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08/02/2007 Entry: "Manhattan, Il"
Traffic. Traffic traffic traffic. Traffic TRAFFIC tra-ffic tarafaic, Tr-a-f-ic.... Traffic.
Traffic traffic traffic, teeraffic, traffic.
Illinois likes traffic.
Aurora, Il to Manhattan, Il (46ish miles)
We started the day by waking up a bit late and then watching "Monkey Vs. Robot" several times on Youtube. MONKEY PLAY IN THE JUGGLE, ROBOT WORK IN A FACTORY, THEY WILL HAVE A GIANT RUMBLE, MONKEY VER-SUS ROOOOO BOT! etc. They day went a bit downhill from there.
Tim led us to a bike path to take us south. The plan was to go south, east, south, east etc and skirt the suburbs. The plan failed. There are no, let me repeat, NO good roads ANYWHERE NEAR Chicago.
The bike path was the first obstacle as it quickly turned to crushed gravel and then dead ended into a ditch where the bridge was out. We detoured through a golf course (take that!) and rejoined the gravel path, only to almost be run down by a pickup truck going pretty dang fast for a road, much less a one lane bike path. Eventually the path became paved again and we rode it almost into Oswego where we encountered yet another bridge that was out. This one was fairly large and there was no way around it. Upon further investigation we discovered that the bridge was out due to some hooligan LIGHTING IT ON FIRE. Way to go, Chicago.
It didn't matter anyway, because we learned soon after that that was the wrong bridge to take and we should be going south. This didn't surprise us too much since we'd already lost the trail a few other times so we went about another search and found the correct path. It was a nice ride along the river with suicidal Canadian Geese who weren't afraid of bikes. They weren't afraid of hissing at us either.
Eventually it came time for us to leave the trail in Oswego and we had a pretty nice jaunt into the Joliet area just outside of the suburbs. We ate a long lunch at an Aldi's, spoke a bit with nice lady there who was going to call a reporter for us, and went about our way a good while later. From there the trip went down hill.
We took some local directions and they were bad. Very bad. We fought lots and lots of traffic until finally giving up and taking some random bike trail south despite the fact that it was heading slightly west. We stayed on that for awhile until it ended and we hit another random bike trail along a very smelly, purtrid canal. The smell was still better than cars. We stayed on that until it appeared to either end or go due west (it was hard to tell, either way was bad) and took a random rode east that turned out to be Highway 6. Quickly we met up with Highway 52 just south of Joliet which put us back on Tim's original route. Highway 52 sucked. We rode in tons of traffic all the way into Manhattan where we decided we'd had enough and should bed down for the night.
Part of our issues is that our map only has large roads on it. As I type this the rest of the group is searching for small roads and bike routes on the internet. Our goal is to go south and east into the middle areas of Indiana and run from the great lakes as fast as possible. There be dragons there (and lots of cars.)
We're at a library and a nice librarian has agreed to let us use her yard for the night. Yay! Tomorrow we will continue our hectic flee from the city and hopefully will find nicer roads and less people sooner than later.
Replies: Leave us a note! (1)
You know that those Canadian geese had the right of way. Shame on you for making them hiss!
Posted by Qehndrah @ 08/05/2007 12:43 PM CST