Thursday, August 03, 2006

Northern Illinois Day 4 - Aurora to Chicago to Winnetka

After a week and a half of riding through cornfields, it's pretty exciting to roll into Chicago.

Today's ride was all suburban and city streets. The suburbs of Chicago start 60 miles out. We didn't make nearly as good time as the past few days due to the constant starting and stopping. We got to the end of the Northern Illinois ride about 11:20.

We had a snack (smoothie for me, iced coffee for Laura) at the Caribou Coffee across the street from where Rob of Bicycle Illinois was unloading the bags from the U-Haul.

Then we had to load all our baggage and gear on our bikes and ride another 24 miles to my sister's house in Winnetka. By the time we started this leg, it was in the mid-90s and the head index was way over 100. It was really tough riding in the heat, and we went pretty slow.

Here's the end of the road at my sister's yard.

We went inside to the nice air conditioning and collapsed on the couch for an hour or so to recover. It sure was hot out.

The Bicycle Illinois tour was a really great extension to RAGBRAI. This is the first year for it, and there were about 30 riders. The route was very scenic, and very well marked. Accomodations were typically in school gyms, which was pretty posh compared to the grubby anarchy of RAGBRAI. I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.

Here's the route for today. It wound up being 87 flat miles, but the heat was brutal.

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