Monday, February 16, 2009

Connecting Paths Early in the Year

I was looking forward to connecting different path systems this weekend for a long and enjoyable ride. In the past I have been on most of the trails but really never rode them in a continuous loop. This proved to be an adventure worth embarking.

The ride.

This route is comprised of crushed limestone and paved paths. The crushed limestone parts are secluded and make you work for your speed. The paved sections have nice scenery but have potential to be crowded on days with nice weather. There is a residential area that you will ride through but the streets are wide enough to ride two abreast comfortably.

When I left the house my mind was flooded with the ride from the day prior. It was a little windy which made it feel colder than what it really was but when the wind was at our backs it was rather pleasant. For whatever reason I thought today would be the same, well it wasn’t. An hour into the ride my bottles froze and my clif bar was iced-solid. I rode many times in the cold but I haven’t had my drinks freeze in about 2 years. I guess because I wear a camelbak when the temperatures dip below freezing. This totally slipped my mind completly. So I drank some slush as a found my way through the snow covered trail.

I soon met up with the Prairie Path and headed over to the Fox River Trail cruising down the river. I liked the trail. Some of the turns were tight and I know of the potential for it to get crowded in the summer. I followed the trail and when I got to the fork in the road I took the Batavia Spur.

I haven’t been on this part of the trail before and it actually made my day. At this time I still failed to stop at a store to get some fluids in my system and at 3 hours plus, I was way over due. There are many spots to stop along the Fox. The Batavia spur cut through residential areas and bordered Fermi Lab all on crushed limestone. Soon I found myself paralleling the East-West Toll way 88. I never knew this existed. This trail exited on Diehl Rd. which gave me the option to go up Wheaton or south to North Aurora. Neither of them was where I wanted to go so I took residential streets through Naperville, Lisle, and Downers Grove to get home.

I have plans on doing this route again. Today it took 4.45hr for 72, mainly off road, miles. Most likely I will do it when my bottles do not freeze.

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