|Trace The Mitten|
Happenings, Reflections, Ideas, Analysis
Another wonderful day to ride, but glad that I had my sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees.
Not a cloud in the sky all day. I enjoyed the tights and long sleeves. The breeze was from the North and had a chill, but it was a tailwind.
That is the way to mow your lawn. I bet it is rough to program. Nothing is without headaches.
Bloomington the home of Beer Nuts!
Getting in Lincoln country. I sat down and took in his down home wisdom and wonderful stories.
And don't call me Shirley.
This is one of those days that you say, "What a perfect day for a ride." What makes me say this ? The morning temps were in the low 50s. Full fingered gloves is what I need at the beginning of a day like this. The light jacket to keep the wind from penetrating to my chest. An extra skull cap keeps the head warm. The leg warmers are good because I can just slip those off after a couple of hours.
The front that came through last night dropped the humidity. That is the main reason for the comfort today. The clouds allow mostly sunny. The high reached into the high 60s. You need to remember days like this later in the trip when it is blazing hot.
I went off on some of the side roads to get away from traffic. Wherever I ride, I use my helmet mounted mirror. I always like to keep track of what is in front and behind. I always want to give cars an option to give me space. I also like making the decision about when to pull over. I have to be the one most responsible for my safety.
Today I went through or near Odell, Cavuga, Chena, Lexington, and Pontiac.
Vintage Americana. Makes me think of yesterday when the Route was its greatest.
The crops are growing. I always wanted my grandpa's barn to have a painted sign.
Route 66 is a claim of fame.
I guess I am going to be reminded all the way. Pontiac is a town by my home. The Chief would be surprised that so many places were named after him. We even named a car brand Pontiac. I remember those neat hood ornaments.
I am please with how I am moving along. Now relax before bed.
We had some rain last night. I stayed dry and luckily it was not raining to break camp and do breakfast #1. Very overcast, breezy, and cooler than last evening. It is always good to get an early start. The traffic is always lighter.
There is a lot of activity on the farms.
The day cleared up and there was no rain. The temps stayed in the 60s. I had to take some breaks just to catch my breath from fighting the wind. I am loving this fresh air.
Off to a good start. Now to hope for rain at the right times. I am set because I have my rain gear.
I enjoy the different city signs.
There are still some remnants from the highway's heyday.
With the traffic I needed to keep my eyes on the road. I had a heads up on things to not miss.
What! That's a hot dog in his hands. This was erected in 1966 for a hot dog stand. It sure gets your attention.
I am familiar with US 30, Lincoln Highway because I traveled on it during my childhood. This road was dedicated in 1913. It runs from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco nearly 3400 miles in length. Now you would probably take Interstate 80. I have driven on that too.
In Joliet both highways intersect.
This is the inside of the Rialto Theater in Joliet. I love these beautiful theaters from the 1920s.
Illinois is the prairie state. It is natural for grasses to grow here. This is why crop farming is so successful. I am getting out of the city and suburbs. I will be going by many farms. This area was established in 1996 and covers 19,000 acres. The United States Forest Service manages this area.
The pandemic of Covid-19 has forced group bike rides and tours to be cancelled from this summer and set for 2021. Tours and organized day ride events are what I look forward to. I saw an invite recently to join a virtual ride coast to coast and that got me thinking of planning a ride like that. This will add to the joy of riding. It is exhilarating just getting out and riding. I keep track of my miles, time and elevation gain on Strava which also motivates me already.
During my ride on the next day and tweaked my plan to be even more exciting to me. I always wanted to do an epic tour over several months. Timing and health did not allow an organized tour of this trip to come to fruition. Now I have the time, but I must shelter in place. My dream trip would be doing Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA. When Adventure Cycling Association produced bike route maps for this, I ordered them.
The next day I thought instead of spending my time route planning, I would see if I could join an existing virtual ride that would track my ride. Google search provided several options and I selected The Conqueror Challenges www.theconqueror.events Several locations besides Route 66 are options. You may run, swim or bike the route. You select your time frame for completion and there is a fee for participation and related merchandise. This is going to take me awhile because I will only do one my regular daily rides with just one long ride a week, if I am lucky. That means that I gave myself until Dec. 22, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_66 for more details.
The route starts in downtown Chicago on South Lake Shore Drive, in the middle of many people and vehicles. It is not for the faint of heart to venture west down Jackson. I saw the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bean, Orchestra Hall and right by the Willis (Sears) Tower and over the Chicago River. As I get the Ogden Ave. I turn SW. I remember I have friends that grew up further down this street. I never knew that is was the Historic Route 66 when I visited them in my childhood.
If it were my face there, it would be gross.
The view from the ferris wheel on Navy Pier. What a view of the city and Lake Michigan!
The John Hancock Building. Chicago has beautiful skyscrapers.
At Harlem Ave I turn south and connect on the Joliet Rd. My dad lived in Joliet as a child.
I am excited to be on my way. The mileage goal is 2280.3 with 48.9 completed and that means 2,231.4 yet to travel. 209 days left to reach Santa Monica Pier.
The rain had kept me inside for the last three days on my trainer. I was itching to get out. A friend had advised me of an area to try. I am unfamiliar with the riding possibilities. My ride starts out on the quiet streets within the condo development. That sounds ordinary.
Most times I do not see anything this out of the ordinary. I drove a VW Beetle for many years and I always like seeing the older body style like this. I see an ORV (off road vehicle) sticker for Michigan and I can tell this bug has been through some racing and trails. The trailer indicates that this ride is strickly for off the road. Do you like the roof rack and gas can. You could travel for hundreds of miles in this on a tank of gas. Are they expecting to go on a safari? I enjoyed this first stop.
My next stop was at a branch of the public library. With the pandemic, public buildings like this are closed. This sculpture caught my eye. The sunny day made the highly polished bars shimmer. I love to stop at sculptures when I find them. This one seems in motion.
On the other side of the road were soccer fields and woods. From the parking lot I moved onto an asphalt path leading to the field and it connected to the housing subdivision next door. This was a nice path to allow the kids and families to walk to use the fields. That beats driving the car.
Along the path I see this at the base of a mature shagbark hickory. I would call it a fungus. I ask Google when I get home. I see that they are called polypores which is a group of fungi that look like this and are also call bracket fungi. They are attached to the wood causing decay. There are over
I like the medallion which reminds us "No dumping. Drains into the river." The opening looks like many drains all over. Winter sand and litter block the opening. Sometimes they are completely blocked. Not many take the responsibility to say "I will do that." That would be a good deed for me to do sometime.
I moved to the main road and the shoulder was not always there. Luckily the traffic was not heavy and I felt plenty safe. Part of the road was closed except for local traffic due to some repaving. A very nice stretch of road. A great discovery.
I decided to head down this dirt road. We had three straight days of heavy rain. This road was really in nice shape considering the recent storms. The traffic gave me plenty of room. I did pass 4 cyclists that came from the neighboring houses. Luckily no loose dogs.
I enjoy seeing the home and barns. This was the most interesting structure.
Soon there will be planting. Some areas are set and some are showing the crops. It is mid May in Michigan.
This is in a church parking lot. I bet that it generates some electricity for the building. I was soon back to my starting point enjoying 2 hours of riding a new area near by that I had not cycled. I hope that you enjoyed the photos.