A Chilly Birthday Ride on the Des Plaines River Trail

A good friend of mine, Mike Palmer, who is tallest member of Chicago's Half Acre Bike Racin' Squad and is my favorite person to say hi to when I stop in for wings and a milkshake at Chicago Diner, had a birthday on New Year's Eve Eve (not a real thing). It was 17° out, but he and Tuxedo Thunder fastman Andrew Haala joined me to go log some #festive500 KMs and get a little loose on the popular DPRT dirt route on the west side.

So, Mike showed up late because he made every single person in Chicago go out and drink with him the night before, but it's cool because Haala and I had baked goods and didn't really want to go back outside. But just when we were all sitting there, desperately searching for the motivation to go back outside, I think we all remembered that going out with no goals and no schedule means you can have as much fun as you want. These goof off sessions are the best. Even when it's nasty cold, wandering into the woods with no objectives other than to pedal around and find things to jump is still a good time. It doesn't matter if your bike isn't the ideal bike for the conditions (road bikes are fun to jump, as the pictures show), or if you're however old Mike is now (since he shaved his mustache there's no way to tell), you can still go out and shiver, do silly little skids, maybe even run into some adorable pit bulls in cute jackets.

 

Hopefully this can serve as a little motivation for those who think riding bikes this time of year is a sad suffer-fest. I'm sure Rapha models carry flasks with them too and smile when the cameras aren't around!