“Northeast Illinois is not know for its hills or challenging terrain. When you get West of Chicago, we do have some gravel, but pretty tame by most standards. But, in that open Prairie, one thing we have in spades is wind! This year’s Pastry-Brest-Pastry ride put of North Aurora, IL, on March 25, had lots of wind. The route was a lollipop that opened with a short stretch of — for lack of a better word — urban single track, followed by a farmer’s field layered in deep dead grass/hay, and even a little crushed limestone trail before getting to the proper gravel roads. On the way out, tail winds had all of the riders feeling like heroes… until we hit the far Western edge of the course and had to turn back i to that dreadful wind.
Buy Pastry-Brest-Pastry is not your usual gravel ride. It is all about the stops between the gravel segments, where they serve — you guessed it — pastries and beer. That’s four different opportunities over 65 miles to stop off for a doughnut and a beer! How awesome, is that?
And, for the after party, we retired to a local brewery (Two Brothers), where we were provided with yet another free beer. I think I may have consumed more calories that day than I actually burned. But it was a great time with friends.”