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Old 05-29-05, 04:23 PM   #1
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Hello from hilly Southern Illinois

Hi everybody! My name's Benji

and I'm just getting into road cycling (I can shift my Shimano STI without thinking about it now, but I haven't a clue as to how to change a flat) at the grand old age of 37. I first learned to ride at age 4 on a red Schwinn (didn't everyone?) and inherited my grandfather's 1954 Schwinn cruiser when I turned 12. I've also owned a Trek 850c mountain bike but must admit I love to be ON the road more than off of it.

I'm a total weakling on the hills around here (okay, so the highest peak is Bald Knob at 1000 ft, but going into Makanda proper and Giant City State Park is no picnic--those are serious grades) but enjoy cruising down them once I sweat my way up them (my record so far is 42.3 mph on a twisty descent, although I usually average 15-17 mph on a 15-25 miles trip).

The strangest thing I've ever done on a bike was take off from Plantersville, MS, into Tupelo to go visit my eighth-grade girlfriend during Spring Break on my above-mentioned cruiser.

I have a 2002 Masi Nuova Strada and have only added a computer and Shimano toe clips (more versatile than clip-ons for commuting to Southern Illionois University and back).

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Old 05-30-05, 08:16 PM   #2
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Hi Benji!
I'm just over to your east, in hilly Southern Indiana. I've started (serious) cycling at the ripe old age of 39. Your ride is a beaut! Looks like good weather ahead for the next few days- enjoy!
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Old 05-30-05, 08:17 PM   #3
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Nice, congrats. I'm from the big town of Effingham, and have a twin who went to SIU. Great place to ride...enjoy.
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Old 06-01-05, 04:33 PM   #4
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Hi Benji,

I love visiting Makanda when I come over from Indiana.
Is that new winery in Makanda open yet?
I might be making a trip there soon. I love buying incense at the little shop on the boardwalk.
I know what you mean about the hills coming into Makanda, some pretty steep grades there.

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