CHI to MIL: my legs are dead

So I can now say I have biked from Chicago to Milwaukee and back on my fixed gear bicycle. Woo-hoo, errr…. ouch. My legs are TIIIIRRRED, and after a couple falls, a little bit sore. After some schedule shifting and lots of planning (from Lance and Walker) I got the call that we were set for Friday the 5th @ 4:45am! I was back in MI at the time finalizing the purchase of our first car since 2001, and had to hit the road the next day to make it back for the trip.

I made it back to CHI on thursday evening in time to catch part of the basketball game and get to bed for the upcoming trip. The alarm went off at 4:30, I suited up and took off with Walker shortly there after. We met up with Lance about 15 minutes later and were off. About 20 minutes later, there was some confusion about a missed turn… to which Lance inquired, Walker hit his brakes and I promptly crashed into Walker and barrel-rolled to the pavement. What a start!

The rest of the ride in was smooth. We stopped for breaks and pictures every hour or so. About 75 miles into the trip, I just wanted to be there. The last 20 miles were pretty grueling. My ass was killing me! Road bikes are pretty fast, but you feel every bump in the road. 8 hours of subtle kicks to ass can get old and painful!

We finally made it! We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle in MIL. Like every time I visit them, the hospitality is top-notch! We hit up a brewery tour, enjoyed some great cigars and port wine, took a tour of my uncle’s company, took a tour of the famous Ben’s Bikes, went for a ride in the Shelby, played some frisbee, got stuck in the rain, helped bail water from a flooding basement (MIL got 11 inches of rain on Saturday), had a wonderful dinner, spent some quality time with my extended family, and had an all around great time!

On Sunday morning we headed out against the advice of the weatherman. Strong showers and lightning caused us to get off the road more than once and delayed our trip home quite a bit. About 25 miles from home, i laid my bike down for the second time. This one was all my fault though. I tried to take a 90 degree downhill turn a little too quickly, hit some mud and slid my bike across the path and into the grass. No damage other than a decent strawberry on my knee/shin.

Overall, I am glad we did it. It’s something to remember, but I am not up for another 170 mile weekend, at least for another week or two :)

Here is another one of Lance’s photos of us just crossing the IL/WI border.

See the rest of Lance’s photo on his Flickr stream.

5 Responses to 'CHI to MIL: my legs are dead'

  1. Overall, I am glad we did it. It’s something to remember, but I am not up for another 170 mile weekend, at least for another week or two :)

    Sorry about that first fall!!

  2. heh, i chalk it up to being 5:30am, without any food or coffee! no worries :)

  3. Zack Jordan says:

    I’ve been thinking about trying something like this in September, only heading south with a pup tent on my back. We’ll see if it happens or not- sometimes clients don’t like to be told “I’ll be completely out of touch for a week or so.”

  4. Aw Guo says:

    Milwaukee Bucks was one of my favourite NBA teams :)

    BTW, I’m a Flash Developer from Beijing. Randomly got here , hoho :)

  5. Fixed gear, huh? I never quite understood that. I love gears :-)

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