Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Fourth of July Decisions

Fourth of July Weekend:

Do I go on an extremely hilly 150-mile bike-packing trip with my roommate to Southern Illinois


Do I stay in Chicago, sleep in everyday and drink with friends at BBQs?

John initially planned a 325-mile, 3-day trip and invited me along. When I first got the invite I was pretty intimidated by the other invitees, because they are serious tourers. Some of them have completed crazy biking adventures:

T.C. -- countless stories, including the non-stop trek from St. Louis to Chicago. No sleeping, just pedalling.

John -- Chicago to Minneapolis w/ T.C. in 3 days

Adrian -- Racer, and numerous trips through Equador. He loves hills.

I also realized that I was the only woman on the list and then John explained that he invited "only cool people who I know can bike over 100 miles each day, without it being a problem." Crazy. I was always the second-last kid picked in gym class, and yet John clumps me with this legendary group.

We met last night and eased up the ride so there would still be time for hiking and exploring instead of just riding. The route now also heads straight into the heart of hilly country (Kentucky border). T.C. and Todd grimaced as they remembered riding some of these hills before.

So the ride is tempting, but I have only had crazy weekends this whole summer, and kicking back and sleeping in sounds really good.

Plus there are boy issues:

There are several boys going on this trip that I sort of flirt with and wouldn't mind exploring something more. But I've seen me during and at the end of these long rides--it's not pretty. The boys will be even grosser. Add mosquitos, chain oil and sleeping in fields and the hooking-up chances approach 0. At the same time, I like hanging out with these boys as a total tomboy, 'one of the guys' so hooking up with any of them is probably a bad idea, because it might ruin my tomboy fun.

Back in Chicago there might be better boy opportunities. One party has a boy who I have also been spending more time with and sort of like. Plus I need to give Paul a call, now that I have his number, and maybe we could do something over the weekend--he likes long rides, so maybe I could stay in Chicago and still get some miles in. Finally, I have a tentative invite to go out on my friend's boat to watch the fireworks with him. I've never seen Chicago fireworks and I bet it would be cool to be in a sailboat.

But, I really am intrigued by these hills, because I need to learn how to climb hills smart instead of tackling the way I currently do. 150 miles should give me ample time to pull my head out of my ass and downshift. Decisions, decisions, decisions......


At 3:44 PM, Blogger Sascha said...

I vote for the ride girlfriend. You'll be sorry if you loll around and drink all weekend.

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Jim said...

I'm glad to see (previous post) that the 'OIFS Century' definition is catching on. It's really a liberating concept. What's five measly miles anyway?

Regarding the tour, I say do it. That number of miles might seem intimidating, but it won't once you get out on the road. Once you're out there, you have nothing to do but pedal. It's not like you have much else to do out there, since TV watching and blogging are out. Under those circumstances, 100 miles in a day isn't all that hard.

I do suggest lubricating your tender parts so you don't endure the saddle sores again. Lots of people just use Vaseline. A friend of mine who does extremely long rides regularly, swears by bag balm.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

Wow, you have a lot of social options! I can't remember the last time I had to decide between so many different social activities. (Geez, am I that old?)


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