Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Good, Bad & Funny on a 36 Mile Bike Ride

I've been wanting to get out and ride my bicycle soooo bad lately, but due to re-occurring foot issues I haven't been able to do so...until today.  As much as I hate The Rock Island Trail because it is bumpier than hell (but not as bad as some of Peoria's streets), that was my destination of choice.  Seems like I always start in the same place, thusly a new start and end location was in order so I loaded up and decided to start in Princeville and go to the cool bridge about 3 miles past Wyoming and return...about 24 miles.  Here are thoughts and happenings along the way.

Equipment failure.  The seat came loose TWICE.  The little tool kit pouch's zipper broke so now all tools are in my pockets.  The slider adjustment on my helmet broke.

No bike ride is complete without a little blood.  On one of the stops crossing a road was up hill.  I got off and raked my shin against the little spiky things on the pedal.  GREAT...bleeding.  And just not a trickle.  Took off shoe, took off sock, got shin to quit bleeding (it started again later).

The thing about helmets:  When your head itches, you're screwed.

I get to the cool bridge.  My butt REALLY hurts.  I've come to the conclusion I haven't been able to ride as far as I used to because I lost weight and I don't have the natural ass padding I once had.  Next time out I'm going to have to borrow the lower half of the costume Martin Lawrence wore in "Big Momma's House".

But what does ol' Taurus born, 1.5 generation German Chef Kevin do?  That's right...rides about another six miles to Toulon!!  Get there, fuel up on cheap carbs, water, sit comfortably for a bit and head back.  And then I see a sign:  Route 91.  Route 91 goes to Princeville where my Tracker is.  Oh, screw that bumpy ass trail!!

Ok, I realize it is slightly downhill and the wind is partially at my back.  But I'm chuggin' along at 15-18 miles per hour (except up hills) and I'm back to Wyoming in no time.  Ten miles to Princeville according to the sign.

Bad idea trying to draft the Fed Ex semi...coughed up diesel fumes the next few miles.  I heard this weird noise behind me...I just focused ahead.  It slowly caught me...two kids on a 4 wheeler...just zoomin' down ol' Rt. 91.  They caught a dirt road just at the edge of my sightline.

And this one semi got really close. I'm glad he had great faith and confidence I can hold a straight line with a 12 mph wind at my side and the suction his rig is causing.

I'm still zippin along around 12-15 mph...the sugar buzz is wearing off.  I see the HOLY GRAIL!!  OK, it was the Princeville Water tower.  I'm getting closer and I see a "Rock Island Trail State Park thataway" sign and thought "Hmmmm....I better follow it so I can find where I left the Tracker".  Begrudging leaving my nice smooth pavement, I head down a little county road and back on to BumpyTrail.  Immediately, I can't keep a 10 mph clip going...I just feel drained.  And my ass is sending me a reminder it hurts.  I struggle along until I get to Princeville and hit pavement.  All the while I'm thinking "This was a stupid fucking idea.  Princeville isn't that big..I would have eventually found the Tracker...I should have stayed on 91".

I'm pedaling past the high school, look down and after 35.5 miles, I'm back riding 11 mph.  That trail just sucks the life out of my "pedalbility".

So now, I hurt, I smell but a large fat free strawberry cone from Jane's Icebox sounds good.  I know, you're waiting for some disaster to occur so you can laugh at me.  Sorry.

I've learned my lesson.  From now on, no more R.I. Trail.  Just going to find some lonely country roads and see if 50 miles is a possibility.  Time to go sit on some ice.