Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dusting off the ol' blog with a trip to the Fox River!

Kenney and I decided to finally take our well-accessorized bikes on the road last weekend (we've only had them for 2 1/2 years!) with a trip to the Fox River.  A couple of weeks ago while Kenney was gone (to Dallas...or Bentonville...or Canada....I can't remember which place, he's been on the road so much!) I pumped up the tires, attached our bells, put on my new seat, and finally took off the tags.  My sister-in-law and her husband gave us bike shorts (not the kind you wear as shorts, but the kind that provide extra padding), so I pulled those out of our "bike box" (yes, we have a bike box...with Nutcase helmets, our bike shorts, and the rest of the accessories we wanted all in one location in preparation for the day we would ride!).  We were ready to go!

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!


(That's Kenney in both pictures!)

Honestly, I nearly didn't make it all the way home.  I made Kenney stop a bunch of times the last mile because it was SO hot, there was no shade, I was finally feeling the over-fullness from the amazing breakfast coupled with probably drinking too much water at one time.  We made it to the apartment complex, and I actually sent Kenney on ahead to get the car because I felt like I couldn't make it any further.  But then my competitive edge set in, and I didn't want him to have to come get me and admit defeat, so I crawled back onto my bike and finished the ride!  As our apartment came into view, I saw Kenney pulling out of the driveway to come get me, and he reached out his hand through the window to give me a high five (we're nerds), but it was nice.

After showering to cool down and re-hydrating, I mapped out our route on Something maps (Arrested Development reference) to see how far we'd gone- 5.7 miles!  Pretty good for our first ride in, I don't know, 15 years?  After packing plenty of water for the dogs, we loaded them in the Mazda and drove back down to the river to get the other car.  Since we were right by the river, we took the dogs down to the shoreline to let them explore and get in the water if they wanted to.  As soon as we neared the edge, Ana waltzed right in and laid down...she is a river girl at heart!


Blue walked in and stood by her for a while, then finally decided to lay down, too.  He'd switch sides every now and then to cool himself evenly.


Hanging out on the Fox reminds us of being at home on the James...we miss it terribly!  We used to walk the mile down to the river from our beautiful little ranch house, and the dogs would wade into the water.  I wonder if they think that's where we are when we go to the Fox....it's a comforting thought, actually.

6 comments:

gyeong said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere. I need to dust off my bike and hit the trails again.

Michelle said...

Welcome back. :)

Lydia Karstin said...

You're less than a mile away from Pratt's Castle at that point (the bridge I mean). Keep going towards Elgin on the trail and you'll see it on the right. :)

Tammy Sexton said...

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Marketing Coordinator

Tammy Sexton said...

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Big Tail Wag!
Tammy Sexton
Marketing Coordinator
Tammy at TheUncommonDog dot com

Tammy Sexton said...

Hi Amanda!


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If you like this infographic and want to share it with your readers, please feel free to do so. The only thing that we ask in return is that you link back to TheUncommonDog dot com in some way from your post.

As a way of showing our appreciation to those who choose to share the infographic, I'd be happy to spread the word about the blog post by linking to it from our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Just let me know that you posted it and send me the link.

If you'd like to be removed from our contact list, please let me know.

Happy Holidays!
Tammy Sexton
Marketing Coordinator
Tammy at TheUncommonDog dot com