We both got a good rest last night in the Best Western in Joliet, and are ready to hit the road. We’ll be riding together today, along the I&M Canal Trail all the way to Peru, IL (about 60 miles). Should be another great day of being off the road, and far, far away from cars. Thanks again to John, who I met riding yesterday, for recommending this trail!
Once we get to Peru, we’re meeting up with my Uncle Rigo and Aunt Linda, who are driving us to Bloomington, IL (due south of Peru) for the night. Huge thanks to my family for venturing out of the way to make this a possible scheduled stop along our route!!
Check back later for an update!
Update 10:00pm: What a fun day on the bike. Overall it was among our best riding days. We got on the road by 7:30am, and after riding the first few miles on the road, we located the I&M Canal Trail.
Simply put, the trail is beautiful. In total, it goes for 60+ miles–all the way from Joliet to Peru–which was exactly what we were riding today. However, we didn’t stick to the trail completely. More on that later.
The couple warned us of some downed trees blocking the trail ahead. We continued riding, and soon found the forewarned fallen trees and other debris. We cleared what we could, then either climbed over or dragged our bikes under the rest to keep going.
We rode to Seneca, IL and stopped to grab a quick bite to eat at a diner (3 eggs, 3 pancakes, 3 pieces of bacon, 3 sausages, a few cups of coffee, and chocolate milk).
Back on the trail, Michael and I soon split up: I wanted to digest the large meal, and couldn’t handle the bumps of the trail, and Michael wanted to continue on the pathway. I navigated to Route 6 and cycled on it for the final 15 miles, while Michael continued on the trail, until also eventually switching to an adjacent road to bypass trail debris.
With five miles to go, I saw my Uncle Rigo on the side of the road. Because of the constant trucks on Route 6 (see photo below), I decided to call it a day, and load my bike up on Rigo’s car.
Linda and Rigo made us a fantastic dinner of chicken, corn, watermelon, salad, and more. From there, we came to the consensus of heading to White Oak, a local brewery here in Bloomington. We met some new friends, saw some magic, and drank some good beer.
After heading back, we topped off the night with strawberry sundaes.
Our plan is to take a rest day tomorrow to recuperate, do maintenance on our bikes, and explore the Bloomington/Normal area.
We’ll be back on the road on Saturday, with our regularly scheduled ride. Check back tomorrow with a post from Michael that elaborates on our rest-day adventures!