21 July 2006

Calculation: a good thing

So I did my solo century ride, the day following my last post. (I've been busy, OK? It takes a while to find the time to write. I know, I know: write less and you can write more often. Got it.)

And thanks to that gmap.pedometer, my ride came in right on the money. Well, the charted route is something like 99 miles, and my odometer reading was 100.6. Chalk this up to: (a) my cycle computer being off by a tad; (b) the inevitable little detours -- for example, hitting the St. Charles Citgo mini-mart because I forgot to take edible fuel -- (c) both of the above?

Anyway, here's the link to my solo century loop, from home: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=286025

A couple of notes:
* Burr Road between Dean and Silver Glen is marked (in both directions): "cyclists caution next 2 miles." I've never been sure if that was a warning to drivers or cyclists ... but doing this on a Friday morning, I am now convinced. It is a warning to cyclists. Not really scary scary, but 2 pretty intense miles with no real shoulder. At least it has a nice even edge with a clear white line. But, golly!
* The little stretch of Sauber Road (mile 30) is gravel. No big deal, and it's short, but there it is.
* Co. Hwy. 56 (Ramm Road?) west of Co. Hwy. 1 9about mile 33.75) is dirt or very regularly very worn asphalt. I turned back to go down CH 1 to Old State Road.
* Old State Road, west of Co. Hwy. 1 is gravel. Or at least it was the day I rode. I stayed on the county road and went into Sycamore on the Great Western Trail. This kept me from having a day completely off trail. Also, when I got to the edge of Sycamore, Old State Road was beautiful new blacktop. Maybe they just hadn't gotten the whole way yet. I wouldn't rule it out another time.
* Bummer: the Sycamore bakery (my whole point of taking in Sycamore now and again) was closed for the week.
* After a Subway stop in Hinckley, things got a little touch and go with the route. Google map looks for all the world like one can make an easy connection out of town. Warning: one cannot. At least, I could not. Slater to Oak, no problem. But I sure couldn't make a connection south out of town from that intersection. Maybe I missed something. But it turned out just as well. As I'll explain shortly.
* I left Hinckley on Sandwich Rd., and as I passed Jericho Rd. I wondered if that wouldn't make sense to take. But my route was Bastian Road, so I soldiered on. For your information, Bastian Rd. is a dirt road, and so is Greenacre, which Bastian becomes. This intersects with Co. Hwy. 24 which is ... drumroll, please ... Jericho Rd.! A perfectly well made black top road. That would have been a nice alternate route, and one I will take next time. (By the way, it is not marked CH 24, just Jericho Rd. But that is not clear on Google maps.)
* My last bit of uncertainty. With those unexpected bits coming out of Hinckley, I was not very confident of my direction when I got to Granart Rd. Bear in mind, the sun was not out all day, and these roads do a little bit of turning. So my last panic was, "which way do I go?" I was in no shape to have to back-track, and that against the wind. So, anyway, I did make the correct turn (it's left, by the way); but didn't really know it was until I could see the buildings that I was sure marked the intersection I always see from the south, coming up Dugan Rd. From there, the ride was familiar (though backwards) from many a Saturday morning group ride.

So, there's a day made good by calculation. An old dog, a new trick.

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