My bike ride today totaled 31.06 miles. Traveling time was 2 hours, 42 minutes although the odometer doesn't clock time stopped. Originally, I wanted just to test out an adjustment I made to the front bag on the handle bars. It was pulled too tight against the break cables and was causing the front break to stay locked up. I added a spacer (some wood) to distance the bag. Turns out that didn't help much.
The ride started off along highway 51 heading north. I had wanted to explore West Happy Hollow road, which runs along the east shoe of the Rock River and behind the Rock County Airport. I headed north and ended up in a little sub-division off 51. It looks as though the highway use to go though this sub division some time ago, judging by a curve of the current road and a now absent bridge. I suspect the road changed when 51 was widened to 4 lanes, but currently don't feel like doing the research to find out. (But trust me, it'll bug me and I'll probably end up check it out.)
At the corner of Sunny Lane and Shady Lane, I found what looked like a little camp site. In the back, there was a trail, and I decided to explore. Since I was heading west, I figured the trail would probably bring me to the shores of the Rock River. It didn't in the I expected. The trail system was fairly developed, and I wondered if I was on private or public land. After exiting the trail, I found myself on a road heading west. I suspected and latter confirmed this was West Happy Hollow. About a mile up the road, I saw a sign for Happy Hollow park, to which the trails I was riding belonged. I will have to return and spend more time there traveling the trail system.
I continued along west along West Happy Hollow road and indeed ended up behind the airport. I found this light tower
, which reminded me of something reminiscent of World War II. Further up the road, I ran into an abandon road that ran north along the edge of the airport. Unfortunately, aside from a dump of very old tires, there wasn't anything to see. I crossed the Rock River and began heading north along County D. At some point, the area between the river and the road became a park with a trail, so I started taking that. I'm pretty sure this is part of the Ice Age Trail
. Eventually, the trail turned paved and took me into the city of Janesville. I turned east along Rockport Road and stopped off at Nate's house and met his son Alex
. From there, I visited Monterey Park and it's highly graffitied cave, looking out at the lovely GM assembly plant. I was once told the site had significants to the Native Americans and I bet they had a better view.
Following the Ice Age trail, I worked my way east until I got to Highway 11. I figured that was far enough and traveled to County J and began heading south. From there, I hit Avalon Road (351) west, County G south, Town Line road west and finally back on Highway 51. For the most part, this last section of the trip was dull.
I felt myself starting to feel strained at about the 25 mile mark when I turned onto County G. I stopped by a gas station between 51 and G and picked up an energy bar. This was a little late in the game, but I figured I'd try it. The taste was awful, although it had exceeded the "best if used by date". I've read briefly about long bike trips and the body's energy needs. It is my understanding that after blood sugar levels drop from use, you really start feeling spent. Energy foods/drinks are said to help with that. So, I picked up a few at the grocery store (this time, not expired) to see how they effect me. It should be a decent experiment, since it seems I find myself running out of juice after about 20-25 miles around 2-2 1/2 hours. I'll see if it helps me with my goal of a sustainable 50 miles a day.
I averaged 11.466 miles per hour, which I'd like to bump up. Watching the speedometer, I was usually traveling around 12-15 MPH, but hills and especially into the wind along Avalon road, that could drop down to 7 MHP. My top speeds were just over 20 MPH, but I didn't push very hard. I've hit 31 MPH downhill before. With the wind on flat road, I can hold about 17 MPH. Of course, I have a mountain bike, with big knobby tires desiring dirt, not pavement. Although I don't desire to have a road bike due to my love of trails, I can't expect to get road bike speeds.
Photos for the day were sparse—there really wasn't much to see along the way. Pictured is Nate's son, Alex.