At the beginning of the summer I signed up for as many organized long rides I could because if I have to do 5 hours on a bike, I might as well do it with other people even if I don’t know them. This weekend just happened to the Bike for Heroes in Columbia IL which raises money for wounded and fallen military heroes. Me and a bunch of bikers friends of mine signed up for the 80 mile route. We started out in a big group but as the ride continued, we all broke off into smaller groups. I ended up riding with Michael and Janell. Michael introduced me to Janell on the ride. Everyone he has introduced me to has been good people. I’m so happy I asked to ride with him and his group on my last ride.

The ride was a great one. The first 40 miles the wind was to our back so we were flying except when we hit the gravel which slowed us down a lot. Gravel fucking sucks on a road bike and you run the risk of flat tires. Luckily none of us got a flat because truth be told, I have never had a flat therefore have never changed a tire. I’m sure I would figure it out and my friends would help. Other than the gravel, we had a awful headwind the last 37 miles and some of that was again on gravel. That was the worst part of the ride. At the mile 41 rest stop we had a pleasant and unexpected surprise- SANDWICHES! I didn’t eat breakfast before the ride and so I was starving. The guys volunteering were amazing to be fair all volunteers are amazing but I was partial to these guys cause they had donuts, cookies, sandwiches, chips and the stop was at a Legion Hall so the bathrooms were clean and if I wanted to I could have gotten a beer. It was 9am and we still had 40 miles so I passed on the beer. I wanted to save that for after the ride.

There were so many great memories on this ride- the people, the conversation, and the caves to name a few. The caveWe made it to the end of the ride but for Michael and myself, this was only bike 1 of 2 for the day. We still had the 11th Annual Naked Bike ride to do later that evening. We parted ways to shower and get ready for our second bike ride.

Left to right: Me, Michael and Janell

The Naked Bike Ride- I can say so much about this ride but I think you need to experience it first hand. This ride promotes positive body image among some others. This is the 4th year I have done this. There is a lot of naked people though I’m not that comfortable so I have always worn panties and pasties. The theme is bare what you dare and that is all I dare to bare. It is basically a parade of naked people biking through neighborhoods where the people stand on the streets cheering, hollering, and passing out beer to the “parade” patrons.

I didn’t get a lot of pictures but I think this particular one is a good indication of what you might expect during this grand affair!

Michael and his friend met JD and I at JD’s place and we rode to the Grove where the ride started. The route itself was 15 miles and JD’s place is 2 miles from the location so we rode a total of 19 miles total after our 77 mile earlier that day. I managed 97 miles for the day in which 19 of them where almost nude and without padding.


All I can say is it was one hell of a day with some pretty good memories to walk away with. This is what I would call a great way to balance training and social life. If you have to train and you want to live life, combine them:)