Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I started a little after 6:00 am on my way to work. Soon after I got onto the Green Bay Trail I noticed a light from behind which was a guy on a road bike who whizzed right past me. He was moving pretty good and I thought he must be out for a training ride. I kept an eye on his flashing tail light until it disappeared in the distant bend just past Indian Hill. As I biked by Sears School in Kenilworth I noticed I gained some ground on him. I figured he got up some steam to pass me but eventually petered out some (that is my MO anyway). He continued south on the Green Bay Trail through Wilmette and I closed to within a block of him. Once he got onto the smooth straightaway on Poplar he sped up again. We both turned east on Isabella but he turned south before reaching Ryan Field and I figured he was headed to his home nearby. But as soon as I reached Sherman in Evanston I saw his blinking light again. He must be headed to work in the city as well. He didn't have a bag or any other load so maybe he is able to stash everything he needs at his destination. I lost him for good amid the Evanston traffic.

I find commuting in the fall darkness to be slower and a bit more stressful than in the summer. As I crossed Howard into Chicago I thought to myself that I still had fair distance to ride rather than enjoying being on my bike. Lately working my bike rides into my schedule has added to an already pressure fill work environment. But at least the exercise gives me a chance to clear my head.

While turning from Clark to Granville I noticed a bicyclist's headlamp about a half block behind me. I got green lights all the way to the Lakefront Trail so never saw him until he streaked by me. He was also on a road bike with a small messenger bag; definitely much better suited to speed than I was. Then about ten seconds later comes the same guy that past me on the Green Bay Trail! He either has a rotten route or stopped for a long breakfast. Either way I had the displeasure of eating a second helping of his dust. Eventually he zipped by the other roadie as well.

South of Fullerton another lightly burdened roadie streaked by me. It certainly was not a good day for my ego. But then again I have a pretty heavy bag and I just added some snow tires. So I can rationalize my glacial pace at least a little bit. But once I got to the long straightaway heading to Oak Street Beach I no longer saw him and figured he must have turned off at the North Avenue underpass...sissy!

The stiff morning headwinds were taking their toll on me and I was really glad to be heading west on Roosevelt Road. By then I was a bit happier because I'd soon be off the bike and headed to a warm shower.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 1413.7 miles
Price of gas: $2.45

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