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Rockford to Bloomingdale.......Birthday Ride!!

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Rockford to Bloomingdale.......Birthday Ride!!

Old 09-10-16, 08:39 PM
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jppe
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Rockford to Bloomingdale.......Birthday Ride!!

Shorter but really fulfilling ride today. Rode Hwy 20 for 20 miles but lost the shoulder at mile 15. Pretty heavy traffic so searched Google maps and instantly created a back roads route for the last 50 miles. Electronics can be very helpful!!!

Nasty rain the first few hours. Mistook a puddle that was actually a large pothole....popped a front tire/tube. Wife came up just as I was needing air so used my pump and saved a CO2 cartridge.

Incredible route into Bloomingdale. 20 miles of farm roads followed by 30 miles of trails and roads through subdivisions. NO traffic.

Stopped for lunch with my wife in downtown Huntley. Great pulled pork sandwich. Very nice town square with a spectacular veterans memorial.

Went through East Dundee and Elgin on bike paths........very nice little towns.

Stopped at a bike shop along the trail and got a map of all the Chicago bike trails, also shows bike friendly roads for ALL of Chicago. He also showed me areas to avoid that are gang related. I think I'm more confident of tomorrow's route through the city.

Rear tire was going down the last few miles but I was able to make it in without changing the tube. Looks like I picked something on the bike path somewhere.

One of the best hotel suites we've stayed in the whole trip. Just lucked into it, also pet friendly.

Only rode 70 miles but it was more than my age with today being my Birthday. Incredible supper tonight at a spot my wife selected.

Will get some pics up later. Busy, busy day.....but another great one. Got us a little closer to Boston!
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Old 09-11-16, 02:04 AM
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First off - Happy Birthday!!!

Glad you got a good bike route map and local info to get you through Chi-town. My guess is that you'll be hitting my area by the latter part of next week since it is ~350 miles between Chicago and Cleveland.

I was kinda wondering how you're doing with your tires/flats. How are things holding up in that regard?

I live in the county to the west and adjacent to the Cleveland area. At a local festival last month, I had picked up a copy of Lorain County Ohio's 'bicycle map/guide' that rates the 'safety factor' of roads and bike trails in the county, including shoulder width and traffic. It shows both the AYH Cycle and Adventure Cycling cross-country routes that pass through. As I suspected, the Adventure Cycling route follows US6 along the Lake Erie shoreline, while the AYH route is on country roads and bypasses any built-up areas. Most of the County roads out here don't have much outside of the white line, so I generally ride about 4-6" to the left of the line. Even if there is a shoulder, I don't ride it because of debris/loose stones, etc.

One more warning -- US20 is under construction through the city of North Ridgeville - they are widening it, so lots of dirt/stone in the roadway.
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Old 09-11-16, 02:30 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Shorter but really fulfilling ride today. Rode Hwy 20 for 20 miles but lost the shoulder at mile15…

Nasty rain the first few hours. Mistook a puddle that was actually a large pothole....popped a front tire/tube.Wife came up just as I was needing air so used my pump and saved a CO2cartridge…

One of the best hotel suites we've stayed in the whole trip. Just lucked into it, also pet friendly.

Only rode 70 miles but it was more than my age with today being my Birthday. Incredible supper tonight at a spot my wife selected.

Will get some pics up later. Busy, busy day.....but another great one. Got us a little closer to Boston!
My Birthday greetings to you as well and continued congratulations on your progress. On our cross-country trip, we celebrated my wife’s birthday in style by staying at a Holiday Inn in Jefferson City Missouri and having dinner there in the best clothes we were carrying.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
So, jppe, I hope you don’t mind us spectators glomming and reminiscing on to your Ride threads…fine dining in Jefferson City, MO on my wife’s birthday
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…When in Jefferson City, MO, I called a high school good friendwho had studied journalism at the well-regarded program at U Missouri in Columbia, about 30 miles away. He drove us to his place where we stayed overnight for a good time,even abandoning our room at the Holiday Inn
By fine dining, I meant it had white table cloths, at least.
Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Careful jppe
you are approaching the crowded 1/2 of the country soon
.
Channeling my inner wonk,

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The mean center of the United States population Is determined by the United States Census Bureau from the results of each census. The Bureau defines it to be:

The concept ofthe center of population as used by the U.S. Census Bureau is thatof a balance point. The center of population is the point at which animaginary, weightless,rigid, and flat (no elevation effects )surface representation of the 50 states(or 48 conterminous states for calculations made prior to 1960) and the District of Columbia would balance if weights of identical size were placed onit so that each weight represented the location on one person.More specifically, this calculation is called the mean center of population:Wright County, Missouri 8.0 milessouthwest of Plato (estimated for 2015).
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The geographic center of the contiguous United States is the center of48 U.S. states as located in a 1918 survey is…in Kansas about 2.6 miles (4.2 km) northwest of thecenter of Lebanon, approximately12miles (19 km) south of the Kansas-Nebraska border.
Finally, jp, about that pothole. That happened to me once on a wet November,and I tore my beautiful new rain jacket. I also once blew a tire on a pothole unseen in the dark.

Now I know you’re a careful and experienced cyclist, but accidents happen to all of us. One of the valuable rewards of reading Bikeforums IMO is that we experience disasters vicariously rather than personally, and that’s certainly a more comfortable way to learn. As I’ve mentioned in the past, posting is an avocation for me, allowing me to essentially “journal” my thoughts about cycling and lifestyle (even if nobody else reads them), but which I wouldn’t write down otherwise.

So not as an admonishment, but as a reflection, I once posted to this thread,“How to avoid bicycle accidents?”

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Just yesterday, I posted about my concept of Riding Safety Aphorisms ("The Sayings of Chairman Jim"), little sayings that come to mind when I encounter a situation where unseen dangers may lurk
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I recently posted the mental mindset I have developed over the years to keep as safe as possible, such as "Like a weapon, assume every stopped car is loaded, with an occupant ready to exit, from either side.

Others as I recall off the top my head:
  • Make yourself visible as possible and assume nobody sees you.
  • When riding at night, look for cars, not just headlights.
  • Make sure you can see the road surface if you ride over a puddle [or leaves, or anything that obscures]; a pothole or frozen ice may lurk at the bottom
  • Jim’s Law of the Road: "No matter how lightly-traveled or well-paved the road, a vehicle is likely to pass you on the left as you encounter an obstacle in the right."
    Then there is my Golden Rule of Cycling: “Do unto the pedestrians as you would have the cagers unto you.”

Your comment about green lights reminded me of one that I learned in Driver’sTraining in High School, “You don’t have the right-of-way,until the other yields it to you.” So I always look both ways at intersections,even when I have the green light, whether by bike or car.


Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-12-16 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 09-13-16, 10:32 PM
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Sounds like a great birthday ride. (better late than never)
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