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  1. #1
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    'lo from springfield, il

    Hi, I'm wookie. 27 years old. I'm an aspiring tourer, emphasis on aspiring. Aspiring consists of putting 1.5 slicks on my specialized expedition and riding at least 20mi a day. I ride on packed gravel country roads mostly. I'm not a techie at all; I'm just into going places and seeing new things. I will probably learn my lesson when I break down in nowheresville. The exercise is just a side effect for me.

    I have a $50 gift certificate I need to spend at performancebike.com. I've got a velo 'puter in my cart so far but I can't decide between all the myriad other stuff I want. My goal for this year is an overnight trip at the least, and a katy trail trip at the most. I'm happy as long as I have some kind of landmark to shoot for. Anyway, Hi. If anyone needs a riding partner for these parts, I'd be up for it.

  2. #2
    HWS
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    Fuji Shill HWS's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard. I'm pretty new at this thing and also am no tekkie.

    I would also invest in a pair of fingerless cycling gloves or some shorts if you have the $$ left over.

  3. #3
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    There are a couple of cyclists out in Champaign-Urbana looking for partners. It's a lot closer than your Chicago brethern... look up their info under the "Ride Partners Forum".

    Welcome to the forums!

    Koffee

  4. #4
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWS
    Welcome aboard. I'm pretty new at this thing and also am no tekkie.

    I would also invest in a pair of fingerless cycling gloves or some shorts if you have the $$ left over.
    I think my 40mi ride in 95 degree heat definitely made up my mind on that count. Gloves and cages it is.

  5. #5
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    There are a couple of cyclists out in Champaign-Urbana looking for partners. It's a lot closer than your Chicago brethern... look up their info under the "Ride Partners Forum".

    Welcome to the forums!

    Koffee
    Thankya. I'd be game if it weren't 90 miles away!

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I know... but it's still only an amtrak or greyhound away!

    Think about it... you could amtrak out the night before, then amtrak back the next evening.... or greyhound out early morning and amtrak back in the evening... there are options. Think outside the box!

    Koffee

  7. #7
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    I'm a lot closer to you than they are, but I think you're way out of my league. I came here to look into bikes to ride for weight loss. I ride an old Huffy "mountain bike" I've had since I was 14 or so (I'm also 27) around Virden and Girard.

    Lately I've been riding very slowly for short distances behind two nine-year old boys and snapping at them to look out for cars.

  8. #8
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    hi wookie, yep sure was hot out today i didnt ride until tonight ,too hot for me . im usually on the chatam bikepath,lost bridge path and around wherever
    "dont worry charlie ,ive got an angle!!"

  9. #9
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Yeah, I know... but it's still only an amtrak or greyhound away!

    Think about it... you could amtrak out the night before, then amtrak back the next evening.... or greyhound out early morning and amtrak back in the evening... there are options. Think outside the box!

    Koffee
    Logistics aren't my strong suit. Plus I'm dirt poor. I got plenty of excuses for everything


  10. #10
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
    I'm a lot closer to you than they are, but I think you're way out of my league. I came here to look into bikes to ride for weight loss. I ride an old Huffy "mountain bike" I've had since I was 14 or so (I'm also 27) around Virden and Girard.

    Lately I've been riding very slowly for short distances behind two nine-year old boys and snapping at them to look out for cars.
    Coolness. I kind of shy away from organizations so no leagues for me Been out to Virden once this year...wanted to check out the trail from thayer. That stretch along route 4 is pretty iffy but the rest was ok. I'm just west of Glenarm and I almost always head south or west so I've done alot of riding around Virden, Auburn, Divernon, etc. You from Virden?

  11. #11
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter
    hi wookie, yep sure was hot out today i didnt ride until tonight ,too hot for me . im usually on the chatam bikepath,lost bridge path and around wherever
    I went out at 8:30 and got back at 12:30. I wasted a half hour riding around farmersville looking for the trail to waggoner, then I bottomed out about an hour away from home and had to douse myself twice and take a few breathers. The water fountain in the divernon square saved my ass. Only one person sprayed gravel in my face after I waved to them, though, so that was cool

    The interurban rocks. Do you ride all the way to Chatham? I raced up there before dark on friday...got a nice mouthful of bugs around the lake. Yum. Haven't got to lost bridge yet... Did you see the article in the paper about a proposed trail from athens to girard?

    Cool to see some central il. people on here. Didn't expect any.

  12. #12
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electricwookie
    The interurban rocks. Do you ride all the way to Chatham? I raced up there before dark on friday...got a nice mouthful of bugs around the lake. Yum. Haven't got to lost bridge yet... Did you see the article in the paper about a proposed trail from athens to girard?
    yeah i ride all the way to chatam im on the north side of town so im all warmed up the time i get to the interurban. i usually start at the end by mariahs.lol yeah bugs r bad at dusk out there.i have to wear clear glasses sometimes.i didnt see the article in the paper ,but i ride out that way to new salem alot and i know where they took out the tracks and where there talking about .there supposed to hook up lost bridge trail all the way to pana at sometime.
    "dont worry charlie ,ive got an angle!!"

  13. #13
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm from Virden. "They've" been talking about that trail for a long time, haven't they?

    I used to ride the trail from Virden to Thayer when I was a kid, but that's not terribly far. We always got to Thayer, looked around, shrugged, and went back to Virden. Not much happens in Thayer.

    Is there a trail that goes north from Thayer? I teach school in Chatham and the kids talk about the trail from Chatham to Springfield, but I've never ridden it. When I do get out for a longer ride by myself, it's usually out to the southwest on the country roads. I don't like riding on Route 4. The other day I did it very early in the morning, but even so, riding in the gravel on the steep embankments between Girard and Virden is treacherous and riding in the lane feels like I'm asking to get splattered.

  14. #14
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    Wookie, are there any bike shops you recommend over others? I know there's one in Chatham called "Wheel Fast," and I keep meaning to stop there, but I haven't. There are several in Springfield, but I wouldn't know the good from the bad.

    I was searching for beginner tips last night (there were suprisingly few threads on this subject) and one of the first things I turned up was the story of a lady who had been ripped off by her local bike shop. They had sold her and her husband a bike with all these wunder-gizmos installed, then removed the good stuff and substituted the cheap junk. The analogy in my world would be a place that showed me a Benchmade pocketknife with a D2 blade, titanium scales and an Axis lock, and then sold me a box containing the same model with an ATS34 blade, aluminum scales and a liner lock. If you're not a knife collector, you're probably wondering how you'd tell the difference. The answer is that most beginners would never know. With bikes, though, I'm the beginner.

    So, is there a local shop you trust?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Bentley6's Avatar
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    R & M on Washington street is probably the best shop in town. Biketek is a little higher priced but good as well. I live in Winchester and bike every week with a club in Jacksonville. I also ride the IDOT to Rochester, Taylorville to Pana, Pere Marquette to Alton, Site M, Chatham and the Katy Trails. Will be doing a 4 day 300 mile Katy trail ride this coming Labor Day. I do mostly long distance road riding but also like the trails and take the family on them.

    Mark

  16. #16
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    i have to agree with bentley,rich at r&m on washington street has been here forever.i like the feel and smell of r&m ,its old school bike shop ,biketek is in a new building and is too clean .dont get me wrong they do good work but i just like the feel of r&m.
    "dont worry charlie ,ive got an angle!!"

  17. #17
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter
    yeah i ride all the way to chatam im on the north side of town so im all warmed up the time i get to the interurban. i usually start at the end by mariahs.lol yeah bugs r bad at dusk out there.i have to wear clear glasses sometimes.i didnt see the article in the paper ,but i ride out that way to new salem alot and i know where they took out the tracks and where there talking about .there supposed to hook up lost bridge trail all the way to pana at sometime.
    You find it easy to get around town? Only time I've ridden around springfield was a sunday so it was pretty easy. Rode to my g'ma's house just south of the fairgrounds...lots of nice empty parking lots to cut through downtown. What route do you take to new salem? Have heard they're supposed to connect lost bridge and taylorville-pana. One can dream.

  18. #18
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
    Yes, I'm from Virden. "They've" been talking about that trail for a long time, haven't they?

    I used to ride the trail from Virden to Thayer when I was a kid, but that's not terribly far. We always got to Thayer, looked around, shrugged, and went back to Virden. Not much happens in Thayer.

    Is there a trail that goes north from Thayer? I teach school in Chatham and the kids talk about the trail from Chatham to Springfield, but I've never ridden it. When I do get out for a longer ride by myself, it's usually out to the southwest on the country roads. I don't like riding on Route 4. The other day I did it very early in the morning, but even so, riding in the gravel on the steep embankments between Girard and Virden is treacherous and riding in the lane feels like I'm asking to get splattered.
    Nah, no trail out of thayer. They do have a restaurant, a post office, and a soda machine so I guess that's something Yeah, I bet route 4 is pretty hairy for bikes. I got on the 55 frontage road for a bit south of farmersville and even though there wasn't much traffic, it was still not fun, what with the noise from 55 and bumps, etc.

  19. #19
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    When I was a boy, and all this was orchards and fields, there was a gas station in Thayer. You could get a big soda and candy bar, or something.

    Rt. 4 scares me mostly because there's no real option outside the car lanes. You really can't ride on the side, because you're at the top of steep slope that keeps trying to pull you to the right into a nasty fall into the ditch--and this on loose gravel. I did find "Old Rt. 4" between Virden, Girard and Farmersville very smooth and comfortable this morning, though.
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  20. #20
    winning magazine junkie lofter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electricwookie
    You find it easy to get around town? Only time I've ridden around springfield was a sunday so it was pretty easy. Rode to my g'ma's house just south of the fairgrounds...lots of nice empty parking lots to cut through downtown. What route do you take to new salem?
    i live on the north side of the fairgrounds behind gate seven.springfields easy to get around. you just have to ride around to find your routes. 2nd street is nice and it goes to n grand . i go out behind the airport and take stagecoach road to new salem. i follow that around until it hooks with the boy scout trail road,which will take u all the way to new salem. very light traffic 5 or 6 good sized hills thrown in makes for a nice ride out and back. i never really go to new salem , there is a park behind fulgenzis restuarant that nobody seems to know about . its quiet and right by the river.its a nice forty to fifty mile ride.
    "dont worry charlie ,ive got an angle!!"

  21. #21
    Pure Gonzo Biker electricwookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
    When I was a boy, and all this was orchards and fields, there was a gas station in Thayer. You could get a big soda and candy bar, or something.

    Rt. 4 scares me mostly because there's no real option outside the car lanes. You really can't ride on the side, because you're at the top of steep slope that keeps trying to pull you to the right into a nasty fall into the ditch--and this on loose gravel. I did find "Old Rt. 4" between Virden, Girard and Farmersville very smooth and comfortable this morning, though.
    Yup, i know where you're talking about. I'm pretty sure there's a good shoulder on 4 between auburn and chatham, or maybe i was just hallucinating.

    Sounds spiffy, lofter. If you guys see a goofy looking guy on a green bike, w/a green backpack, and a silver helmet, that's probably me

  22. #22
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    A friend of mine lives in Taylorville and is looking for people to ride with. She's a novice, but wants to start increasing her milage and abilities. Any of you near Taylorville?

  23. #23
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    Of this group, I might be closest, but I'm still about an hour away by car.

    Actually, the more I think about it, Springfield might actually be closer. There's what looks like a really nice trail along the highway out that way--I can't remember if it was Route 29 or 104, though. I think it might be a continuation of the trail that goes along 29 through Rochester.

    More importantly, I'd probably hold her back.
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  24. #24
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Are there any good cycling clubs in the Springfield area that you guys are affiliated with?

  25. #25
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    http://www.spfldcycling.org/

    Springfield Cycling Club. I'm not affiliated in any way, just starting out, but I notice Mike Royer is very active with them. If Mike does a lot with them, they must be pretty decent folks.
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