Monday, April 9, 2012

Another good one in Illinois' NW corner...

This weekend Agatha and I set out on another good long ride to Elizabeth.  Her father and uncle had spent the past week reparing flood damage to their home there, and our plan was to meet them there Friday night, get a ride back on Saturday, and celebrate Easter on Sunday.  Everything worked out perfectly.  I rode the Casseroll equipped with my Revelate Tangle bag, and Agatha carried a light load on a rear rack aboard her brand-spankin-new SALSA VAYA!  It is an awesome bike and it performed flawlessly on it's first test.  Agatha commented the large tires, disc brakes, and extra gears made the once dominating gravel hills of Jo Daviess and Carrol counties fun!  So yeah, Friday we clocked about 110 miles again (following a similar route to our last trip), and having a tail wind and sunshine the ENTIRE day made the ride seem to fly by.  We also both noticed a bit of mental toughness gained from our grueling Monticello adventure ("Only one hundred miles?  With a tailwind?  HA!").  We kinda felt like we were cheating, but we had so much fun we didn't care.  Agatha and I arrived just before sun set, and enjoyed beer, food, and campfire before turning in.

Saturday brought more good riding.  After a slow morning of eggs, coffee, and helping out with some of the repair work going on, Ag and I decided we would ride north to Charles' Mound, the highest point in all of Illinois!!! (Funnily enough, this location has a page on Summit Post, a mountaineering info site.  Click here for the link.)  We didn't get going till about 1PM.  Unfortunately, while grabbing some snacks in the town of Scales Mound, we were told the mound is privately owned and only open to the public during the summer months.  Oh well.  The riding was good regardless, with plenty of climbing for our sore legs.  Ended up with about 40 miles for the day.

All in all, it was another good weekend of riding.  If  you enjoy cycling the views, roads, and hills of Illinois' Northwestern unglaciated region really are not to be missed.  Consistent weekend missions to that part of the state could start to become a regular thing, as I firmly believe it is the best riding destination within a reasonable distance from DeKalb.

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