Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Children of the Corn Part Deux - Normal, Illinois

The original plan was to ride all three days while in Bloomington/Normal, but Mr. Rain came by for a visit and decided to stay awhile. The forecast called for a break in the weather around 1pm, but like all really accurate forecasts (hint of sarcasm) this one was just a little off the mark, and the rain stayed around all day long. Not all was lost however as we decided to just go for a nice long 2-3 hour walk along the Constitution Trail and see what we could see.

Sunday, we hooked up with the Vitesse Bicycle shop group ride that takes place every Sunday morning at 0815. Andre, the bike shop manager gave us word that this ride would be mellow and would be centered around getting some of his “running” customers into cycling. Like every other group ride I’ve been on, the actual ride time isn’t really the ride time, even though it is clearly stated that the ride will start at a certain time. This one was no different and we didn’t really get rolling until about 0830 or so. After a little social time, we got rolling and headed out towards Lake Bloomington again, but his time we took a little different route to get there which was a nice change of pace. Speaking of pace, Andre did not disappoint and kept everything within the groups’ abilities to allow a little social time on our way out to the lake. I got to know a whole host of different folks: a biology professor, ISU cross-country runner, several shop mechanics, Andre himself and the one each racer-boy who looked all of 12 years old.

The weather did not disappoint and the ride around the lake was as gorgeous as the day before. We added a little twist today and added the Evergreen Lake loop. Evergreen Lake sits about 5-6 miles to the west of Bloomington Lake and appears to be another man made lake similar to Bloomington Lake. Once again, our route just dumped us off into the endless fields of corn segregated by country roads with little traffic. The pace quickened as the professor and racer-boy got on the front and unknowingly jacked up the pace. Andre was quick to settle them back a bit and we all regrouped for a nice uneventful return to the bike shop.

I rather like these types of unknown group rides. You never really know who’s gonna show up and what the pace will really be like. I guess it is sort of an adventure. I was impressed with the friendless of everyone and the consideration that was given to the new riders. If and when I get back to Normal, I’ll definitely meander on down to Vitesse and join another ride.

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