With about 400 miles behind me, I shove off with a slow, comfortable
cadence. It's a fluid, easygoing cadence that pushes me ahead at about 8
miles an hour on this bike. When you are on a bike for seven to nine hours,
you learn to sit in different positions; This thigh, that thigh, this cheek
that cheek, then pretty soon you graduate to calisthenics: head stretch, arm
stretch, leg stretch, back stretch, neck roll, arm roll, crunches, push ups
and anything else you can do that would increase comfort the next day.
A good representation of what you encounter
on the North leg of the Grand Illinois Trail. The roads are double lane and
there is sparse traffic. It’s fairly peaceful, and riding on asphalt is a
little easier than limestone chips or dirt.
Most of the riding today is on rolling
hills. The momentum of the gradual grade allowed me to get speed,
maintain it through the bottom, and keep it on the way up. I seem to be getting many more miles
each day. I am fully accustomed to the riding, and can put in eight or nine hours
The rock men of Rockford. Something pretty unique to Illinois and the Grand Illinois
Trail. This landmark is
featured on the GITride t-shirt.
Rockford my front derailleur got tangled in the chain.
need to untangle it! I'll use the muscle method.”
That was a
mistake. I could have broke the chain. Had I not forced it, I probably could
have saved the front derailleur too.
Fortunately I have basic tools like pliers and a screw driver, and I am able
to untangle the chain and bend the derailleur in such away where it will not
impede the chain.
No big disappointment since I rarely use
those gear choices. I prefer to shift on the back wheel: “Low” for the hills, “high”
most of the time, and occasionally a gear or two off ‘high” when I get tired
or need to move a quicker.
Near the entrance to the Prairie Trail
I suited up with the rain gear, but the rain
Towards the end of the day, another spoke popped off.
wheel is really rubbing hard now. The bike might make it but it’s getting
near the point where walking would be less effort. I aught to give in and
lose a day, but I'm determined to keep moving forward. Besides, there is nothing around.
When you stress about finding a bike shop, nothing you see
gets described as "serene."
a bike rub.
I figure there are three hard riding days left, and I have two days food
left. The last day will involve mostly urban riding which means I will less
likely be able to find a place to camp. This has been hard enough. Call the
last night my victory lap. Maybe I’ll stay at a Holiday Inn.
END DAY 7: Ridott to Capron Route: GIT Clockwise
Stayed At: a little east of Capron near the end of the Prairie Trail
Total Miles 68.1
Total Time 8:52:43
Average Speed 7.7
Maximum Speed 29.5