2013 Windy 500 report

Here we go…

Mile 0.

Mile 0.

The kinder, gentler version of the Windy rolled out on July 25th and ended up also being the easiest, shortest, best attended and record # of flat tires (20ish?) so far.  No 160+ mile days at 20mph this year.

Almost no one was immune this year (technically).

Almost no one was immune this year (technically).

Riding through the urban jungle (Racine is beautiful in July…) means riding through lots of crap on the road, so daily flats became a part of the experience.  500.4 miles and just 8,208 feet of elevation gain.

Mile 6.  We are so screwed.

Mile 6. We are so screwed.

This ride has grown a bit since its inception 3 years ago.  Back then it was just 4 guys on bikes who shipped a small box of stuff to a couple of hotels.  No support.  This year we had a full-sized Suburban full of crap, a skilled driver who always made sure the PBR was stocked and cold when we rolled in, and 9 riders.

W500 PBR logo

Speaking of PBR, this year we combined the Windy 500 with another ride: “the PBR”.  If you know the ride, consider yourself down.  It’s a slower paced 150 miles over 2 days punctuated with awesome food, lots of wine and other beverages.

Wine

Steak

Because we would be behind on mileage for the first 2 days, we rode out to Palmyra (the “P” in the PBR ride) on Thursday night.  Mileage looked like this for the long weekend:

  • Day .5                         42.2 miles
  • Day 1.0                       50.1 miles
  • Day 1.1                       52.1 miles
  • Day 2.0                       46.3 miles
  • Day 2.1                       55.6 miles
  • Day 3.0                       110.7 miles
  • Day 4.0                       143.4 miles

We’ve gone North & West and since you can’t go East of Milwaukee without a seaworthy vessel, we headed South this year. 

IL

Indiana

Chicago and Northern Indiana don’t really offer much in the way of beautiful scenery, so the vibe was markedly different from years past.

Chi town

The route did offer lots of places to stop (although some were in areas that you couldn’t have paid us to stop in) and lots of “local color” as Chris McArdle pointed out.

All in all – another successful long weekend of nothing but riding, eating, drinking and smack talk.

Smack

We ended up on a lots of Rails to Trails segments, usually a better alternate to the Ghetto Ride.

We ended up on a lots of Rails to Trails segments, usually a better alternative than the Ghetto Ride.

2 dead soldiers.

2 dead soldiers.

Sausage Party!

Sausage Party!

Better Sausage Party!  Real Chicago dogs fueled the final leg.

Better Sausage Party! Real Chicago dogs fueled the final leg.

I changed a lot of flats.  All on Lampe's bike.

I changed a lot of flats. All on Lampe’s bike.

Many times we helped change flats by taking pictures, talking smack and drinking PBRs.

Many times we helped change flats by taking pictures, talking smack and drinking PBRs.

There were MANY flats.  Therefore, there were MANY PBRs.

There were MANY flats. Therefore, there were MANY PBRs.

1 of 2 times we saw the sun and temps above the low 60's.

1 of 2 times we saw the sun and temps above the low 60’s.

Gravel.

Gravel.

Sophisticated Cobbles?

Sophisticated Cobbles?

Another flat/PBR break.

Another flat/PBR break.

Best.  Ride.  Ever.

Best. Ride. Ever.

As the rookies said, count me in for next year!  Already planning for 2014, when we may head back to ‘da UP again…

You might even be invited this time.

Potential 2014 dates:
July 25 – 28
August 1 – 4
August 8 – 11

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