"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door" … "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."
~ Bilbo Baggins from The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkein

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Our Last Day's Route: Racine - Kenosha - Home

Joined by our friend Neal for this last day we once again we avoided the thunderstorms which seemingly were all around us. Arriving at Bluffington's, our last stop we were greeted by Jim and Barbara who drove up and by Robb who rode through much tougher stuff in order to lead us home.  Thanks guys that meant a lot.

Departed:Jun 15, '15, 09:37AM
Starts in:Racine, WI, US
Distance:56.2 mi
Elevation:2082 / - 1996 ft
Max Grade13.5 %
Avg. Grade-0.2 %
Total Duration:06:30:35
Moving Time:04:12:05
Max Speed:22.8 mph
Avg. Speed:13.4 mph

Not Ready for Summing Up Yet

I suppose at this point I should be reflecting on the wonderfulness of our month long trip, recounting my favorite and least favorite moments. I should be taking stock, looking at the totals, seeing the big picture. But, truthfully I'm still stuck in the ending moments the final push to the end, the determination to see this thing through. Reflections, recounting and summing up will have to wait until another day. I become so accustomed to writing in the morning that I have to believe I'll be doing more so stay tuned if you're interested. For now I think I'll just give a short recap of our last day.

Sun then Rain then Steamy Sun all the way Home

TWC radar an hour before
we started
Despite a rather grim forecast on my phone, Will's  Racine radar showed a possible opening, at least for a while. Joined for the day by our friend Neal, the three of us, determined to get this done, headed out just as the sun appeared. We removed our preparatory rain gear and lathered up with sunscreen hoping we did not thereby jinx our chances. But, the nice weather held, at last for 15 miles when it began to lightly rain on the south side of Kenosha. Kept that up for another 15 until we finished lunch and were passing through Waukegan and North Chicago. Then the steamy sun appeared again and held until we finally reached home some 25 miles later. At that point I personally wished for the slightly cooler rain.

All this time our family and friends back home in Evanston, Wilmette and Chicago were getting pounded with rain, wind and thunder. We'd invited folks to join us at Bluffington's in Lake Bluff to ride the 20 miles home but most wisely declined given the torrent. But, Robb, our two week riding companion, accustomed to our determination, braved the onslaught in order to pull us in for most of the final 20 miles. It was great to see him there along with Barbara and Jim who had driven up just for the greeting. Thanks guys.

Jim, Neal, Robb, Will and me taking a short break in front of Bluffington's
a favorite Evanston Bike Club hang-out

Ridin' Down Green Bay Road to Home

Once we reached the final stretch, coming down Green Bay Road Robb suggested I lead the way. What an emotional moment. To think that a little over a week ago I'd been to its northern point along the Fox River. There I touched base a bit with my ancestral roots and now I was riding this historic road home just as I do every Friday when I lead an club ride. It was a strange mixture of the historic and the ordinary and I guess that's what life really is, both a continuation of the past and a making of the new. At one point I was moved to tears and then remembered I still need to keep my wits about me and finish the ride.


"Circumpedalated" THE LAKE

Completed the Pilgrimage

From the Garage Back to the Garage 
Two Wheels All the Way 

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