Biking the GITAP, June 2006

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Monique & I decided to try a week long bike ride again, this one closer to home. The route ran from Rochelle, Illinois, up to the Mississippi river, then down to Moline, and back to Rochelle, over 7 days. We had pretty decent weather and had a good time with the other 140 riders.

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Click the link to go to the photo page for each day

Day1. Drove up to Rochelle, the ride started at a school. Grey, cloudy day, a bit chilly for mid June. We unpacked our bikes, loaded up our bags on the SAG truck, registered and hit the trail. Day 1 was a 35 mile ride to the White Pines State Park. Rested and full of energy to start, we had no problems biking. The park was nice, though crowded. We set up my Kelty Tent, and when it sprinkled sat under the vestibule and read books.

Day2. Day 2 was a 50 mile ride to the Mississippi Palisades State Park, and a very scenic ride it was. We had great weather, sunny and not too hot. Biked through rural country sides, crops and cows. Stopped in Milledgeville for refreshments, and then went into the little town near the park for ice cream. A fun day, certainly.

Day3. Day 3, Tuesday June 13th, was a loop day, with a 2nd night at the park. Monique was feeling a bit sore, so she took the day off biking. I rode a nice 33 mile loop, with some very 'nice' hills, and pretty scenery. After the ride, we went into town for some food.

Day4. Time to head to the quad cities....this was a very long day, nearly 70 miles. Monique made it, but was struggling towards the end, as we biked into town. We parked our bikes at the stop, which was at Rock Island's Augustana College, and called a cab. We'd chosen to get a hotel for the two nights that the ride was in the city, which we were very glad. Apparently the accomodations at the college were very, very tight, with no room between tents.

Day5. Took this day off from riding, and did some touristy stuff in Moline, the headquarters of the John Deere company. We visited the Museum and company store, before having dinner at a local fine dining establishement.

Day6. Time to ride again, headed out of Moline towards Morrison-Rockwood State Park. It had been getting warmer as the trip progressed, and this was definitly a warm day. We rode along the Hennepin Canal, which was very scenic. Another long day, 70 miles, but we were rested and both of us made it.

Day7. The last day of the trip, a ride back to Rochelle. By mid trip, monique was worn out from the long ride the day before, and took the SAG vehicle back to the school to wait for me. The temps reached the mid 90's, I was having bike troubles, with my poor Trek 7300 wearing out badly, needed several hundred dollars of repair work after the trip. I left the camera in the case, and just concentrated on limping the bike in. Finally got there, loaded up, and headed back to Normal. A good, fun week of biking, all in all.