|Trace The Mitten|
Happenings, Reflections, Ideas, Analysis
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.