We Begin With A Parade
As we were unpacking our bikes we heard some rumbling from glass pack tail pipes. I looked up and there were dozens of hot rods bearing down on the Batavia Municipal Parking Lot. They kept coming and I grabbed the camera and tried to capture as much of the celebration of this group of hot rods as possible. They were evidently trouping through all parts of town and it was great fun to see and hear the raucous sounds!
After the parade, a quick pit stop and we are off along the Fox River Trail heading into Aurora to pick up the Virgil Gilman Trail for a run to Waubonsee Community College and back!
Another Day Another Flat
You go for most of the summer without a single flat (although in Spring Connie’s front inner tube kept flatting with no apparent breech of the tire casing. We later discovered that the aluminum insert to downsize the Presta valve stem hole was cutting into the rubber on the inner tube. Once that was resolved we were back to a flawless summer.
But in the past two days we have each suffered a flat on the rear tires of Easy Racers Tour Easy bikes. I am now “gun shy” of glass shards. Today the problem was probably caused by some glass that had been broken just at the exit point for Fox River Trail riders who were headed for the Virgil Gilman Trail on the other side of town. I suspect some teenagers of causing mischief.
May their underwear itch for a thousand days unceasingly.
So as we approached within a quarter mile of the Virgil Gilman Trail I began to notice a lack of cushioning for the rear wheel. Pulling off we discovered my tire was flat. So it was back to a spot where I could sit and work on the tire and inner tube and curse the miserable sods that had created the glass shards in the first instance.
Before long the tire was patched and the wheel was ready to insert into the rear dropouts. And off we went, desperate to reach Waubonsee Community College in time to find restrooms, eat our snacks and return before sundown.
Bridges Are Us
The Virgil Gilman Trail is much improved since we led a ride along it to Bliss Road some 17 years ago! In fact I do not think we had ridden it in all these years until I did so last Wednesday. Now the route is paved for its entirety (excepting on third of a mile section just before the College). And if you love bridges you will love this ride.
If you do the entire length of the trail you cross some 4 bridges. The first is how you get over the Fox River. Then there are bridges at strategic points all the way out to Sugar Grove, IL. On a recumbent bicycle this means that you have to work a bit to surmount the ones with ramps. Not difficult in this instance since each one has a longish and somewhat shallow lead-up. But it does raise the heart rate a bit.
The colors along the trail are nearly gone in some sections. Yet the trail looks delightful in its fall coloring. The leaves are a bit of a concern not only because they are slippery in places but also because they tend to ride up under your fenders and lodge themselves in clumps that slow you down. A couple of times we had to stop and spin the wheels backwards to dislodge the messes they caused.
Snacking at Waubonsee
The Student Center at the College was closed when we arrived. So we went around to the front side of the complex and found a suitable place to enter and use the washrooms. Then we sat in the sunlight on a park bench and enjoyed the Einstein Brothers Bagels and ProBar™ that we had brought.
Then it was back onto the bikes and rushing in the now waning light to reach Batavia before the sun had set and we were riding the Fox River Trail illegally (you can officially only use it between sun ride and sun down). And lo and behold just as we exited the trail in Batavia my Garmin Edge 605 GPS signaled sun down by changing its background from white to black! Whew!
Back at the van we packed up the bikes and went in search of food. Tonight we opted for Chipotle Mexican Grill. We each ordered a vegetarian bowl and an Izzy drink to wash it all down! Yummy!
Sad to see the summer come to a close and the weekend end so soon. Let’s hope the weather next weekend is still rideable.
Distance: 34.4 miles
Time: 3h 44m 3s