Cycling Links and Resources
Over the past couple of years my little site here has become progressively more focused on cycling and cycling related topics. The volume is such that it, while there is a search function, it is becoming more difficult to find some specific things on cycling. Given that, it made sense to start putting together a list of links and topic areas for quick navigation.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail - Details my ride along the I&M Canal trail from LaSalle, IL to Buffalo Rock State Park. Several pics and details about the trail and the sights along the way.
The Hennepin Canal State Park Trail - Lock 2 to Lock 13 - The Hennepin is set to be a major component of the new Rails to Trails cross-country route, but my trip down this part of the Hennepin Canal was also a bit of a personal journey to find the site where my great-grandfather worked as a lock tender. It’s a very cool, and somewhat secluded ride - lots of pics and details about the trail and sights.
The Rend Lake Trail - This trail runs around the lower third of Rend Lake in Southern Illinois, and offers river, water, and woodland views. It’s a little out of the way, but definitely worth checking out if you have the opportunity.
Wayne Fitzgerell State Park - This is a state park in Southern Illinois that I visited back in 2015. It sits along the banks of Rend Lake (see above), but this entry describes the riding through the park itself.
Military Ridge Trail - This trail runs through the Driftless Region of southwestern Wisconsin. It’s beautiful territory and well worth visiting. I’ve written about it twice - Once on an upright bike, and more recently on my Catrike:
Military Ridge Trail - My first ride down this trail, on an upright, big box store mountain bike, in November 2015. Ride was from Ridgeway to Barneveld
Military Ridge Trail Revisited - This post from December 2018 details my ride from Ridgeway to Blue Mounds, with a side trip up into Governor Dodge State Park.
Tunnel Hill State Trail - Vienna to Karnak - Tunnel Hill State Trail is rail-trail that runs nearly 45 miles, much of it through the heart of the Shawnee National Forest at the tip of Illinois. This entry descrIbes the southern-most 10-mIle sectIon through wooded wetlands.
Hennepin Feeder Canal Martin’s Landing to Rte 172 Similar to the Panama Canal, the Hennepin Canal has a separate feeder line that runs nearly 30 miles from SterlIng & Rock Falls IL south to the main canal. This post covers the first 10 miles or so.
Life with Recumbent Trikes
Catrike Pocket - I’ve been riding bikes off and on for most of my life, but in June of 2017 I got my first recumbent trike. I’ve enjoyed that so much that it’s started to become a major focus of my writing. There is too much of that to list on this page, but it all starts with these two posts:
Catrike Pocket - The inaugural post, written shortly after bringing it home, and before I’d even taken my first ride.
Catrike Pocket Maiden Voyage - The first ride, including details on how the experience was different from riding an upright or diamond frame (DF) bike.
Trike Storage - When you first get your recumbent trike you quickly realize that figuring out how and where to store it is not a simple question. This post from October 2017 details my solution to that problem.
Trike Rooftop Transport - I usually just carry my trike in my little car, but every now and again you want to carry the trike and people. This was my solution - for better or worse...
Trike Lighting - Any road rider knows that lighting is not just important for seeing at night, but enhances visibility. This post from October 2017 details some of my early solutions to that issue, and variations on the theme seen here are still what I use.
Foot Retention - The position of your feet on a recumbent trike has a lot of benefits, but one particular downside: Leg Suck (if you google this, make sure you specify recumbent trike leg suck - trust me on this...). Probably the most common solution to addressing this is using (the misleadingly named) "clipless" pedals combined with cycling shoes. However, cycling shoes have downsides, most notably walking in them if you are riding to a destination. But there are other options, and one of them is:
- The Terratrike Comfort Pedal Conversion Kit, which I tried out in October of 2018, and still currently (as of March 2019) use.
Power - Riding longer distances can be a challenge for the battery life in the devices you are using, particularly if they are an active part of your ride. Back in November of 2015 I designed a setup that worked nicely for me on my Cannondale road bike (which isn’t about recumbents, but may offer some ideas along those lines). Since I’ve mostly moved to my Catrike Pocket I’ve set up a different system for that machine. The second post also contain a little info about the Rokform mounting system I use with my phone.
I ride all year round, and there are many posts here on this topic. A few good places to start are:
Winter Biking - This was my first post on the topic from December 2013, early into my first season of trying it out.
Winter Cycling - Northern Illinois - Some discussion of what it’s like to ride in the cold months in the top half of the Land of Lincoln.
Cross Country Skiing or Winter Cycling - I first started riding in the winter as a cross country skier looking for something to do in-between Illinois’ incredibly unpredictable snowfalls. But in February 2018 I had a bit of a revelation...
Riding In Snow - Upright vs Trike - Part of the reason I wanted a trike originally was for winter riding. I decided to do an impromptu comparison between the two in December of 2017 (on Christmas Day, no less...)