At the beginning of the season, I quietly set a goal for myself to ride 2000 miles my first season riding. As of my last ride, I had ridden 1960 miles and was terribly frustrated that I hadn't met my goal. As the leaves started to fall and the weather turned more crisp, I grew resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to get to my goal.
"It's just a number," I told myself.
"You did great!" I tried to convince myself.
"It's only 40 miles, you got close enough," I repeated to myself.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely goal oriented and will stop at nothing to achieve a goal once I've set it for myself. I just needed one more warm-enough-to-ride-without-frostbite day.
And then, like a chorus of angels singing from the heavens, my weather woman said "It's going to be almost 70 this weekend." There was MUCH rejoicing. I requested my time on babybike, made a few last minute changes to my schedule, and it was time to ride!
This morning, at 5:45 AM, I set off on babybike and headed to the ice rink for skating practice. It was a gorgeous morning. I saw the sunrise as I headed off towards Bensenville. It was a simple route- 90 to 190 to Mannheim to Irving Park Road to York to the rink. Nothing exciting, no crazy twisties or traffic- just me and the bike and a goal in sight.
After practice, I zipped back towards the garage. I pulled into the garage with 40.6 miles for my ride and celebrated with breakfast with my mentor MJ and my timeshare buddy Nora.
It was a perfect morning.
Miles ridden: 40
Miles for the season: 2000!!!!!!
I started off the morning by meeting a fellow rider, Mercedes, at the “blue angel parking lot” (although the blue angel isn’t the blue angel anymore). We headed off towards Elgin to meet up for breakfast. It was COLD. The air temperature was hovering around 40- so it was around 30 on the bike as we zipped down I-90. My fingers and toes went numb, my teeth were chattering, and I was going 70 mph not because I wanted to go fast, but because I was desperately seeking our exit and the promise of warmth. Note to self: heated gear- buy some soon!
We met up with Furies and Hangers on at Alexander’s in Elgin for breakfast. There were 9 of us at breakfast, but 4 of them were off to a skeet shooting adventure so that left 5 for the ride. Shannon was the leader of the day and the others were Mercedes, myself, Jodie, and Caryl. So it was 2 furies and 3 guests and we were off on our adventure to Norway and Peru.
We wound our way through some fun back roads and ended up first at Elvis. After some pictures and obligatory guitar strumming we hopped back on the bikes and were off to Norway. Norway, IL has a fantastic little Viking heritage museum and a store that has been run by 5 generations of the same family and still has the original wooden floors. It was a really neat little stop. We waved to the dead Vikings in the cemetery and at the downed plane commemorating the farm crash in the 80’s and then were off again.
We hopped on 71 and went towards Starved Rock State Park, we changed the line up of folks so that we could each go through the twisties at a comfortable speed. It was fantastically beautiful to be zipping in and out of the trees and up hills through the park area. It was also fun fun fun! I loved the road and wanted to do it again the second we were done.
Then we headed towards Oglesby, IL and Woody the Rootbeer Man. We ended up having a snack at the Rootbeer Stand http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/3378. They make their own rootbeer and it is delicious and the prices were fantastic. It was one of the highlights of the ride for sure!
Then we were off to Peru and the Star Trek Vulcan Hand were we all had to pose “Live Long and Prosper” style. After a few more winding roads it was time to say goodbye and we split off to find our ways home. I ended up leading the I-88 crew and I’m actually growing more comfortable at leading.
I find that despite small issues (killing the bike once at a stop sign, fighting to get out of neutral, fighting to get into neutral), that my general ability is improving and I am growing more confident on the road. I am much more able to relax on the bike and to actually enjoy the ride. I do however have these moments where I think, “I can’t believe I ride a motorcycle”. I do. And it’s awesome.
Miles ridden: 250
Total Miles: 1372
This weekend my riding mentor MJ, my timeshare buddy Nora and 3 other riders attempted something I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to do. They did an Iron Butt-- 1000 miles in 24 hours. 4/5 riders made the whole trip in under the 24 hours and they actually all made it to Canada.
I am completely blown away by these women. I am in awe of the commitment, bravery and slight insanity it took to accomplish such a task.
Many congrats to MJ, Nora, Nadine, and Monique!