Ride the Puddles

Posts Tagged ‘waterfall glen’

Ride Journal: Big Hill: Hell Measured

Posted by bikezilla on February 20, 2012

Big Hill. Waterfall Glen.Darien Illinois. Hell on Earth.

My expert opinion? An educated and brilliant guess? 1000 ft of vertical pain covered in a mere .9 miles. Average elevation? Near f***ing infinity.

One lap. One time around. All would be known.

Rains had turned the trail into a misery of soggy squish.

Tires sinking inches into the sodden mire. My legs pumped and burned over 9.51 miles of strength-sapping goo, forcing me to the very limits of my  endurance and my sanity. Doubt invaded my soul like a Mind-Control-Ray-Wielding B movie alien.

Push dammit! Push! You sniveling little b***h! Push!

Suddenly my tires broke free of the slime and ooze. I flew! My tires barely making contact with the ground.

The speed! Oh, God, the speed! I could sniff the burning rubber of my tires as I ripped past the limitations of mere human locomotion!

Quickly I checked my trusty 305. I had to know! I had to KNOW!

10.3 MPH! Ten point . . .

Thus it was that I first learned how easily my godlike thews could exceed the satellite’s ability to track me. 10.3?

Yet, still I hoped. I hoped beyond hope, that this lowly device could somehow successfully measure the hideous satanic might of looming Big Hill.

My 305 did make a mockery of both my epic performance and of the hellish monstrosity that is Big Hill, quoting numbers unworthy of the true and overwhelming nature of my struggles against the beast.
146′ total ascent. 9′ total descent. Max grade 10%.

Wha?! No, that can’t  . . .

Clearly the scope and vastness of Big Hill, the fire-spewing hatred of its Olympian slopes, blew the circuitry of my 305, revving it beyond the boundaries of its engineering.
1:18? 7.3 MPH average?

Lies! The harpy lies! It taunts and it lies!


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Ride Journal: Big Puddle

Posted by bikezilla on April 24, 2011

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When I say I ride the puddles, this is what I mean.

This is “Big Puddle” (my name for it. I have no idea what anyone else calls it) out at Waterfall Glen in Darien, which runs around the Argonne National Lab.

Right now Big Puddle is about 200 ft long. About 3/4 of the way across it’s about 15 inches deep.

At it’s biggest it’ll be maybe 50 feet longer and 6 inches deeper.

I always ride it, but when it’s like this I have to do it in my 36/25 gearing (the easiest gears on my CX).

When it’s this big or bigger I sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to push through.

In addition to the water itself, kids throw rocks from the tracks into it. There’s an actual rail trail style path under it, and those rocks make for some ugly twists sometimes.

Then you have the holes that turtles skooch out of the crushed limestone. Hitting one of those unexpectedly can have you making a very large splash.

What’s cool is seeing all the tadpoles and occasionally some minnows.

What’s creepy is seeing the snakes wiggle across the surface of the water ahead of you.

Oh yeah, the tracks. The tracks are how the sissy boys get around Big Puddle. Doesn’t matter how shallow it is, once it covers the trail you’ll see all kinds of riders, including guys with high end MTB and CX bikes walking their rides along the high ground that the tracks run over.

For most of the summer Big Puddle is dry. But during the spring and parts of the fall it adds a little to the challenge of Waterfall Glen, which is already more challenging than any rail trail style path I’ve been on.

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