The day started out like any other non-law-breaking day. We woke up and were going to take a nice 20-mile bike ride. However, when we got to Elgin, we got to thinking, “We’re not going to have that many more nice biking days this season, let’s ride just a little further.”
Riding along, minding our own business, thinking we’ll do a 30 mile ride instead, we came across a barricade on the bike path.
WHY? we wondered. We looked around and not seeing anyone, asked ourselves, “What’s the worst that could happen? It’s not like they’re going to confiscate our bikes and throw us in jail, right? Let’s just go take a quick peek and see WHY the path is closed.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way …
We find that they’re replacing the bicycle path — it doesn’t exist — so we’re walking our bikes next to the tracks. We can see another barricade a half mile, or so, ahead that’s stopping bicyclists from coming through the other way.
We’ll just sniggle around that barricade when we get there and keep going.
We can see that they’re building a new bike path and a bridge. We stop to admire the work. This is going to be fantastic when it’s finished!
All of a sudden we hear something in the distance. It’s getting louder and has kind of a rumbling feel to it.
We turn to each other wide-eyed and say, “Oh crap! What’s that noise?” as we realize it sounds like a train!
Scrambling as fast as we can, we make it down into a work area with our bikes and turn to see a trolley ambling along, passengerless, the conductors smiled and waved as they passed.
When we reached the “Stop, or I’ll gnaw my arm off now” point, we realize we’ve gone a little over 26 miles. Not too shabby.
Then in dawns on us, we’ve got to ride that same distance all the way back!
We’re so hot (90-degrees) we can hardly stand it. The little “rest area” we stop in has a water spigot. I turn it on, take my helmet off, and stick my head and shoulders gratefully under the cold running water. (yes, my eyes are still black and blue from the “gargling incident”) …
Len turns to me with a great big grin and says, “I think maybe we shouldn’t have left The Shire, Pippin.”
By the time we got back to Crystal Lake from Geneva, Illinois, we’d ridden 53.36 miles. Our legs are still wobbling!
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
– Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.
Celebrate with a piece of watermelon! Sounds like you guys had lots of fun!
Beth – I saw a man in the car next to us today eating watermelon and he looked so joyful. I’m pretty sure that watermelon is my favorite fruit — I love it!
What a wondrous adventure! Of course acting like two teenagers checking out why there barrier is there is always a fun way to be yourself…
Good for you!
Jeff – It was an adventure, that’s for sure! We knew better, yet did it anyway. I think that’s the difference between ignorant and stupid.
Ignorant is doing something because you don’t know any better.
Stupid is doing something when you know better.
Lordy were we ever stupid (but we had oh-so-much fun!) …
Oh, dear, Laurie. And here I thought it was safe to let you outside with only Len to watch you . . . tsk-tsk. I can’t trust him either now that you’ve lured him over to the dark side. One day you almost knock out your teeth and the next day you nearly die at the wheels of a hit-and-run trolley.
It was great exercise though!
Barbara – Len watching me is like having a fox guard the hen house!
Lordy, too much is just never enough for y’all. You see a sign that says “Keep-Out” and for you it’s an invitation. One morning when the weather is good, y’all just ride on down here for lunch. Call me from the Tenn. line so I’ll know to set the table. You look much better!
Sandi – Your comment had us both in stitches! If we even thought for a moment that we could pull that off, we’d do it in a heartbeat! I’m afraid the only call made would be for the “meat wagon” — we’d both be dead. That would be oneheckofa bicycle ride!
EVERYONE – Today (August 30th) is Sandi’s birthday! Whoohoo!
53.36 miles! Ohmygoodness! You guys are CHAMPS. I so admire your spirit…I mean your muscles….OK, all of the above. Would love to hear what you might do on a law-breaking day, LOL!
Kathy – In between the parts where we thought we were gonna die, it was a complete and total blast 🙂 I love your ponderance: “Would love to hear what you might do on a law-breaking day.” I have absolutely no idea. It would have to involve non-violence (although I’m loaded for bear when it comes to my child). I’ll have to let that one simmer on the back burner for a wee bit …
They do have nice jails down in Elgin!
I would have expected that you now visit the casinoo there, maybe the trolley goes there.
You guys are awesome!
Next time if you stop you can get a water drink and it is safer in our neighborhood! No Train Tracks and no shelfs in the powder room. We are a safer house! LOL
Awesome riding. I do wish someday i might get that good, I can wish can’t I. First think is to find a riding companion, send a bike!…..Saw ann awesome Schwinn in St Louis, I might have just bought it! (149.00) if I had a more flexible finance situation. I will just have to somehow work it out, it was blue, what else. Oh it was soooooo sweeetttttt.
I can get bail money and also have a big stock of bandaids.
Kim – Your comments crack me up! A blue Schwinn bicycle for $149 sounds like a pretty good deal. Save your “grin money” and maybe by the next time you go to St. Louis you can buy it. Several customers have told me that eBay is a good way to go (apparently you can look for bikes within a certain distance of your zip code). I hope you’re having a good business trip. We’re expecting a torrential downpour within the next 24 hours. You “got out of Dodge” just in the nick of time!
Happy Birthday Sandi!!!!!!!
Yes I might just find a way and check out eBay too…..(Sly Grin)
If it is raining in the morning, please don’t bike ride!!!!!!
My dream when I was little was walking by the Scwinn Store every day after school and that some day I would have one!!!!!
Sounds like a good adventurous ride.
When taking on something like that I have a little gadget I sewed up out of some nylon cloth, that looks a bit like a shotgun cartridge belt, except it is designed to take bananas, and the little tapes sewed into it allow me to tie it to the handle bars, and load up with 7 bananas.
Ted – I love the banana cartridge idea. And the fact that you took it from idea, to the real deal, is so cool!
Kathy – Thank you for inviting me to GUEST BLOG on Lake Superior Spirit. I’m having fun meeting your readers!
I’m having tons of fun featuring you, Laurie. So happy that you agreed…hope everyone here comes over to my blog and learns a bit more about you! Thank you again.
An inspiring venture for sure! Even though I am a non-drinker, and a non-smoker, I’m afraid I would collapse from cardiac arrest if I tried what you and Len succeeded with here, as sitting on the computer has cramped my exercise time severely in recent years! Ha!
I see Laurie that your red mark dead center is almost gone, and you are back in the saddle. Great atmospheric photos, and writing.
Sam – I’m so glad you popped in for a visit. Trust me, we both had moments when we thought our hearts would burst! Your hands are probably in great shape the way you smoke the keys over on Wonders in the Dark. In fact, I’m headed there shortly to see what you’ve been up to.
Readers – I just hit the jackpot! You’ve GOT to go over to Wonders in the Dark and read/print Sam Juliano’s “Best of 2009, List of 12 Films.” If you’re a movie fan, you’ll appreciate his thoughtful and exquisite critique.
Thanks so much for that Laurie!