Not Weighting for Spring

It happens to me twice a year. When the weather turns cold, I gain weight. When the weather warms up, I gain weight. I’m not quite sure why it works that way, but I am sure that it is damn annoying. It’s especially hard to accept in the spring after I have been doing this all winter with slices of pizza.

Springish weather has arrived early in Chicagoland this year (thank God), so I’m trying to get a jump on that weight gain as the seasons change. I don’t ever remember cycling in February before, but I made it out 4 times on my bike last month on my way to a planned 500 miles this season. How far did I get?

Well, not far, just 19.30 miles. But it’s still pretty chilly out, and I’m a lot of miles away from having my cycling legs in shape to handle any distance.

Does it look like I may have lost just a bit of muscle mass over the winter?

More importantly, to where am I biking? I first looked west, and 500 miles gets me to Omaha, Nebraska. There’s just not a lot for me to point out along the way. 19.30 miles west delivers me to the doorstep of DeKalb, Illinois, the city where barbed wire was invented. Yawn. It is also home to Northern Illinois University where I could have seen The Police in concert many years ago but didn’t, because it seemed like too far of a drive. Great story, right? I find that stories about concerts are almost always better if the storyteller actually attended the concert. Now I live 20 miles away. Irony.

I’ve previously blogged about the best attraction on the way to Omaha – the World’s Largest Truckstop. With that sad fact in mind, I’ve decided I’m heading east on my 500 mile bike ride. I’m not sure at this moment what direction I’ll turn once I hit Chicago’s lakefront, but 500 miles can take us to explore some interesting places. We can decide that once we get to North Ave Beach in Chicago. I best take my passport as I may find myself cycling across the border into Canada, eh?

No, really. But for now, 19.30 miles east gets me to the border of Elmhurst, Illinois. Of course, Elmhurst is famous for Elmhurst University, also known as the Harvard of the Midwest, or is Harvard known as the Elmhurst of the East? Anyway, I graduated from Elmhurst when it was just a lowly college rather than a fancy-pants university. And I could have seen Heart in concert on their Dreamboat Annie tour playing at cozy Hammerschmidt Chapel on Elmhurst’s campus. I skipped the show to dodge a girl that was way more serious about our dating than I was. I eventually did get to see Heart in concert a few years back with my wife. I should clarify that my wife was not playing in concert with Heart but attending the concert with me. I could also mention that famed theologian Reinhold Niebuhr went to Elmhust College, but who gives a shit? Anyway, Elmhurst is about halfway to Chicago from my house.

I got in another 5 mile bike today on the 1st of March. Just 475 miles to go … somewhere.


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