I really wish I would write more. I really wish I would ride more. I guess even the best laid out plans can fail. July really wasn’t my month as far as riding goes. I did have fun though. Started the month out by seeing Dead & Co at the historic Wrigley Field which was one of the coolest live music experiences of my life. I have been a huge fan of the Grateful Dead since I first heard American Beauty sitting in the back of my parents station wagon, driving back to Hayward from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. I couldn’t get enough after that and their songs really have touched me through out the years. It was because of bands like the Grateful Dead that I stated to explore the blues more and also bluegrass. Truly a one of a kind band and sadly I was born a little late to fully enjoy them live but John Mayer, Otiel and Bobby really have something special with this band and I hope I can see them again soon. Opening with Cold Rain and Snow was amazing. It has been a song I have listened to a lot the last few years and really never thought I would ever hear it live so When they played those first few notes that night I just knew it was going to be a special night. Thanks to my friend Rich for grabbing me a presale pit ticket so I could witness this magic up close and personal.
I finally managed to get some dirt time in on the Fourth of July. It was awesome to see how far along Silver Lake Park in Kenosha has come along. Hats off to everyone involved in building those trails. Its so amazing to have something like only minutes from my front door. When I first started riding I would have to ride over an hour each way to get to the closest trail and that was rough since I was a new dad so my only rides were very early in the morning before anyone woke up. Kind of sad now that I can sneak out more that I haven’t been able too. This July was one of the wettest on records and it just seemed like I couldn’t find a dry day to get out. Hopefully that will change. My goal is to ride at least once a week up there and hopefully i stick to that. Most of my rides at silver lake have been in the winter since they groom there but I think its even more fun in the summer. The new stuff over by the lake really ties the whole thing together. The coolest part for me was when I pulled up there was a line of cars trying to get in for the day since it was a major holiday. The staff was collecting money but when they saw my bike they said if you are just riding come on in no charge! The place was packed and parking was scarce but I managed to snag a spot. However, once I got on the trails I felt like I was one of the only people there. I rode with another small group for a mile or so but they took a break and I just kept going. Got about ten miles in and got home in time to enjoy a day cooking for my family. Its all about that balance!
After the fourth my riding was pretty scarce. I wanted to ride my bike down to Phish at Northerly Island but didn’t manage to plan that out well enough. I did this a few years ago and it was a really cool way to enjoy a show. It as quite the adventure but I guess it wasn’t meant to be repeated. I did take my bike on the train with me so I could navigate the lot in search of a ticket to Sunday’s festivities which turned out to be an adventure in its own right. I have been to northerly a few times to see phish and never saw it quite this crazy but hey who am I to complain. I was cruising the area by the beach and the nitrous mafia was out in full force. I guess the cops just decided to say fuck it and let it be as long as it was going down on shakedown haha. I did a few laps around the museum campus hoping to score a general admission ticket since lawns were still available at the box office. I got close one time a guy was asking if anyone wanted an extra I started to ride over and this big fat slob (not me) in a dead shirt gave him some sob story and talked him down to $70 and then as soon as the guy turned the corner he tried to sell it to me for $150. I made sure to tell him how he was the scum of the earth and that he should shut the fuck up and walk away. After that I decided I needed a beer and chill so I bought a couple PBR’s from some nice dudes with a cooler and took a break. I decided not to sweat it and basically gave up. I figured hey its a beautiful day, its the lakefront and Phish is about to play. Just about then a guy walked by and sold me a floor ticket under face. I was so stoked I felt like my face was going to break I was smiling so big. Just then a few friends walked by and called my name and we all caught up for a second. it was like the minute I gave up and decided to let things happen everything clicked. haha. Crazy how that works sometimes. Dont sweat the small stuff right. The show was a lot of fun I had a blast just dancing the night away. It was a very fun experience. I love going on these solo adventures to concerts sometimes. I get to walk around meet new people, and of course people watch, but really I love being able to let lose and not worry about anything for a few hours. Highly recommend it.
I did manage to sneak out again for a guys weekend with my two sons up to Hayward. My mom was up there with my sister and nephew so I decided to drive up and spend a few days and enjoy the woods. I love it up there and hope someday I can disappear up there away from work and all the bullshit suburban life makes you deal with. Its worth it to have my kids in a good school and be close to resources for my youngest but I cannot wait to disappear and these weekend trips really make me appreciate it. it was only a few days but I managed to go for a little float on the river twice, take a ten mile ride on the singletrack, which is pristine up there, and a 15 mile road ride. So I guess all was not lost. I will be heading back in a few weeks for a family trip so leaving was that tough this time I left beer in the fridge. I cannot wait.
My last ride of the month was supposed to be a six mile ride to pick up my car from the only change place but when I got there I found out a part was on order and had to wait a day. I decided to take a trip around Rollins Savannah and see what the storms had done to that place. It smelled but it was dry. I also got to witness a great sunset before I headed back to the house to tell my wife I might need her car for the weekend. I feel so lucky sometimes to have such great bike paths through the miles of forest preserve we have here in Lake County Illinois. If anyone is ever out this way and wants a tour let me know.
I guess my month of not riding or writing wasn’t so bad. This made me realize I really did squeeze a lot into what I felt was a blah month. I finally have a computer again so I hope to contribute a lot more and make something of this site. till next time