Rode 32 miles on Thursday night. It was a beautiful evening; soft breeze off the lake front, not too many stray humans on the trail, good music and found a place to get drinks.
I rode home from Ravenswood to Lakeview, then took Belmont to the Lakeshore Trail. This was still only one of the first few times I've been on the trail, second time on my bike. I quickly got hooked after a ride with Beth on Tuesday evening.
I stopped at the 31st Street Pier after about 8 miles to get something to drink. My throat was parched. They have some drinks, food as well, and restrooms.
After another 5 miles I needed an actual rest rather than a stand a drink.
I got to Marquette and La Rabida, at the entrance to the La Rabida Children's Hospital. Got off my bike, sat down on a bench. Drink the rest of my first Gatorade and smoked a cigarette (I lean heavier on the legs of the "he's just legs and lungs" part of the equation).
Anyway, that was a beautiful stretch out that way. South of the city you start going through migratory bird habitats and prairie restoration projects to provide more refuge for these animals.
The ride south includes Jackson, Promontory Point, Harold, and Burnham Parks. It's a beautiful ride, albeit the stretch is a bit choppy on the butt once you're south of the city.
The ride south, and then some of the ride north was still sunny; by the time I got back to the Chicago River (and the bridge that crosses it) it was dusk, and by the time I was up to Belmont again it was dark. For that first 20 miles or so, the air was filled with the smell of barbeques, elephant ears (I rode by The Taste), and weed (it was a nice day, can't hold that against anyone I guess).
Above is the kind of rando spot I stopped to finish off my gatorade and stretch it out for the last few miles.
The entire ride north I had kind of given up on any kind of etiquette. I kind of lost all sense of propriety on the trail.
You see, what had happened was; La Roux & Girl Talk. I was listening to his 2011 album, All Day, and her "In for the Kill" and by the time I got to the eighteenth mile or so, and the 800th calorie burned, and however much lactic acid was pouring through my screeching thighs; well, that's when I start to need to slap my legs, sing along, yell out and so on.
I generally, under stress, neglect to do things; I forget to eat, I forget to drink, I forget to breathe. Singing along, dancing along on my bike, really helps me keep, keeping on.
So if you see some skinny guy on an 80s black road Schwinn, with bumblebee-yellow drop bars, singing and dancing along the Lakeshore Trail, it's probably me. And if you see the same rolling around the North side of Chicago, say hi.
At the end of the day it was an awesome ride. After, I was very excited to see that I had beaten my previous spontaneous 50k time by 10 minutes, AND I came in at less than 2 hours (1:59!), AND I had an average rate under four minutes per mile (3:59), and for the first half I was around 3 1/2 minutes, and I had three 3:15 miles. A bunch of rad statistics, a sore hind quarter, but definitely a spirit lifter.
Food: Cliff bar, salad (herb mix, seaweed, sun-dried tomatoes, tofurkey slices, avocado, goddess dressing), water and coffee and chai (with agave)
In case you require further convincing that you should be riding to La Roux.