DAY 1 is in the books (well, in the cloud really)
Well, not everything can go exactly according to plan everyday, right? It turns out trying to ride a bicycle in downtown Chicago is a fantastic way to end up as a hood ornament on someone's car. Who knew? The start of Route 66 is in the absolute heart of downtown, at The Art Institute of Chicago. Between the cars, buses, crazy pedestrians, and the "decorative" traffic lights (the colors of the lights mean absolutely nothing to anyone), it was much more terrifying than I was expecting. I rode about two miles, having to stop just about every block for either traffic, a red light, or construction, while dodging buses and suicidal taxi drives, before calling "an audible," and leaving Route 66.
I decided to ride a few miles along the shores of Lake Michigan, on a path with joggers, baby strollers, and other cyclists of varying skill levels (including some who appeared to have rented bikes not knowing how they worked). I ended up riding for 7.1 miles total this afternoon, before meeting back up with the "support vehicle" (naming contest still taking submissions). We said goodbye to Kelly and Shannon, and then drove back to the campground in Joliet. I was feeling super guilty about not riding very far, but we had driven on Route 66 into Chicago from Joliet this afternoon, and the road was just not safe (in my opinion).
After returning to the campground, I decided to go for a ride anyway, and found a biking/walking path around the corner. 16 miles later, I returned home at sunset, and decided it was enough for today. Hopefully the journey will be smoother sailing now, as we leave the Chicago area.
On a happier note, I have been in contact with people from all over the country, and I will have a riding buddy for most (if not all) of the day tomorrow! I will post more about this tomorrow, and hopefully we are able to put some serious miles in.
Total Miles: 24.4