I wanted to give a shout-out to Dave Johnsen, author of the brilliant Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides. Dave and I go back a ways ... back all the way, in fact, to when we were both running. Since then, we've both moved on to cycling, although Dave took it to the extreme with a cross-country trip a few years ago!
Dave has also taken a leap of faith and become a self-supporting freelance writer. That's the step I don't ever see myself taking ... too risky, too scary, too much work to promote yourself ... not for me, thanks! But he's really good at it, and is "living the life" ... Anyway, not too long ago he published Biking Illinois, and has been on a cross-state crusade of book signings and promotion -- this, after his cross-state crusade to find the best road and trail rides around!
Last night he was at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, the first time I've had a chance to get out and see him. We talked for a while, getting caught up and chatting with a fellow local author also there for a signing (a golf book). Dave signed books for my brother, dad, and Kim and I. I had a chance to flip through some of the rides, and it's pretty cool -- not only does it include fantastic maps and descriptions, but Dave researched and wrote about all the little quirks and interests that make Illinois great. And each ride has a definite start/finish, with parking and amenities identified in the text ... perfect for planning!
Over the past year, as he researched and wrote, I offered Dave some route advice for a couple of rides, and pointed him in the direction of a couple of others. I thought it was cool that he was working on this type of book, and I was more than happy to help ... Well, as it turns out, Dave put me in the credits! I was flipping through this morning, and there was my name on the Acknowledgements page! It's sort of this bizzarre "dream" of mine to appear in the credits of someone's book -- and now I can say I have!
Remember that scene from Young Guns, when Emilio Estevez says, "I'll make you famous ..."?
So if you get a chance, and are interested in some fun rides and routes from Chicago to Savannah, [ed note 7/24 -- it's Savanna, and apparently there are no rides in the book in that area. Sorry!] check out Biking Illinois. The Book Cellar has a few signed copies in stock, and it's being carried in a few other local bookstores, including some of the chains ... oh, and be sure to check out the Acknowledgements page!
ONLY 149 DAYS TO NATZ!!