DALMAC 2013 by the Numbers: Mileage & Statistics

Another year of cycling and another multi-day cycling trip… This year I traveled into Michigan to ride DALMAC, the 5 day cycling tour from East Lansing to Mackinaw. My route actually went over the Mackinac Bridge and onto the Upper Peninsula where we ended in Sault Ste Marie. Just like last year for RAGBRAI 2012, I did keep track of all the statistics on my cycling 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 5 days of DALMAC. The mileage numbers are a little off from the official DALMAC mileage, but this is mainly because I got off track a couple times and added a few extra miles to my daily routes. For the most part, the numbers are pretty close though. This time around I even added in a few notes on the weather for each day. Continue reading DALMAC 2013 by the Numbers: Mileage & Statistics

What I’m Packing for My Next Multi-Day Bicycle Trip

This week I head off to Michigan to ride DALMAC, a five day ride from East Lansing to the Upper Peninsula. This is my second multi-day bike trip that I’ve done in the last year or so, and I can only hope that everything I forgot to pack last time I’ve remembered to bring this time.

Last year was RAGBRAI, a seven day bike ride across Iowa. One of the only packing mistakes that drove me crazy on that trip was that I did not pack anything to sit on. So many times I just wanted to sit around and read once I had arrived at camp for the day. This time, I have solved that issue!
Continue reading What I’m Packing for My Next Multi-Day Bicycle Trip

Active Trans Four Star Bike & Chow: 62 Miles of Terrible

Well, it would have been 62 miles if I could have continued to ride with a bunch of jackasses while avoiding the sudden urge to ride my bike off a cliff and end the misery. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any cliffs in the Chicago area.

What was so terrible about this ride? Where do I begin?

First, let me say that I’ve participated in the other popular Active Trans event, Bike the Drive, which takes place the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend every year. I’ve done it three times, and for the most part I don’t have many complaints. Keyword: Many. Anyway, it’s a nice ride and seeing the city from Lake Shore Drive via bicycle is pretty cool.
Continue reading Active Trans Four Star Bike & Chow: 62 Miles of Terrible

Bicycle Route from Chicago to Milwaukee

This will be my detailed breakdown of the bicycle route I took to get from Chicago to Milwaukee. I’m definitely not saying that this is the route that every one should take, and in my opinion this is definitely not the best route.

Before we get started, I’ll tell you three things about this route:

  1. This IS NOT a good route for road bikes. It can be done (I did it on a road bike), but the route is made up of streets, nicely paved trails, crappy old paved trails, and crushed limestone trails.
  2. This IS a good route for people that want to spend the least amount of time on roads and streets… except for the beginning when there is quite a bit of street riding. That can be changed though if you really wanted to avoid streets.
  3. I chose this route because it was one of the only routes that made the trip over 100 miles (101.5 to be exact). It can be done in less than 100 miles… I saw a few different routes that were around 90 miles.

Continue reading Bicycle Route from Chicago to Milwaukee

Critical Mass is a Critical Mess… Oh, and It’s Terrible for Cycling

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 Critical Mass is a Critical Mess… Oh, and It’s Terrible for Cycling

November is Here… Still Biking into Work!

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 November is Here… Still Biking into Work!

Bike Ride from Chicago to Wisconsin… and Back!

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 Bike Ride from Chicago to Wisconsin… and Back!