I had found this little spot on the Fox River the day before we went biking when Mel and I drove around to a bunch of garage sales- it had a dilapidated old automobile bridge (the wooden slat kind).
Kenney and I loaded up the bikes in the back of the Durango (no bike rack yet) and drove down to the river where we parked and started our ride. About 10 seconds into our bike ride, I realized that our tires were still pretty flat, so I pumped them up again...only to determine that there must be something else wrong because they weren't getting any higher. Luckily, there was a bike shop called Main Street Bicycles literally 20 yards away & they were able to fit us in immediately! They not only pumped up our tires (apparently we just needed a super-strength compressor to do it, not my little hand pump that attaches to my bike frame), but they also tightened loose spokes, calibrated the brakes, and made sure both bikes ran smoothly- and, I bought a darling brown basket to attach to the front of my bike to hold essentials like water, my phone, a credit card and keys! All for $42 total! We'll definitely be back! They were great guys, and so nice! The shop was really busy while we were there, too, and Kenney said he heard two different people complimenting our bikes, which was nice since I only got them because I recognized the Schwinn name and they were only $45 on clearance at Target a couple of years ago. I'm glad representatives of the biking community approve! :)
We were finally on the road! We started out just riding the Fox River Trail which follows the river for a while, then we ended up in downtown Carpentersville which has a cute little Main Street area. I loved this old "Horse Shoeing and Jobbing" building- look at that amazing facade! I can just picture people riding up on their horses for the blacksmith to shoe them!
We rode right by a little cafe called Cafe Patisserie and stopped to have breakfast (kind of a mistake in retrospect- we should not have eaten so much food & then continued biking!). I have to say that the pain was kind of worth it though because they make the most amazing breakfast pizza, it was a beautiful day, and it was so nice to sit outside while bikers whizzed by! We continued down the path which took us into Dundee, and at some point we started riding through a very wooded stretch a few miles long.
We realized that we were still following the river and that we most likely would end up at this little park near the apartment if we kept going long enough- sure enough, we ended up at the park and were able to use the bridge under the I-90 overpass to cross the river. At that point, we were only about a mile or so from the apartment, so we decided just to ride all the way back home then pick up the dogs in the Mazda and drive back to get the Durango. I was happy to have the bikes at home, too, without having to pile them on top of each other since we had just paid to have them calibrated- didn't want to have to get it done all over again the next time we wanted to ride!