XOBA 2019 Day 2

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Snakeman 2019

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Infinit Energy Gravel Ride

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Cycle 1 Studio in Benton IL

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Dixon Springs Mountain Bike Ride

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Garden of the God’s Peak Color

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Fort Massac Encampment 2018

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Great Pumpkin Metric 2018 – Just Like Old Times


What a weekend for riding, just like the old days where we’d put in a killer mountain bike ride on Saturday and follow it up with another killer ride Sunday.  Only thing that could make it more like the old days is if we could get Eli out of retirement and back in the saddle.

The “fun” started Saturday I convinced Joe and Drew to drive out to Glen Dixon for what is easily the best mountain biking in Southern Illinois.  Now when I say best you have to understand I don’t mean it’s the most scenic or most challenging, I just mean it’s the best place to go ride your mountain bike.  We got 17 miles and only had to get off our a bikes a few times.  If we were riding the trails around, say, Petticoat Junction, we’d be pushing through giant mud holes every 100 feet.


I had planned around a 12-13 mile loop but we had some much fun riding “RED DOG” that we did it both ways and then did a loop around the lake.  It was hot, and while we weren’t riding that fast we almost never stopped.  At the end I was drained and ready for a nap.


Today Joe, Ryan and I went to Evansville for the Great Pumpkin Metric, one of my favorite area rides.  The Evansville bike club always puts on a great ride this year was no different.  Roads are clearly marked, the sag stops are well stocked, the volunteers are friendly, the route is great.


I rode this last in 2016, the first year I taught at Mt. Vernon and consequently I had nearly quit riding for the two previous months.  I struggled to even finish the ride that year and I wanted to return with a stronger performance this year.  I found myself in the front group and I could tell I wasn’t going to stay there long.  8 miles in on the first actual hill I knew I had to slow down.  Luckily I was able to recover enough to ride with Ryan and Joe the rest of the way.


One short funny story from the ride.  We encountered a strong rider a few miles before Burdette Park, and the biggest hill on the ride.  This guy didn’t seem happy unless he was in front and pulled about 8 of us along at 21 mph before we hit the climb.  As you might expect he was dropped on the climb. Near the top a guy was dressed as the grim reaper and I thought it was funny I got out my camera for a picture as I rode by, which was hard since I was gasping for air.  The dropped guy struggled up behind me and said, “I’m from Colorado! This hill is nothing!”  He was struggling to get words out between breaths and fighting to catch back up.  “You should try doing that for 18 miles,” he continued to gasp.  “I climbed Pikes Peak the other day, this hill means nothing.”

“OK,” I replied.


The ride was fun, and after I recovered from the first 30 minutes I felt OK, but never great.  I remember being in good shape and doing a ride like this faster and feeling like I could go again at the end.  Well there’s always next year.

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Summer Ends 2018


Well here we are, the end of summer and my first actual post since June.  You know at one time I was a prolific blogger, I actually used to blog 3 times a week like clockwork.  Now, I’m missing entire seasons.  Well here we go, it won’t be pretty but here’s the story.  I’m really sick of riding alone, but its better than not riding.  My good riding pal, Luke, moved away, Greg quit, Adam is dealing with harrowing family issues, and the other guys just mountain bike, and mountain bike, and mountain bike.

I’m no longer a mountain biker.

I can’t call myself a mountain biker, I’ve done it 3 or 4 times in all of 2018, and honestly it’s mostly sucked.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got some great trails, but when its wet, and it has been really wet all year, the horse holes fill with muck and don’t dry.

All alone.

I’ve done a great majority of my rides alone in 2018.  Shauna rode with me alot in Spring on her electric bike.  Yeah the electric bike worked out, but she had an operation on her foot and was unable to ride most of the summer.  She’s just really now getting back to doing fitness type stuff.

Other then my wife, I’ve rode some with my parents, who are always fun to ride with, but it’s not exactly a workout for me.  Nothing wrong with a ride that doesn’t leave me gasping for breath, but I’ve got to ride hard.

That just leaves me, me and Strava, me and hill repeats, me the same old routes, short routes at that.  Why go out and ride for 4 or 5 hours when you can get a “decent” workout in 2.

Today I was invited to do a 100 mile ride with a friend starting in DuQuoin IL.  Yeah, sounds great but considering I spend 12 hours a week driving to work, 3 hours driving for a bike ride that would likely leave me a broken husk is out of the question.  Oh and there is the little fact that I haven’t rode past 50 miles in, I can’t remember…  Did I ever ride past 50 miles this year?  I wouldn’t have made it, especially not under 6 hours like they did.

No my ride today was nothing so ambitious.  I rode out to Eagle Mountain, and climbed the gravel “road?”  on my regular road bike and rode home.  I averaged a very pedestrian 15 miles per hour.

I’ve just now rolled over 3000 miles for the year, and unless I start getting in some miles it’s going to be my lowest total in 6 years.

Bright Spots

I’m fast, but in very limited ways.  I’m too fat to climb fast, and I haven’t get the miles for long endurance speed, but the short and intense rides that I’ve been doing have made me fast for short amounts of time on flat road.

I’m still riding, this is good.  With no one available to ride with in any adjacent county the only real motivation I have is myself, and I’m surprised that I haven’t gave up myself yet.

Well until next time.  Stay thirsty.


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Cave In Rock State Park

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