas station in Oregon it was miserable....raining hard and we were sore and cold from stopping to long.

We plowed west with traffic wondering what the hell we were doing out on a crummy day. Little did they know how much we like to suffer. It makes us tough. We hit a beautiful stretch of road on townline just north of route 64. The gravel was peanut buttery and even with a tailwind our average speed suffered. Our buddy Jake had recommended a great road for us. We stopped in Lanark to observe absolutely nothing going on except fake flowers growing in pots. We had a snack and pushed on for the last 18 miles to Savannah.

Ari and I had great conversations as usual including men who use the term "yes sir" and men who drive white lincolns and listen to Barry White. We laughed and had smiles on our faces despite the bad weather. We were out in the rain and we were already wet so...who cares! Enjoy it! We even had a small stretch of no rain for about 20 minutes before the soaking downpour just before we hit Savannah. The photo of me drinking from the flask was during this stretch and even my Gore-Tex soaked through and left me wet.

We arrived at Manny's just as Jamie pulled up.....what timing!!! We were so happy to be done and get some hot pizza in our stomachs. Ari arrived with 135 miles and I had a measly 87. We chatted, ate, and then headed to the mother country for a beer before our journey back home. On the way back we stopped at a pumpkin patch in someone's front yard that we spotted earlier in the day. Ari's daughter Julietta cracked us up and we had a great time together, what a great family! I love those guys!

All in all the day was a success and I thank my fearless leader for dragging me out in horrible conditions for another great training ride!

- JB

1 comment:

  1. Dear Cookie:
    I am proud of you guys and it was great to have you all the way. We just don't spend enough time together and we always miss you. It was a great day that will stay in my memory forever.
    Good job.