Tomorrow, hundreds of “cyclists” will take part in the Chicago Critical Mass, an event that is quite possibly the worst thing to ever happen for cycling. And yes, I put “cyclists” in quotes because if the people that take part in this event knew how terrible it was for cycling in the city of Chicago, they would never do it.
I’m not even sure where to begin with this topic because I have so many things that I want to mention, but not sure I will get them all into this post. Let’s first start with the basics… Continue reading
That’s right, and even though that’s not me in the picture and it’s not snowing like that in Chicago (thankfully), winter is approaching. I know, it’s terrible, but there’s nothing I can do about it… EXCEPT… Maybe… No, there’s nothing I can do. And for all you people that actually like winter and the colder weather, well you can shut up. Yeah, you read it right. Shut up. Just remember that this site is called Summer of Andy, so consider yourself in enemy territory you winter loving fools.
OK, back to the bicycle riding… Let me first say that this is a big deal for me. Anything that involves the cold weather and me being in it, that’s a big deal. In most cases I’d rather have someone punch me in the face repeatedly than go out in the cold. I know, if I hate the cold that much, then why am I living in Chicago? I don’t know, I still haven’t figured that one out yet. I’m pretty sure I curse 95% more during the winter months than I do during any other time of the year. Although in Chicago it some times feels like there’s 8 months of winter, 3 months of summer and a couple weeks for each of those other seasons… spring and whatever. Continue reading
Let me just say that this year’s Tough Mudder event in Wisconsin was far more organized than the previous year. After last year’s parking debacle that left us sitting in traffic for over an hour to travel just 3 miles, I’m sure the organizers wanted to avoid that. This year, a new location and better parking. Because of the parking situation last year, we were forced to miss our start time and had to start later than expected. It wasn’t a big deal that we were late, but sitting in traffic for over an hour when it’s not expected is rough… especially when you have to go to the bathroom! If you think about it, there are all these people on their way to a race and of course they’re drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated. As we inched slowly towards the event, cars doors started opening and people were running into the woods (or hay fields) to use natures “restroom” and then quickly running back to their cars. Thankfully, we didn’t have that problem this year. Continue reading
When you read that, maybe you’re saying, “Hey, that seems like a long ride!” Well, you would be correct, and I would say, “Yes, 113 miles to be exact.” If it hurts your knees, ankles, or possibly even your butt just thinking about it, well just imagine how I feel. At this point, pretty good, but it’s also been two days.
This was the longest one day ride I’ve ever been on and my second century ride. My first century ride was earlier this summer before my RAGBRAI trip. This century ride to Wisconsin I did with my friend and fellow cycling enthusiast, Allison Wagner (There you go Allison, I gave you a name in this post instead of just “friend” like my last post). Allison was brave to join me and trust that I actually knew where I was going… when I obviously didn’t. I mapped it on Google Maps and had a few print-outs with me… Oh, and my trusty GPS (my phone). Either way, we were ready for an adventure. Continue reading
What is currently my favorite bike trail to ride in Chicago? Definitely the North Branch Trail. If you’re someone that likes the Lake Shore Path, but can’t deal with the crowds of people that make it nearly impossible to ride your bike, then you need to venture north of downtown. The North Branch Trail starts about 11 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, and it winds through parks and forest preserve while crossing low traffic streets a few times along the 15 mile trail. At the northern most point, the trail loops around and passes by the entrance to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Continue reading
Well, if you’re wondering what it takes to ride across the state of Iowa on a bike, here are all of the statistics I kept track of on my trip… the mileage, speed, trip time, and workout statistics (calories, heart rate). Below I’ve given a trip total and then a breakdown for each of 7 days of RAGBRAI. The mileage numbers are a little off from the official RAGBRAI mileage, but this is expected because some times I would ride around a town a little more while visiting or getting something to eat along the way. The numbers are pretty close though… Continue reading
No, that doesn’t mean that I dress up in 1st Century attire and bike around Chicago (I’m not even sure what 1st Century attire would be). It means that I biked 100 miles in a single day. It’s actually something that on Friday I decided I wanted to try to do. The most I’ve ever biked in a day is 60 miles, so I wanted to push myself and make sure that I could ride the longer distances. After today I feel like I should be able to complete the longer 80+ mile days during RAGBRAI. Continue reading