Thursday, July 26, 2007

Onwards to the Concurrence of our Ramblings

July 26th, 2007

Chicago, Illiniois

Dear Mr. Greenfield,

It is with great joy I receive your letter of July 6, 2007. I pray your travels across the Northwest Territory have continued unabated and you should not run afoul of savages or road agents.

My own arduous journey across the prairie and back shall take place on Sunday July 29, 2007. I shall depart the beach-house at North Av. at the stroke of midnight. It is my sincerest desire to gaze upon the great Mississippi river and yet return to the beach-house before the witching hour, achieving 275 miles within the 24 hour mark.

Again, our agreed upon rendezvous should be lunch at the Blue Café, located at 321 Main St., Savanna IL, at 12 noon.

I shall expend much effort to keep our appointment but must fair warn you of the considerable variables which may have some effect on my estimated time of arrival.

Firstly, fatigue. I expect I should ride stronger for the first half of the ride than the later half, perhaps arriving as much as an hour earlier and leaving myself an hour more for the noon-time dinner and return ride.

Secondly, wind-field. The predominant patterns are westerly; should I find myself in the teeth of a severe head-wind, it might delay me as much as 2 hours. Contrary-wise, such a tailwind might advance me by just as much.

Thirdly, other atmospheric conditions. I may be delayed by rains, hail or extreme heat.

Therefore, should I not appear at the prescribed time, I encourage you to embark upon your own journey in the hopes that our paths should cross at a later point(s).

In addition to the above, you may wish to consider these other factors:

Route. In the interest of expediency, IL 64 will encompass the entirety of my route. This design will limit wrong turns, time spent studying maps and encounters with road surfaces not suitable for bi-cycles. Unfortunately, these same qualities render this roadway appealing to motorists.

Speed. My strategy involves a 14mph overall cruising speed and 4 hours worth of intermittent rests. You may find this pace unappealing.

Cargo. I shall be carrying only the essentials of tools, provisions and outerwear. My load contrasts heavily with your own burden of a full-capacity, cross-country tourist.

None the less, I look forward to our encounter and rally you to our engagement on the banks of the Mississippi.

Fraternally yours,

T.C. O’Rourke

--- John Greenfield wrote:

> Meeting up in Savanna at noon on Sun. 7/29 will work

> perfectly.

> I'll try to ride at least part of the trip home with

> you.


> Cheers,


> John

1 comment:

Bob said...

T.C. – you’ve inspired me. Or rather exhausted me with your tales of training and incessant non-stop maniacal pedaling. 275 miles in 24-hours? That’s not what a bicycle is for!

I’m going to start a randonneur right here at home, only a different kind. A Reverse Randonneur, or maybe a Rondonneur Inverse to use the French.

A ride and a route you must complete slowly and leisurely, complete with its own sets of rules and requirements.

I haven’t worked it all out yet, but it’ll be something like this:

- The route, in honor of your travels, will be Chicago-Savanna-Chicago – the same distance, 275 miles, roughly.

- You must take no fewer than 10 days, 9 nights, to complete the route. Anything shorter immediately disqualifies you.

- Instead of Rt. 64 the route will be to take the Lakefront Path, the Plank Road Trail, I&M Canal trail, the Hennepin Canal Trail, and the Great River trail.

- Pictures along the way are required. No fewer than 30 pictures a day, and must include landmarks, and have pictures of the rider in no fewer than 5 with the landmarks.

- Strangers must be met and talked to. Each day’s travel requires a conversation with no fewer than 5 people or groups. (And not just “Hello, how are you?” either!)

- Flowers must be smelled along the way. A list of a least 10, with pictures, must be submitted to the Committee at the conclusion of the ride. (Non-odiferous flowers, such as the common chickweed growing along the highways, don’t count.)

- A daily nap is required. No pedaling between Noon and 3 PM for a least one continuous hour.

There may be more; I’m still working on it.

Meanwhile, keep the wind at your back and the rubber side down.