The Great Curiosity of the Dunes
By OOFD Guide Ashley Lyons upon reflecting on the 2022 Battle to the Dunes Ride
When you’re halfway through the year and you crave adventure, get thee to the Dunes. The Battle to the Dunes ride is a joyous experience. You join the sun still rising over the lake and venture down familiar territory: the lakefront trail. There’s comfort in the familiar at first, yet you’re still giddy with the energy of dozens of new bike friends who greet you with wide smiles. You might be nervous, too.
But when you ride to the Dunes, you are riding a wave of curiosity. The familiar gives way to the unfamiliar and the wild. All of sudden you’re riding a swirl of boardwalk suspended just a few feet over the expanse of Wolf Lake. And just when you feel your legs are nearing their limit, you’re gliding down the Oak Savannah Trail, a rail-to-trails conversion that cuts through lush woods, under boughs of shade, flying by wildflowers, butterflies, and forest berries. You only have 15 more miles to go! You dig in and give your legs a pep talk. Come on, gams, you got this! The chickens you pass along the way are cheering you along. So are the toads, herons, and egrets at home in the marshland to your left. They’re just as curious about you, too.
You see a glimmer in the distance and soon you realize: there’s the lake! It’s right there! In all it’s cool glory. The sun begins to set, and you drop your bike at the campsite, run to the sand, and soak it all in. You did this. You got yourself there. By your own pedal power. By your own gumption. You’re eyeing a luxurious float in the cool water. Everyone’s faces aglow with sweat and smiles, and as the sun descends, all the way across the lake, you see the faint outline of Chicago. Aren’t you curious? Could this be you?
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5/16/2023 07:59:37 pm
5/17/2023 09:40:00 am
Miles! Check you out commenting on blogs. I agree. Ashley is brilliant. I love this piece, and that title. Hits it exactly.
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