2,840 miles on the bike this year. Just 160 miles short of my of my 3K mile goal. This year could be summarized as a year of “exploration” with riding on some ‘questionable’ roads, hoping gates, finding the best ice cream in the small towns, and just having a good time.
Top 5 rides
5. Scouting sketchy roads – Questionable no-trespassing signs. This was a scouting ride that took us South West of Franklin. We found a beautiful rolling gravel road through some pasture, but unfortunately it was more than likely someone’s private property.
4. Riding out to a WW2 Ordnance Plant, Hike-a-bike, and a dead cow. I knew of the Illiopolis WW2 ordnance plan and hadn’t ridden by it in over a decade. Mike P always up for the adventure road out with me. He questioned my route planning as we biked down a very secluded road and had to hike a bike past a cow carcass.
3. Summer Solstice Ride – Nothing will ever beat our 2021 ride through a summer storm, but we continued the tradition of trying to ride a 100k before the sunset. We did not beat the sunset but man that was fun!
2. Meeting up with the guys from Bloomington riding from the Arch to the Bean. The BloNo guys reached out for route advice, and asked I’d like to join them for their route through Springfield. I met them near Raymond and biked with them through Springfield and shared dinner. It was a great time and has sparked wanting to do some bike camping and longer rides.
1. Dust Bowl 100 – My first gravel century. A mental test to see if I could ride a 100 miles on a gravel bike. Beautiful ran race with excellent SAG stops and scenery. Planning to ride again in 2024.