Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 48 - Saturday, August 4, 2001
Steve - bike electronics/lights guru - drove up from Peoria to join me for the first half of today's ride. With neither of us real familiar with the town, we took the direct route to Sycamore try to find the bike path to the Fox River. The path was not easy to find - we only found it after I saw a glimpse of a bike route sign in my rear view mirror.
During lunch at the hot dog stand (I'm still trying to get over the french fries served in a styrofoam cup...), we met some other bikes that were doing a loop tour of Illinois, probably mostly on the bike paths. We couldn't quite figure out which direction they were going, but it looked like they had a support vehicle with them.
That path ended just short of the River but there was a new (but not yet officially open) north/south connection that led to another path that would cross the river.
At one of the road crossings was a "bicycles dismount" sign, followed by a sand pit, then some stairs down to the road. Since it was on a downhill, I had to brake suddently to avoid the pit, and as a result Steve almost rear ended me. Would such designs be tolerated on roads? I think not. Why should they be tolerated on paths?
Steve and I parted ways at the Fox River, which is roughly the transition from the farmland to the outer Chicago suburbs. It was nice to have some company for the first half of the day's ride.
Later on I encountered one of the difficulties with using paths for transportation (I'm in suburbia now, so now I'm in "transport" mode instead of "touring") - at road crossings there are no signs telling you what road you've crossed. I got frustrated and used the busy but direct Highway 64/North Ave. - certainly not suitable for young children, but can be cycled safely by experienced adults.
I had spoke breakage number six today. It was the same one I replaced in Dixon yesterday - it probably wasn't properly seated in the spoke hole in the hub.
I rode straight on over to Tera's family's house - they even had welcome signs for me. (I promised not to make fun of the demeted looking bikes on the signs.) So now I will take two days off before continuing on.