Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hop on. We're Going Biking.

I thought you might enjoy seeing what I saw as I rode through the country roads of northern Illinois, just nine miles south of my home in southern Wisconsin. (Click on photos to enlarge).

This route will be used in the cycling portion of the triathlon which will be held on June 12th at North Pointe. The ride covers 17 miles of black topped roads winding through rolling rural scenery.

A haunted barn? Hogwash. I don't believe in ghosts, especially in broad daylight.

What did you say? You're wondering if, considering I'm so brave, I rode up the driveway for a closer look? Heavens, no! I didn't have time for such nonsense. Now, be quiet and just look at the photos.

Are these horses beautiful or what?

Well, hello to you too.

These guys were hungry. I didn't hear so much as a peep out of a single one of them. Or a MOO either!

I must say that this scarecrow is holding up quite well, although on second thought, he ought to be since it's only the first of June.

This row of trees appears to be standing guard over the pond beyond. Maybe there's gold to be mined in them waters!

Not one flag, not two, three, four or five, but six flags waved as I rode past, a fine sight to behold on this Memorial Day weekend.

I love these old-fashioned metal outdoor chairs. Their bright colors and positioning along the side of the barn caught my eye. I wonder if anyone ever uses them or if they were put there to remind us to sit back and relax now and then.

The popular Ledges' golf course is beyond these trees.

This is another part of the golf course.

Wide open spaces abound as I pedal along McCurry, Free Church, Middle, Manchester, Prairie Hill and Willowbrook Roads.

Oh, there's that pond again. I swear I see glints of gold shining up from the depths, don't you?

I came upon these Canadian geese as they nonchalantly crossed the road. As I approached they gave me a dirty look and hustled off into the grass. "Didn't your mother teach you not to hang out in the traffic?" I called back at them over my shoulder.

Sections of flat road like this are welcome on a long bike ride. That downhill slope up ahead is like seeing an oasis in the desert.

I like this crossroads where I made a left turn. The landscaping in front of that house is beautiful.

Thank goodness for my multi-speed Trek bike on hills like this.

Horses are a common sight around here.

I enjoy being able to see far into the distance. Huh? Did you say you find it extremely boring? Sorry. Next time bring a book.

Silos, barns, tractors...good, ole country living...

Once in a while I do look ahead and watch the road.

A sign beside the tree in the center of this photo says, "Free Kittens." If you're interested, you can pick one or two or maybe even more at this farm on Manchester Road in S. Beloit, IL.

The North Pointe sign is a welcome sight after an hour and twenty minutes of biking.

There you go. All the adventure of a bike ride is yours without the sore butt, tense shoulders and leg muscle exertion.
Next time, we'll go running on the acreage surrounding North Pointe.

Good Grief! Do I Really Need All That?

I'm waiting for the day when I head to North Pointe to do some biking and forget to bring my bike! So far, I've faithfully toted it along on the back of the truck.
Considering all of the items that I absolutely MUST have with me when I bike, it would be easy to overlook the most important thing, especially if you're me. (Once upon a time, I made a tuna/macaroni casserole and forgot to include the tuna fish).
I love the gizmo attached to my racing bars that tells me how fast I'm going, the time, how many miles I've biked, how long I've been biking, my average speed and the temperature. I appreciate the racing bars because they allow me to rest my forearms on the pads and grip the extensions. Using them puts me in a more aerodynamic posture and changing from being upright to bending forward just plain feels good.

********************************My biking shoes have clips on the soles which fit into receivers on my bike pedals. As I pedal, this system allows the upward motion of my legs as I'm pedaling to propel me forward in addition to the downward force exerted by my legs on the pedals.

My wrist Road ID holds a bunch of information on a personalized plate, including: my name, address, blood type, husband and son's phone numbers, my doctor's and hospital name and my health insurance company name and policy number. I ordered it a few years ago on

My sunglasses are bifocals allowing me to read my map as I was learning the route and also to read the smaller numbers on my digital handlebar gizmo.

I love athletic clothing. If cute clothes weren't available, I doubt I'd be as interested in working out as I am.

Don't you just love this racerback top? Besides being a bright color which makes me highly visible on the road, it has a cool design inconspicuously printed on the right side.

My husband laughs at me because I love buying socks. Nothing feels better on my feet than slipping into a pair of nice clean, white socks. Yes, they absolutely MUST be bright white.

I always carry my cell phone, just in case I need assistance. I've never had to use it for that purpose.

I've included the overall triathlon bike route along with some close-ups of the route.

On my drive home, I always treat myself to a glass of cold water infused with a packet of Emergen-C.

If you've hung in with me to this point, I thank you. As you can see, gearing up for cycling takes some forethought and conscientious preparation. I hate forgetting anything so I meticulously make sure I include all of the above.
I'll take you along with me on my ride on my next blog post; trust me, I'll do all the pedaling!!