So, for the second year, my wife and I participated in the annual L.A.T.E. Ride, a 25-mile cycle ride around the city of Chicago at midnight with nearly 9000 other riders. The ride starts at Buckingham Fountain, heads south and west a few blocks, then north to Foster Ave; at River Park on Foster, a half-way point is set up to feed the tired riders and to give everyone a rest, and then you finish heading east to the lakefront and follow that all the way back to Buckingham Fountain again, where only the finest that McDonald's has to offer is served for breakfast while you watch the sun come up over Lake Michigan.
This year, I made the ride with a substantial addition of weight, and absolutely no riding ahead of time in preparation, and it showed; the first half was a breeze for me, but we ended up making several stops on the second half (both to catch our breath, and to snap a few pictures; we probably spent a good half hour of the ride just snapping shots). We were in the first group that left at 1:30 AM, and we pulled in around 5:30 AM; substantially longer than we took last year, but we took in a lot more along the way. Erica also had a chance to add a bunch of decorations to her bike this year (I was boring and just stuck a glow stick on each end as marker lights), and I suspect we'll both be a bit more creative next year.
And now, I'm pretty much exhausted: no sleep for an entire weekend plus a 25-mile ride take their toll on you. ;-) I definitely need to be in better shape for next year, but I'll do it again even if I'm not; it's just too much fun, and the sense of accomplishment for a (very) casual rider like me is fantastic.