Friday, June 29, 2007


Beautiful weather and good company today. (I meant to bike home on Wednesday but the threat of storms scared me off. There was a little bit of rain on my drive home but it dissipated after a while. I saw bicyclists while driving up Lakeshore Drive and thought I should have toughed it out . Oh well.) Grant Park was getting pretty crowded with The Taste Of Chicago. It made biking from Roosevelt to Monroe a bit trickier but I always welcome a diversion.

A beefy guy on a Cannondale passed me during this stretch. He struck me as Lakefront Trail novice because he didn't seem to negotiate the crowds as well as most bicyclists I see along here. I ended up passing him at the light at Wacker Drive. I've gotten to know that most cross traffic there turns left as opposed to continuing west to Navy Pier. It wasn't until after Oak Street Beach that he passed me again. I tried to keep up but could only keep him in sight as he widened his lead. At some points he'd slow down and fool me into thinking I could catch him again. But then he'd pick up the pace and I'd get a bit demoralized. He finally turned off at Belmont leaving me to bike in peace.

Around Wilson or Lawrence a taller guy on a squeaky road bike huffed past me and I fell into his slipstream. His large stature provided a really good draft. At some point he slowed a bit and came abreast, said hello and offered to let him take a break. He accepted quite eagerly and I took the lead. The difference was dramatic. I was really chugging to maintain the same pace. Not too long after he took over again. Prematurely, in my opinion. We continued for a short while at a really good pace but then he waved off. I took the lead again but he didn't keep up. I even slowed a bit but he too far back. While waiting at the long light at Sheridan and Ardmore, he caught up and I asked where he'd gone. I can't remember exactly what he said but he appeared a bit dejected. I said I really appreciated being able to draft off him for so long and was disappointed I couldn't return the favor. I said it was like a having a 20 mph tail wind. This appeared to buck him up a little; good thing too. He rode like a machine. He didn't know I was behind him I guess. He said he bikes from downtown to Farwell. I broke off and headed to Broadway and he headed north on Kenmore.

Biking north at an easy pace on Chicago in Evanston, I was passed by a guy wearing a RAGBRAI XXXIV jersey. I stuck with him and at a red light I said hello and asked about the shirt. It was from the annual ride across Iowa (I knew I had seen that acronym somewhere). I know a good number of people who have done the ride. The gentleman said his name was Matt or Mark or something like that (I have an awful memory for names) and was biking to the Northbrook Velodrome. We biked together a bit longer until I turned west at Clark. Then I raced to see if I could keep pace with him where our paths would cross at Sheridan and Isabella. I think my route might be a little less direct than his route on Sheridan. I was delayed by a red light at Sherman and Noyes but otherwise made good time in my opinion. But I didn't see him either way up ahead or down back on Sheridan when I got to Isabella. So either he was waaay up ahead or waaay far behind. I didn't ponder the issue and headed home.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 3058.6 miles
Price of gas: $3.51

No comments: