Owww!

 

I have no idea what the real name of these demons may be, but I call them Eyecatchers. By midsummer these wonders of Nature have grown to head height, reaching out with a full arsenal of prickly barbs to grab onto anything that passes by. When they begin to turn brown they become pretty easy to spot (and avoid), but when green they blend in with the more harmless stuff – lurking.

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hazy summer morning

I wish this section of trail was longer…

A nice, sun-kissed morning ride. This will be the 3rd day this week that I’ve been able to ride in. When it’s gets to be late summer the narrow trail all but disappears under the drooping tall weeds. Pretty. but you end up all scraped up afterwards. This stuff is sharp.

 

I’ll have to remember to take this shot again in February…

halfway.

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On days that I choose a direct route to work, this railroad bridge represents the halfway point in the journey. Looking North (towards home) it’s all pavement – a good stretch of bike path with a short bit of road to get me home. Head South of here and it’s a mix of dirt access roads (courtesy of the Union Pacific) and abandoned rail lines. Quite fitting then that this shot features my Fargo, which does double-duty by switching between these worlds without complaint.

Let’s not dwell on the network of power lines dangling overhead. I really don’t want to think too hard about what if any side effects they may offer. Keep pedaling…..

Happy Monday

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A sticky hot morning called for a cool, shady ride through the woods. I never actually count miles when I stray off-road, but I still got in around 90 minutes of saddle time. More than I would have been able to endure if I had stayed on the road I suspect…

One of the odd finds in Chipilly Woods is a large grassy clearing towards the southwest corner that contains this…

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it’s a large, low monument that recognizes the history of “The Dandy First”, a National Guard regiment from the area that (according to the plaque) was the highest decorated unit in the First World War, as well as suffering the highest casualty rate in all the U.S. forces. I can’t speak to why it’s placed in the middle of Chipilly Woods. Perhaps the woods were named after the battle of Chipilly Ridge (see the inscription below), but why here? I’ll do a bit of digging on that one…

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Oh yeah, that large rock that serves as the base? It’s the cornerstone from an Armory that serves Chicago (and The Dandy First) from 1890-1966. Who knew?

Strange Days Indeed…

I really don’t expect to average a whole lot of riding from January through mid-March This is Chicago after all. All the more reason to be surprised by the fact that this photo was taken when it was – on an early morning commute in the middle of the second week in February. Needless to say this has NOT been an average winter.

That’s ok – you won’t find me complaining. Not sure what this means for our usual muddy Spring, but for now I’ll take what I can get. Ride on…