The first two hours of riding were both wonderful and discouraging. Chicago is gorgeous along the water. People were out enjoying the perfect day, bikers, joggers, mothers pushing strollers, roller bladers. Yachts nestled in the marinas (including one named Hulls Angels); kids were enjoying summer tennis and soccer camps. At one point a line of kids wrapped in towels wandered by, looking like they'd just gotten out of the water, and we were still wearing full-fingered gloves. There was a huge set up for a concert in Lincoln Park tonight, including signs for bike valet parking.
The discouraging thing was after two hours, including 2 rest stops and one tire change, we had only covered 12 miles.
Once the Lakeshore Trail ended, we kept getting lost on the roads. But we got to see the beautiful Loyola University Campus, the Northwestern Campus in Evanston, and some lovely outer suburbs of Chicago including Wilmette, Kenilworth, and Winnetka. We were also able to purchase more PB&J for lunch.
Eventually we found our way back to the bike trail we were looking for, and it was somewhat shielded from the wind. It ran along the Chicago Metra line, and I kept wondering if they allowed bikes on the trains. Why, we could have gotten out this far in less than a third the time.
Once the trail settled down into a straight line, we were able to make some progress, but we were really feeling beaten up.
In Waukegan, where we stopped for ice cream, and in Kenosha at Total Cyclery, we were asked what in the world brought us to this part of the country. Are these the first signs of Midwestern modesty or of an inferiority complex? Up til now people just assumed of course we would be traveling through their towns.
There was no state line sign when we crossed into Wisconsin, but we knew where it was because the Robert McClory Bike Path ended, there was a bridge over a stream, and we were welcomed to the Kenosha County multi-use trail and it was paved!
One mile to go.
And I thought only Arlington had intersections like this.