09 March 2007

Biking Illinois, now car-free!

So I finally bought Biking Illinois. At Borders. Yes, my anticorporate self, who lives in a neighborhood so pretentiously academic we actually have our own booksellars association, went to the world's most out-of-place Borders and purchased a book. In my defense, it's not available in-store at 57th Street Books, although it probably should be (local author and all).

If you've been under the impression that the best biking in Illinois is concentrated in in Cook, Lake, and DuPage Counties (guilty), then you are in for a pleasant surprise. Even if you enjoy getting lost as much as I apparently do. Because David Johnsen has been there before and can help you streamline the process. (And also because he doesn't use ungrammatical sentence fragments.) There seems to be enough information in here to skip most of the getting lost part, unless you have a truly innate talent for it. I'll have to see come spring. (Come on, spring!)

I first found out about Biking Illinois when I was on the GITAP, which was so long ago now that I really ought to start referring to it as the 2006 GITAP. Long story short, we had a day off in the Quad Cities, which were in the middle of celebrating Bicycle Week. And as part of Bicycle Week, David Johnsen and Bob Morgan were in town(s?) discussing, promoting, and signing copies of their books Biking Illinois and Biking Iowa, respectively, on that very day. But I didn't go. (Hmm, no wonder I thought Davenport was boring.) Came home, started this blog, surfed through a million Web pages, kept seeing this really familiar-looking name everywhere. Oh yeah, the Biking Illinois guy. I should buy his book. But in some respects, I'm really just a cheapskate (or a cheap-pedal). Why buy a book when you can get maps for free?

Because they're really crappy maps, that's why. And as the author pointed out, finding good road rides all over the state is really hard work. Okay, I can wholeheartedly agree with that. And why waste time getting lost with crappy maps when really nice ones are available for purchase? Then again, how often am I all over the state? I'd love to be all over the state and take more bike rides beyond Chicagoland Bicycle Federation territory. But I don't drive, so it's a nonissue anyway.

Then I found out about the latest development, Biking Illinois Car-Free. Perfect! The weather's finally starting to get warmer, and daylight savings time starts Sunday. Time to buy the book already. So I bought the book already, and now it's time to plan my other summer vacation.


At 13 March, 2007 06:00, Blogger David Johnsen said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I'm glad I finally nudged you off the fence and into the bookstore!

The big guys all sell my book, but getting into the independents has been difficult. I have to approach them one by one and convince them to carry it. I didn't have any luck in Hyde Park.

By the way, we came close to meeting at the 2006 GITAP. I did a signing at Augustana during breakfast on the rest day but I guess the motel people weren't there.


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