Although Jesse is three weeks old today, I've not had as much time to ride as I desire. He has nearly 1000 miles on him but were it up to me that would already be well over 3000 miles. But a planned trip has been canceled for work and the fact that I still have no luggage on the bike. Even one nice day that I must watch pass me by without riding, makes me moody. Something has to give and soon. Ideally, I like to leave town each Friday and return on Sunday in time for dinner. Thus far, I'm lucky if I can fit in a day ride on Saturday or Sunday (hear a violin playing in the background).
This past Sunday I managed to do a 100 miler and it felt great--still had to be careful about putting on too many miles over the 600 miles check up, which was over due and not completed until yesterday. But freedom is now in the air!
Sunday, I headed north to Waukegan, IL. To get there I took a familiar route, following Lake Shore Drive north (part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour). I never tire of this run. Rt. 41 North follows the lake until you must go inland a bit and then you're passing hugely swanky homes and through old monied North Shore villages.
I left early and few people were out and about. The ride was great but somewhere pass Evanston there is road construction that forced me to navigate on along gravel. By concentrating the whole time, I missed my left hand turn to get to the Bahai Temple of Chicago ( in Wilmette), a turn that would have meant making a sudden move on gravel. No thank you. I'll get it on my next trip. I want to take a pic of Jesse in front of the temple as I've done with Queenie.
I had a list of places I wanted to visit but since I had to work that afternoon, I concentrated on riding and only made a few stops. The Waukegan Historical Society was a welcome pause--nice building and the few other old structures on the site made it a pleasant picture taking opportunity.
Having missed breakfast, I was starving by the time I arrived. I swallowed a granola bar, took a swig of water and headed back to the city. I passed several restaurants where motorcycles were parked out front, obviously enjoying breakfast on a perfect mid-70 degrees F day. I saw very few bikes in route to Waukegan but there were scores out by the time I make my return trip.
I was almost home when I passed two bicycle police officers. I was not speeding (I checked the speedometer immediately upon seeing them). I breezed passed them with nary another thought until I came to the light, the one that always catches me. I either don't move until another car comes up behind me to trigger the light to change or I wait for safe passing and blow through the red light. (Do those light tripper things work?)
I'm waiting there, not daring to go through the light knowing that the police 'cyclists are somewhere behind me. I jumped when eventually the two rode up next to me and stopped. The one nearest me had pulled up rather close and seemed to be eyeing Jesse. He motioned to me with a head dip. I turned to look at him and he dipped his head again. Clearly, he wanted to talk to me. I flip up my helmet and look at him. Eyeballing the bike, he said, "So, what is that?"
"Uh?" He's now bend over peering at my bike while straddling his own. The other officer is almost perpendicular to my bike and he's looking at it too.
I relax. I tell him how I feel.
Now he and his partner are chatting about bikes. The first one says, "I was going to get a BMW and I looked at that model. I ended up getting the Triumph Triple... It's a nice bike too but less money. So, you like it?" It wasn't really a question.
I tell him again that I love the bike. He and the other office say that it is a "beautiful" bike and I'm starting to like these guys.We chat some more (the traffic light remains red) and he asks me the price of luggage for the bike and what type of luggage I am planning to buy. We chat about that. Then he pays me a nice compliment.
"You've got on the right gear, from head to toe you've got it right. Boots...gloves...You're smart. That's the way you're supposed to ride, in your gear... at all times." While he comments , his partner shakes his head affirmatively. They too are head to toe geared up on their bicycles--including bullet-proof vests and a huge gun strapped around their waists.
As if by magic, as soon as he ends his compliments-- and I say, "Thank you," a car pulls in behind me and it trips the light to turn green. I'm such a sap for compliments from teachers and certain ones in authority. I make a perfect pull off, execute a nice lean and steady line into my left hand turn. I am less than 2 minutes from reaching home but riding those last couple of minutes is sweet. This will probably be the only time I'll ever think fondly of ever being stopped by the police.
Ride: 100 miles
Fun factor 1/10 = 8