Friday, June 8, 2007

A Brief History of Ride

Ok. We’re in real time, people. I catch the Van Galder bus to Janesville, WI, in 15 minutes. Metra’s Bluesfest Blackout, mind you. From there it’s a 21 mile ride.

In preparation for tomorrows event, a brief history of my long distance bicycling.

1996—I can remember my first long ride. From my apartment at Broadway-Clark-Diversey all the way up to Lawrence Av. and back. When I tell people at work they cannot believe the distance —15miles.

1997—Long forays into the suburbs hugging the curbs of major highways in insane Saturday afternoon traffic. I stop into work and loudly announce I have been to Wisconsin and back—ON MY BIKE!! I complete my first century—the Harmon 100—on a mountain bike with knobbies.

1999-2001—I ditch the Rockhopper for a marginally better machine—a Bianchi Pista (an off the shelf track bike.) The night rides begin. Somewhere the 120 mile threshold is crossed.

2002—Ridding buddy Craig Ludington accompanies me on a 170 mile/17 hour Peoria to Chicago ride. Weary and confused, we eat MacDonald’s in Joilet, only to find 3 dozen taquerias immediately around the corner. In September, Greenfield and I ride 420 miles from the Rosemont Blue line to St. Paul, MN. 143-156-91-30 are our insanely long 3.5 days over Wisconsin. Here I perfect my patented sitting on the crosstube at 33mph maneuver, as the fixed gear has the cranks spinning faster than I can keep up with bombing the hills of Baraboo. We arrive to Pro Bike/Pro Walk as gods.

2003—An attempt to ride non-stop from St. Louis with Adrian Redd and Grant Davis is thwarted by my most spectacular motor-vehicle collision ever, over the hood, off the windshield and onto my head. The next month, I do the trip solo to ‘celebrate’ my 30th birthday. Late November and my water bottles freeze solid—I thaw them in my pants. I push through incredible knee pain for the last 50 miles, track bike as torture rack. A 14 mile mistake puts me at 334 miles in just under 36 hours.

2004 to present—nothin’ much.

This weekend is the longest ride I have ever attempted.

I am anxious and afraid.

May God have mercy upon my soul.