This was another ride along the Illinois Prairie Path on a section we have not visited since Manfred passed away. Limestone screenings are very tiresome on the legs and doubly so when riding a recumbent bicycle. The ride through West Chicago’s Downtown area is usually nice. They have lots of older buildings and the routing of the IPP through this section is mildly interesting.
By the time you reach the DuPage Country Airport complex the sun is beating down and quite hot. There are not trees out here and you had better be carrying plenty of water. We were.
We passed Mike Struglinki on his recumbent touring bike. This was the second time we have crossed his path on the IPP in the past few weeks. Before he was sailing through Downtown Glen Ellyn as we were returning from points east along the IPP.
At one point we had to cross Butterfield Road as part of the IPP Batavia Spur routing. For years that has been one of the ‘weak points‘ in the design of this spur. A fellow and two gals all on uprights and wearing racing kits were coming back from the Fox River as well. As we waited for a break in traffic to make our crossing he remarked that we ought to get some ‘political action‘ going to get this spot fixed.
I am in agreement that it should be fixed if for no other reason than to make it safer. Right now it requires a mad dash following breaks in traffic that is moving at 50 MPH. But I wondered why cyclists who see no problem in having motorists sit and ‘cool their heels’ while they cork an intersection during a Critical Mass Ride should become impatient when they have to wait for traffic to clear up. I guess human nature being what it is bicyclists are a bit hypocritical about this sort of thing.
By the time we returned to Wheaton we were ready to grab some coffee and refreshments. The temperatures made it difficult to stay hydrated. Had it not been for the vegetarian burrito and plenty of ice water and a Jarritos I would have bonked.
We later passed the threesome of upright riders fixing a flat just following a rather nasty railroad crossing. I hope they had everything they needed.
Distance: 35.0 miles
Time: 5h 16m 32s
Speed: 6.6 mph