Rode to Bloomington Cycle & Fitness to catch up with the shop crew and then took the Constitution Trail to Uptown Normal to be a punk kid and practice riding all the stairs up and down. I had a blast and even though I wasn’t feeling awesome I was still glad I got out and rode.
This was my first day back at work this week so it was time to hit a night ride with the fellas. We met up at Bloomington Cycle & Fitness and decided with the wind we’d ride the Constitution Trail all the way north and then all the way east. Things were rolling smooth until we hit a patch of glass out east. We all stopped to check our tires… all tires were fine but then I noticed I had a broken spoke…time to roll it home smooth and easy to avoid it getting out of true and having to call sag… aka the wife for an embarrassing pick up!
This was an exciting ride… one of those days when you know you are going to hit the mark, not worried about performance or how you feel. Spirits were high and the conversations were up as well. This was my first time completing the Festive 500 in three attempts. Year one had 2-3 days or freezing rain and ice. Last year we traveled back and forth to Canada during the festive and nothing like 8hr days in the car to kill your effort level combined w/then having to ride solo at night… naaaah.
Special Guests: Scott Davis, Chris Daniels, Mike Wolford, Matt Wilcoski
This day was a struggle. Energy was at an all time low… everything was sore & tired. So we met up at the Constitution Trail spot we call the Y and the ride route and distance negotiation began. We decided on the Nasty Nate Recovery Route… aka the Nathan Bridges go west in to the wind then cruise back to town and duck back in to the CT for a easy spin home. Mission accomplished… and then an epic nap! zzzzzzZZZZZZ…
Festive day 3 brought us sugar/carb-filled stomachs and an opportunity to ride a two-a-day. The Bloomington Cycle and Fitness race team had a 10am ride planned so a core crew of #festive500 hopefuls set out for an early ride to slog some K’s with the rain still on the roads. We didn’t really get rained on that day but the winds were nasty and the roads were wet. That meant you were either pulling in the wind or eating gravel, dirt and some random form of moisture from the tire in front of ya… nasty but still fun riding with all your bros!
There are definite + / – ‘s to joining team rides during the Festive.
Many bodies to tuck in behind on Festive day 3
On Festive day 3 they don’t have 227k in their legs
They don’t speak in K’s
They don’t wanna talk about the #festive500
They think we are all idiots
Special Guests: Chris Daniels, Mike Wolford, Aaron Fader, John Wyatt Danenberger, Matt Wilcoski, Kevin Gann, Rick Lindquist, Ken Hoepker, Gerrit Sinclair, Mark Tank, Jon Kiner, Brad Reid
Today was a bonus day, a sneak out for a quick 60k before we head to Forsyth, IL, for a Keller Christmas celebration with the family. Riding almost the whole Constitution Trail I only saw a few runners braving the temps and winds. But of course I still ran in to the Mayor of the Constitution Trail, Mr. Green Merino wool sweater himself Mike Wolford. And our conversation went a little something like this.
Me: Hey Mikeeeeeeeeeey!
Me: Cold out here eh?
Me: Not many people out here today
Me: Alright buddy gonna get 60k and head home
Mike: Yup, gotta ride the whole CT, & rides away.
Me: Merry Christmas!
Day one was planned to be a long day on the saddle. “Let’s get a huge chunk punched out early so we don’t get behind the eight-ball” we all agreed. You just never know what you will get with Illinois weather in December. We started early with numbers knowing that not all the guys were in for the full day: Chris Daniels, Mike Wolford, Lance Benedict, John Danenberger, Scott Davis, Ryan Edwards Bertrand & myself.
We rode a modified BCF south route… from Bloomington Cycle & Fitness > near Downs & back to drop off Davis & Bertrand at the shop and then head south. We are now down to 5.
We head south on the Constitution Trail, aka the CT. On our way south out of town Danenberger turns back(for a coffee & cake stop we all guess) and we are now down to 4.
Benedict lives near Lake Bloomington so we head out around Lake Evergreen first knowing we will lose him shortly after that. And then we are down to the final 3: Wolford, Daniels and myself.
After Lake Evergreen outer and inner loops we head over to Hudson to hit up the Casey’s for a pit-stop and refueling station.
As we are nearing the 5hr window and Wolford is starting to grumble grumble like only he can in his green cardigan sweater(as we refer to his favorite “merino wool jersey). I’m getting hungry, I’m prolly pressing my luck at home, I’m getting tired, I’m really getting hungry…haaaaa…, so we drop Wolford off at home and Daniels(aka CD)and I decide its 160k or bust on day one. So we head to the West Siiiiiiiiiide for one last refueling stop before heading home, aka peanut M&M’s and ice cold Coca-Colas…
#festive500 day one in the books! Special thanks to all the bros who joined along the way…”160k or bust I say!”
Special Guests: Chris Daniels, Mike Wolford, Lance Benedict, John Wyatt Danenberger, Scott Davis, Ryan Edwards Bertrand