Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crossing The Chain of Rocks Bridge

The Route 66: 2008 Race to the Prison Gate kicked off on Saturday, August 9th 2008. Our plan was to start on the Missouri side of the Chain of Rocks Bridge and ride up to Carlinville, Illinois to stay the first night. The Godfather and I mounted our Oregan Scientific ATC2K helmet cams on our handle bars to document the start.

Although he has maintained that we were crazy to attempt this ride and claimed that his body didn't work two days in a row, Dr. T (there is already a Mr. T) decided to ride with us the first day. After hugging our wives good-by and saying good-by to the kids, we headed off accross the bridge. My two year old daughter chased after us.

After about 100 yards, I realized that I forgot my digital camera and turned around to get it. Only after arriving back at the family, did I realize I had left without my gloves and helmet on! I had left it in the van in all of the kick-off hoopla.

I quickly came back to my senses (although not enough to call off the ride) and left accross the bridge. Sunny and cool, it was a beautiful way to start The Big Ride 2008.

"Biking The Chain of Rocks Bridge" is a short video I put together to show how nice it was. Enjoy the video.

Big Mel

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Did It!

We did it! The Route 66: 2008 Race to the Prison Gate has been completed! The Godfather and I finished 284 miles in 6 days as we rode from the Chain of Rocks Bridge in Missouri to the Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois.

This might not seem like a big accomplishment to many experienced bikers that tour often, but for two aging men that barely trained this was quite an accomplishment!

Over the next few weeks, I will be adding posts about each day. We took over 300 pictures along old Route 66 and about four hours of video, all which will be available for your viewing pleasure soon!!

A special thanks to all of those who made this happen:

My wife and kids, who helped sag and used a week of their summer touring Illinois while we rode! I love you and couldn't have done it without you!!

To my mother-in-law, who couldn't bring herself to believe this was ever going to really happen, thanks for hanging in there while we were gone and never telling The Godfather he couldn't go. You can join us next year!! Also, thanks for the trophies!!

And finally to The Godfather, who everytime I thought about not going, provided some reason for me not to back out. From buying books on touring, to talking about new tires, and many other little things along the way. You were the originator of the idea, you were the motivation for me to keep thinking we should do it, and you are the reason we did it! Thanks for not quitting and thanks for being a great friend!


Big Mel