View Full Version : Tour de Shawnee

Bike Chick
10-14-2010, 06:21 AM
Anyone doing the Tour de Shawnee (http://tourdeshawnee.org)this year? This is the second year for the ride and I heard great things about it last year. I'm giving it a try.

The colors are beautiful in the Shawnee Forest this year....I just hope they last for another week. This ride will be very scenic.

10-15-2010, 01:18 PM
Would love to, but it is a very long drive from Evanston! Post some pictures if you do the ride. Fall colors can be stunning.

Bike Chick
10-19-2010, 03:11 AM
Will do. I plan to take the camera with me. Our colors are fading right now but I'm still hoping for a scenic ride without any rain.

10-19-2010, 05:03 AM
Well, we'd planned on coming down, but DH burned out and doesn't have another century left in him. OK, I'm not so sure I do, either, but it is so easier to just blame someone else, isn't it? ;)

Perhaps I'll give it a go next year. It looks like it should be a great ride and I was looking forward to it....well, until I finished the Pumpkin Pie ride in Ottawa -- headwinds whipping over that northern Illinois flatlands--ouch!

Enjoy! Looking forward to the ride report.

Bike Chick
10-24-2010, 04:59 AM
I would highly recommend this ride if you like hills, scenic fall colors, southern hospitality and homemade goodies! DH and I did the Tour de Shawnee yesterday and even though it threatened rain early, the skies cleared and a tough (15mph) south wind blew in some warm air. The temp was in the high 70's but was 60 degrees when the ride started. It was a bit brisk but we soon warmed up to a 20+ percent climb at mile 3!!! The ride went up the ridge from the Mississippi River bottoms, back down into the bottoms then back up and down again. We did the 62 mile ride (which was actually 66) and half of it was climbing and the other half flat. It was challenging.

The rest stops and support were superb! The first rest stop was along the Mississippi River with hot coffee and homemade muffins; homemade cookies at stop two and three; grilled hot dogs and homemade pickles and cake at stop four; and homemade chili and goodies at the end. One volunteer proudly displayed his quilt made from ride t-shirts at a rest stop. He asked where everyone was from when they arrived.

The leaves were a little past their peak but were still beautiful. The climbs were tough but the rewards were the views, riding through the bluffs, and awesome, curvy descents. The ride ended with a loop around Horseshoe Lake. The only bad comment I have is that a majority of the county roads were chip and seal. These, of course, were where the climbs were and made it much harder.

This was the second year they have done this ride and they have done a great job. I'm glad it's in my back yard and plan to do it again next year. Personally, I wouldn't drive more than a couple of hours to do it, but that's me. Two riders did travel from Chicago to do the century. I hope they weren't disappointed.

10-24-2010, 09:03 AM
....homemade pickles? Oooh...that's worth the drive. Salty, tangy, crunchies at mile 50? Mmmmmm.....next year!

Thanks for the ride report. DH kept reading me the weather report all week. When he read about the winds, he decided that we'd made the right decision as he couldn't have put up with another round of strong headwinds on a century. This AM I read him the bit about the hills.....I think his legs are now aching for you in sympathy.

Next year.

Bike Chick
10-24-2010, 09:15 AM
Yes, homemade pickles! At mile 50:eek: They had two kinds: bread and butter and hot dill. I didn't have the nerve to try the hot dill and then get back on the bike. The bread and butter were good though. Everything was. I think I took in more calories than I burned :-)

The wind was grueling for a bit but we eventually turned out of it. As long as we were in group, we could paceline it and take turns so it wasn't so bad. The upside was that it was to our backs the last 5 miles. That was nice. When you were in the hills, you didn't notice it but boy when you came down to the bottoms, there is was. It would've been really punishing out there by yourself on a century.

Maybe next year.

10-24-2010, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the pictures and report! Sounds like a great ride... the chili would be a major attraction for me (thinking of making some this evening).

Congrats on the ride! Don't you hate those extra miles at the end? I understand being off by ~1 mile, but not being off by 4-6 miles.