Kickapoo Part 4

 Back to Kickapoo, this time to ride the entire route around the park

Turns out its only 4 miles, (from where I started) but, lots of scenery and some fairly steep (read very steep) slopes to ascend/descend

Being from the north of the county, steep slopes are not something to be dealt with to any great extent

Raleigh arrives at mid-park
Mountain Bike trails are a no way, not even maybe for me
Been there done that — never again

Heading east on Skyline Drive

The woodlands are a great change from the endless fields of corn and beans

A cemetery is within the park

Apparently pre-dates the coal mining that took place to the north and west

Still in use today

This photo in no way shows how steep the road declines into a ravine

Like riding down a 12:4 roofline  ~33% — steep!

Hands firmly on the brake levers the descent began

At one point the brakes were briefly released and the Raleigh felt like it was about to shoot out from under me

Being from the flat lands of the northern part of the county, this is all pretty much new to me — there are some inclines, nothing like this

Immediately after the descent, the ascent began, and became increasingly steeper the higher we went

Changed to a much lower gear, but soon found, not low enough

(The 18 speed Diamond Back was looking pretty good at this point!)

Old school friction shifters didn’t make things any easier, but, “We got ‘er Done”

As I was inching my way to the top, two cyclists I had seen just minutes earlier went scooting past me, calling out “You are a tough guy”   Heh!  How little they know

At the top, oxygen depraved, many deep breaths resolved the issue

My air induction system isn’t what it used to be — literally

The road flattened out and 02 levels regained homeostasis

Way down the road is the couple who passed me on the ascent

Skyline Drive crosses over Interstate 74

Then came . . . .

A descent even steeper than the first one

Made the mistake of stopping just after I started down, stepped off onto steeply dropping pavement, and damn near went over

Rookie Error

I had looked at this from the downhill side on another ride, this on the Diamond Back, and turned around, no way I’m climbing that

Tough Guy — Yeah, Right . . . .

Short pause at a Middle Fork River overlook

This is where the other cyclists rolled in — I had somehow gotten ahead of them

Bridge no longer safe for vehicular traffic — the cyclists were told at park headquarters, if you venture out on it, stay on the edges!

The cyclists are on a coast to coast motorhome tour and ride their bicycles in the campground areas.

From Oceanside, California and on their way back via MIchigan and Montana

They were riding e-bikes, which explains several things

They mentioned that without e-bikes they wouldn’t be out here at all, which is proof positive that e-bikes should be and in many cases are welcomed into the cycling community

(ahem, even that other guy is considering amending his ban on them)

Very nice people, in their 70’s and having a great time

There they go headed back to the campground, and I’m headed back to the Edge

Crossing under Interstate 74

All the elevation difference from the steep downhill has to be regained, but this way it is spread out over a couple of miles, much more doable

A brief stop at one of the many shelters in the park

Kickapoo Park will be a segment of the River to Rail fundraiser for the Rail Trail

Dave, Dwight, and myself are considering the 30 mile out and back, which includes crossing the rail trail trestle twice

Very enjoyable albeit short ride — 30 mile map shows detail

 I should have, and will, start at the Mtn Bike trail head, connect thru the county fairgrounds to the Rail Trail, and on to Oakwood, Illinois

Very much enjoy all the entries you all have provided -- great to see the everyday cycling venues. Being in eastern Illinois, scenery certainly isn't our forte, but oh well, the roads are normally quiet. Look forward to more and more entries from all of you, I do have a few over on BL -- in Bill's Day Rides, and one journal.

6 response to "Kickapoo Part 4"

  1. By: NancyG Posted: July 26, 2022

    Great ride Rich. I don’t recall that you often drive somewhere to start a bike ride. Nice to get out a ways to ride in different territory. I will look forward to your blog account of the River to
    Rail ride you do in September. Nice photos of the river along your ride.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 26, 2022

      No, generally I haven’t
      It is nice to see some different scenery for sure..
      We are looking forward to the River to Rail ride — but not getting our heart set on it — Illinois weather ya know!

  2. By: Bill Stone Posted: July 26, 2022

    Looks to me like you kicked Kickapoo in the you know where! Good luck on River to Rail.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 26, 2022

      Well, I dunno . . . .

      The Ogre would certainly be a better choice on the slopes with its gearing and brakes.
      The cyclists did remark about the Raleigh . . . . “Thats a pretty old bicycle” Yes it is. 🙂
      Thanks for the well wishes on the River to Rail.
      Very seriously considering going off route on the way back from Oakwood to avoid climbing the first decline, which would then be very steep incline.

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: July 29, 2022

    Kickapoo, ha ha I have to admit the US has beaten us in the funny location name Olympics there. When my time comes for an e-bike I wont hesitate, thankfully my joints are behaving themselves so far.

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