Saturday, April 11, 2015

Our first adventure: Illinois Beach State Park

Today we had our first adventure.
We drove a long distance and when we parked, despite the presence of a parking lot, nature was in full swing. There were frogs croaking, leaves rustling, birds calling, and crickets singing. It was perfect.  
Without much thought, we started biking.

 

We passed by several abandoned buildings that made us think of Xanadu

 
We came to a dead end. If we read the map, we would have realized this was the right way.
 
 
I crashed my bike trying to make a turn on a mound of sand. The ground was as soft as a bunch of pillows and D said I looked insanely happy as I crashed...probably true
 
 
 
We found a beautiful rock beach. Bless our city hearts as we exclaimed, "these are the kind of rocks they charge you for in the city" 
 
I felt compelled to build this, I mean, how beautiful is this place?
 
I loved this ancient sign. The whole thing made me think of the Friday the 13th horror movies.
 
 
A portrait
 
We missed half of the biking trail because it isn't connected and we assumed when we hit the crossbar off of a weird trail, that meant it ended. We ran out of places to bike and called it quits.
Then we realized we were only 20 minutes away from Mars Cheese Castle, and we had to visit. My phone died inside, unfortunately, but here is a glimpse
 
 
 I ended up purchasing a small chapstick to keep with my biking stuff because it has SPF, some candies that taste like tea, and a small jar of local honey. We also came home with two bags of cheese curds, and one meat stick.


 
 

Total miles biked: 5 (don't judge)
Novelty: 6
Nature: 6

For the future:
Read the map
Bring my digital camera
Find trails that are paved
Bring a hat
Check for trail safety
For D: bring a jacket

The Book

Here is the book we are choosing our summer trips out of
 

 
 
We were planning a trip on the Fox River Valley Trail but a couple mishaps starting with me oversleeping and our plans are up in the air. It's a beautiful day to bike so hopefully we will be heading out soon.


We purchased that lovely little postcard in New Orleans. The back says it was created by Kiernan Dunn.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

National Bike Challenge

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the National Bike Challenge. I learned about it through my work and because I am in love with every tracking app available, this is just another way to keep track of the miles I bike. It also tracks how much carbon dioxide you prevent from entering the environment, how much money you save, and how many calories you burn. Join me.

Monday, April 6, 2015

First time biking

This was us a few years ago in Atlanta. My family let us borrow their bikes and we went on a 21 mile bike ride without having ever really biked much before. We were wiped out but this is when we first thought we should get bikes.

First Post

This is my first post. Today we traveled to the Morton Arboretum, in the suburbs of Chicago. There, among the decked out Easter brunchers, we thought of our summer project. Last year, at the end of the summer, we both bought bikes. She bought a new one from a women owned store, on Chicago's northside, BFF bikes, and I bought a used bike off of her teacher friend. My bike is rusting, heavy as a bag of rocks, and meant to be a mountain bike. Hers is a sleek and skinny, lightweight road bike.

Both have brought us enjoyment over the past year as we used them for some light summer rides and to briefly commute. The best thing about biking so far: feeling exhilarated upon arrival to work, the worst thing: the squashed rats we encounter on the road. So, at the arboretum, we bought a book of Illinois bike routes and it is our goal to bike as many as possible over the summer. I will write about it here. We'll see how it goes!