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Grand Illinois Tail Bicycle Ride Key Equipment





Before the ride I weighed 215 pounds.  I rode an average of about 60 miles in eight hours daily. I was spending about 5500 calories per day. My menu was 2300-2500 calories. At the end of ten days I was down to a healthy 198. Almost my high school football weight. The weight eventually came back, but it took about five months. If I could afford take two or three of these trips a year, I would be… heh… a happy camper.


Precipitous drop in my Cholesterol levels with a significant gain the the “happy” or HdL calculation. My cholesterol was “just ok” at the start of the trip but by then end, I found my "bad" Cholesterol was well below 100, and my "good" cholesterol increased more than 30%.


I spent about $400. I already had most of the gear, so you would have to plan your spending according to your camp-worthiness. Where can you do anything for $40/day? With all the kit gathered, the next trip has only the cost of provisions, -daily? 10-15 bucks tops. As long as you don't have mechanical problems you could do the entire Grand Illinois Trail Thrubike and only miss a week of work.

The Rules

I did it in one solitary continuous trip, sleeping under ripstop every night. Every on-schedule night anyway. I use the schedule slip and budget surprise to rationalize the final night's pizza, beer, and hotel.

The Experience

How could you include a star filled night in anything other than the success column? The fresh air, the sights, sounds, and smells that are life outdoors on a brisk fall week in Northern Illinois? You can't buy that. You've got to live it for a while. I think Pirsig said: "Experiences like these are the milestones from which life should be measured."


Did I mention I have a t-shirt for sale?


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