Why o why didn’t I take the BLUE pill?

July 25th, I get an email from my great friend Cari asking me the following:

What are you doing August 13? Want to go up to Milwaukee with me and bike back to Chicago? I’m trying to find someone to drive me up and drop me off then I’ll bike the 90 miles back to Chicago. If I find someone to drive, do you want to bike back w me?

In which I immediately agreed. Why I did such a thing I will never know.

Our friend dropped us off in Veterans Park in Milwaukee on the lakefront and from there we started out 98.95 miles trek back to Chicago. Milwaukee was very nice and we took in the scenic lake view. It was within the first hour we saw a dog walking with his owner. This dog had a nice foot long catch in his mouth with such a happy strut showing off his catch. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh.The ride was nice along the lakefront. Took us through many parks and recreational areas. I’m not entirely sure of the route we took, I left that all up to Cari to plan and I just followed. Hit a little snag when we were in Racine. Her cyclometer fell off her bike and stopped suddenly to get it. I was not expecting it and fell. My front breaks were not working properly and I lack the knowledge of repairing it. My heart rate watch also broke, wrist hurt, and had a few scrapes. Since my tire was rubbing against the pad, I just decided to unhook my front break and go on without one. Hey, as long as I have the rear breaks we’ll be good.

We continued on and when we hit Kenosha we almost threw in the towel. We spotted some dark clouds, temperature dropped dramatically, and the wind picked up. It started to pour and Cari took us to an abandoned boarded up commercial building to look at directions. All of a sudden it started to hail. We decided that with the wind being pretty strong, we did not want to get blown into any traffic. We looked up the metra Kenosha line and the next train was in SIX HOURS. REALLY?? So we decided to just wait the storm out and continue.

To be honest, I do not remember in detail a chunk of the ride. All I know is for most of it I was in the zone just following Cari. I can recall seeing a goats milk soap sign, unattended vegetable stand (assuming it was honor system), porn shop, and a few taverns. I remember stopping at a metra train station in Wisconsin for a bathroom break. On the air dryer someone carved

Biked from Milwaukee to Chicago.

From then on it was a steady trail ride until we hit some nice houses in the north burbs. We passed Ravinia which I have never seen. When we got to Northwestern I wanted to quit so bad. The last 30 miles my wrist was hurting at every bump in the road not to mention my ass. I really should have bought new cycling shorts for this ride. I remember passing by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at Northwestern, as well as seeing Loyola’s main campus for the first time ever even though I was a student there. Once we got closer to our destination the cars started being more careless of the space given to us and it started to rain once we hit the late front path. Once we got back to her apartment I really was out of it. I hated my bike, hate riding my bike and my body.

Staci (Cari’s roommate that dropped us off in Milwaukee) asked me how the ride was and I said I wanted to die. I also told her not to ever do it. Ask me the same questions now and I’ll say it was an awesome experience and lets do it again.

In the end I had my first fight with my bike. I hated her and she hated me for what I put her through. If dialouge existed it would be along the lines of the following:

Bike: Why did you agree to this?

Me: Why don’t you shut up

Bike: How’s your ass feel?

Me: I hate you.

Bike: I hate you.

We’ve made up since then. I’ve learned a lot about my bike in the 98,95 miles I spent with it this weekend.

Cari’s blog about the ride


Pictures and videos from the ride:











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