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Grand Illinois Tail Bicycle Ride Key Equipment



I was like most kids in the Midwest United States in the 1960’s. If you were cool, you had a banana seat bike. –A chopper with pedals. The real cool kids had the five speed orange crates or apple crates with hand brakes -guess what colors they were. Mine was one speed. I pushed backwards on the pedals to stop. Trails we had were old dirt roads that led to an old farmhouse (the farmhouse where I was born) and a steep range of hills that were named creatively: “the hills.”

As I grew into adulthood, I was riding a Schwinn 10-speed. I graduated from the University of Illinois and moved to St. Louis where I remember riding that bike all through the streets of Soulard, West Park, and speeding 50 miles per hour down the long gradual hill that is Dellmar Avenue. It was dangerous as hell then, and probably suicide today.

I don't consider myself "Joe Bike,” but from the time they were first available, I had a bicycle computer that would give: average speed, maximum speed, distance, and trip time. Performance Improvement is about measuring and tracking results. Satisfaction comes from developing personal goals and surpassing them. It's fitting that my livelihood depends on how well I can help develop goals and achieve them for others. This trip had a goal, and because I made it a priority, I hit the trail and achieved it. There is satisfaction in that. -A feeling of accomplishment.

I’ve jumped out of planes, trekked across glaciers, and climbed desert towers. All of them give that same feeling. …well maybe not jumping out of planes. That is more like cris-crossing Europe on a motorcycle; it’s an accomplishment, but it just doesn’t have the crucial physical element that yields satisfaction.

From a physical standpoint, nothing really compares to a multi-day bicycle ride.

Here’s why:

  1. The workout is strenuous. 

  2. You are pedaling a bike not trouncing your feet on a run or jog. It's low impact.

  3. The 50 pound pack is attached to the bike and not your back. You just don’t stress your skeletal system the way you would on foot.

  4. If the pedaling gets too hard, torque can be adjusted with the gearing system.

  5. If necessary, you can cover a lot of ground.



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