I’ve been riding it for several longer rides without any major incidents. I do need to adjust the seat height now and then because I don’t have the clamp screwed down tightly. On the Bike The Drive event I received three comments on what a cool looking ride I had.
For all those trips out on the train that involve carrying a large bike, well this is the new traveling one.
In Chicago, bicycles are allowed on trains except for rush hour service. Being allowed and actually getting your bike on a train are two different matters. Getting on isn’t too bad, but getting off is a terrifying experience for me. I have to control a bike with flapping wheel down high, steep stairs and I always feel like IU’m going to fall head first onto the platform.
I’ve seen the Dahon folding bikes in Chicago — popular with commuters. My brother-in-law has one and keeps it in the trunk of the car. I went to Kozy’s and saw this model, took a short ride, and bought it.
It’s a bit hard to get used to because of the smaller wheels. Not quite as stable as my full-sized bike, but a pleasure to ride. I learned to be careful. The handle bars adjust up and down over a wide range and I started out with them high — ape hanger style. On a gavel train, riding one handed, I hit a rock, the wheel swerved to the right, and I wound up falling on my back. It took a while and I felt that perhaps I made a mistake. Subsequent rides on pavement, both hands, and the handle bars lower so that I have a bit of pressure has re-built my confidence. I will ride this bike on trails — carefully. Now if only winter would go away.
The I&M Canal offers many interesting and beautiful miles of riding. There are numerous options between Willowbrook all the way to the Joliet Iron Works. From Channahon to the end at Peru is well marked. It’s the portion between Joliet to Channahon that was unknown, that is until we took this ride on a beautiful Fall day.
The trail is well marked at Bradon on to Channahon, but it turned out to be a bit rocky due to some wet weather. Between the Joliet Iron Works to Bradon is pretty much city streets and traffic, especially once you cross over the river from the east side. There are locks at Bradon and what appeared to be a large parking lot, so perhaps a few options may be in order. Much of the I&M has been filled in or crossed for the sake of providing access to much of the industry that lines the sides of the canal. There are no services once you leave Bradon.
Even though I brought my DSLR, we thought that only the wide angle lens would be useful. Well, we have tons of pictures with the canal running from top to bottom and lamented that a telephoto would have been of greater value in catching the wild life along the ride. Also, with the trail in poor condition we limited our photo stops. There’s always a next time.
One of our Thursday rides but a stop at St. Jermome’s Church for a celebration of Feast of the Assumption. Feast we did: Sarma, lamb sandwiches, and fried batter in powdered sugar in case you’re wondering what that white powder is all about.