Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bike commuting in August

A sweaty 58-minute bicycle commute to work this morning. Low overcast and  77F, which should have been very comfortable, but the humidity was about 600%. More like swimming than bicycling! I kept feeling drops hitting my legs and thinking it was starting to rain -- nope, just sweat dripping from the rim of my helmet.

Caught all but one of the lights and starting hoping for a sub-50-minute record-breaker, until I came over the I-55 bridge on Woodward and saw the DuPage County Sheriff's car and yellow tape blocking the Frontage Road. Dangit! I continued on to the next street, but that added more than a mile to the trip. Double-timed it the rest of the way, but the damage was done.

(Evidently there was an accidental drowning in a pond along the Frontage Road, and the fuzz was keeping backstreet short-cutters like me away of the scene.)

Arrived at the building soaking sweaty and actually looking forward to the A/C. I'm a warm-weather fan and probably part reptile: you can count on one hand the number of times each summer I'll break down and turn on the car's air conditioning. But this morning, the blast of coolness when I opened the door to the building elicited a drawn-out "aaaaaaahhhhh."

Humidity seems to be dropping as the day goes on, and I'll have a nice breeze at my back this afternoon. Looking forward to the return ride.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Waubonsie Creek Trail, Aurora, IL

Took a medium-length road tour — just under 30 miles — on a warm, bright late-July Saturday morning. Just wandering around the back streets with the vague goal of having a Diet Coke somewhere in the vicinity of downtown Plainfield. Ended up near Montgomery somehow, and blundered into a real gem: the Waubonsie Creek Trail.

Came across it behind the Rush-Copley medical complex near Ogden Avenue and Rt. 30. The smooth asphalt-paved path hugs Waubonsie Creek, which is dammed at one point to form a small lake. (Aside: I’ve seen a lot of kids fishing in these little park lakes and retention ponds lately. Does my heart good.) It seems to be a loop about five miles long all told, with lots of curves and a couple of small hills for variety. Delightful scenery and not particularly crowded, even on a pleasant Saturday morning. 

Apparently, the Virgil Gilman Trail, which I’ve not yet ridden, is a few short blocks from the Waubonsie Trail’s western end. This calls for additional investigation!

Here’s a map.