Making room for a corn field. 30 days of biking, #17

Prevailing winds don’t always prevail.

The wind in central Illinois often comes out of the west, but in recent days it’s come out of the east.

That means maps of my rides will look slightly different this month than they will this summer.

The reason: I try to ride into the wind, or at least across it, on the outbound leg of the ride, and with the wind, or again, across it, on the inbound leg.

I expend more effort headed out and leave myself the option to use less energy on the way back.

You probably employ the same strategy.

When the wind is out of the west, I often ride north or south on Centerville Road to reach roads that cross busy Route 40 at a right angle.

When the wind is out of the east like it is today, I often skip the Route 40 crossing, in favor of roads through the Illinois River valley around Chillicothe.

However, when the wind is out of the west and I’m riding the tandem toward Princeville, I steer clear of gravel roads along the Centerville escape route because my stoker will not ride gravel.

That leaves one possible way west: rolling south on Route 40 until we can turn west and roll through Edelstein.

I ride this way at least twice a week—it’s an important link for riders intent on connecting Chillicothe and Princeville.

But it’s not fun. It’s a no-passing zone on a blind hill. Everyone’s in a hurry, and a lot of people in cars, trucks, and semis are willing to cross the double-yellow line to get around us and save a few seconds.

That’s why Route 40 could really use shoulders between West Santa Fe Road and Third Street.

If this were 1906, I’d take Santa Fe straight across Route 40. There used to be a road there. There used to be an option.

Now there’s a corn field.

Of course there is. Where else would you put it?

April 17, 12.4 miles.

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
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