The Legend of Chicago Bob

Weather was nice today and I got out for a road bike ride, I’ve been getting good time in on the trainer and on mountain bike rides, but not much on the road bike.  I drove out towards the hills and started climbing right from the start, taking 145 to Oak road and doing Williams HIll both ways.  On Oak road a car pulled up along side and the driver tried to offer me a Gatorade.  It turned out to be Chicago Bob, a local horse back rider and outdoor enthusiast.

Most horseback riders we meet are friendly, a few aren’t, but none are as friendly as Chicago Bob.  He’s a guy who used to live in Chicago, hence the name, he also used to ride bikes, though now he rides horses and hikes.  He has recently taken up Cairn building.  Cairns are essentially piles of rocks, they are usually built to mark trails.  As I was returning from Herod I saw his car parked up from a trail, I wasn’t surprised when I saw the new Cairn built where the trail crosses the road.


The ride was good, but honestly I was a little let down by my performance.  I’ve been putting in steady time on the trainer and I expected to feel fast on the climb.  The trainer just can’t come close to simulating the difficulty of  climbing Williams Hill, a nearly 650 feet of climb in 2.5 miles. As far as epic climbs go it’s not much, but around here its about as Epic as we can get.

Of course thanks to Strava’s awesomeness I can look at a chart of my previous attempts and see how I’ve progressed throughout the last few years.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that this is as fast as I’ve ever climbed Williams Hill in February and very close to my Late March time a few years ago.  This is a good sign.

This coming Sunday is The Dirty South 100K West Side, I hope I can handle it.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Rides and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Legend of Chicago Bob

  1. KM says:

    The last couple of times I’ve been on the rails to trails (Vienna to Tunnel Hill) I seen two of these ‘Cairns’, now I’m wondering if Chicago Bob built them.

  2. Kate says:

    Hey, I’ve got a question for you. There’s a possibility the family and I might make a camping trip to Garden of the Gods next weekend (March 4-6), and I’d like to get in a ride. I know you’re in the Shawnee area. Is there a gravelly route you could suggest that would keep me on lightly-traveled roads?

  3. Kate says:

    Thanks! Hills are no problem. I’m racing in South Dakota in June and apparently I need to get comfortable with climbing. 🙂

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