Take it Slow: the Right Way to Haul Ass

Soma Double Cross with 36-spoke rear wheel and Bob Yak trailer

I’ve done this before. 13 years ago, yeah, sure, but I’ve done it. Back then it was the Grand Illinois Trail, 600 miles that took me from my front door in the western suburbs (River Forest) to Navy Pier, Joliet, straight west on old canal paths, all the way to the Mississippi, north along the river to Galena, through Scales Mound riding high just under the border with Wisconsin then down along the Fox River to the familiar sites of the Prairie path for the last leg home.

This time it will be 900 miles, going around Lake Michigan. I figure after 13 years, I ought to be able to go a little bit farther.

The bike pictured in the photo, the one I’m going to do the 900 miles on is the same bike I took with me for the entire circuit of the Grand Illinois Trail. Only I swapped out the original aluminum Kona Jake the Snake frame for a Soma Double Cross made out of high-grade Japanese Steel. And the wheels are not original. The seat is new. The handlebars are new. The brakes are new. The front and rear derailleurs are original as are the seat post and the chainwheels.

Like I said, the same bike.

Gear / Provisions

  • Food
    • Electrolyte powder
    • Energy bars / snacks
    • Thurgauer Apfelbrot
    • Trail mix
    • Sardines / crackers
  • Bike
    • Soma Double-Cross Tange steel bike frame
    • Caliper brakes
    • Bob Yak single-wheel trailer
    • Custom 36-spoke rear wheel
    • Continental Gatorskin 32mm Kevlar tires
    • Water bottles (2)
  • Repair
    • Spare spokes
    • Inner tubes (3)
    • Spare tire
    • Spoke wrench
    • Allen wrench
    • Multitool
    • Silca Tellica mini pump
  • Electronics / Navigation
    • Bike computer (Garmin Edge Explorer w/GPS)
    • Garmin radar rear taillight
    • Paper maps
    • laptop w/waterproof sleeve
    • Olympus E-PL5 mirrorless compact camera
    • Google Pixel 3a
  • Clothing
    • Sock pairs (4)
    • Cycling shoes
    • Shorts
    • Pair of jeans
    • Shower’s Pass Rain / windbreaker
    • Jerseys (2/3)
    • Cycling shorts (2/3)
    • Briefs (3)


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *