While this post mainly will focus on our July 13th ride to Mackinaw, some of the photos and commentary are based on a prior trip, on June 8. Both days, we ultimately were destined for a BikerSpot Sunday Funday at The River Roadhouse, with a lunch stop at Haynes on Main first. Since the rides were going to be so close together, I opted to wait for a later post instead of repeating myself. So, here goes…
Instead of simply riding to Mackinaw, we wanted to make something of a trip out of it. With the bridge still out over the Kickapoo Creek at Pottstown, we started on a favorite route around town. Heading northwest, we quickly found ourselves at Jubilee College State Park and Princeville, joking that only other bikers would understand the crazy start to our route — heading in exactly the opposite direction of our target!
From the park, we turned straight south, cruising by Wildlife Prairie Park and continuing on to Cameron Lane before re-connecting with US 24. What I love most about this route is that it is just slightly outside of town, but you really don’t feel like it while riding. You see farms, streams, livestock, everything you’d want from a relaxing Sunday trip. But, in reality, you are just minutes from the hustle and bustle of city life.
US 24 would take us as far as IL 9, which we followed over the bridge, through Pekin, and straight to Mackinaw. Now, I have a bit of a bridge fear — car or motorcycle, doesn’t really matter; however, the McNaughton Bridge isn’t too bad. With its gradual rise, sweeping left turn, low speeds, and quick descent into downtown Pekin, I feel almost comfortable on it. Of course, that could be the fact I crossed it many times while avoiding road construction when working in the Marigold Capital.
Important Note to Fellow Riders: Just a couple blocks off the bridge is a BP gas station with high-grade fuel. It takes pay at the pump and is located close to the main intersection where you’d normally diverge based on your final destination, so it is quite convenient. We did notice on a previous stop, however, that at least one of the pumps doesn’t automatically turn off when the tank is full, so be sure to watch them carefully. You don’t want gas all over your bike, right?!
Once in Mackinaw, finding Haynes on Main was easy: It’s right on Main Street. We originally wanted to try the place after seeing news reports about it receiving the first liquor license in the village in more than 80 years. Then, we were even more intrigued after looking at the menu online — no fried stuff!
OK, the restaurant has some fried stuff but not what you normally find in a small-town bar. I mean, even the appetizers are non-battered, fry-free delights! I had been eyeing several items on the menu until the server said the magic words: “Our special today is tacos.” Never were sweeter words spoken. My appreciation for tacos borders on obsessive; I could eat them every day, all the time. I just love them, so when they were presented as an option, I was in! I chose hard shell. While I enjoyed them thoroughly both times I visited, a friend on the first visit noted he preferred the soft tacos. He opined that the establishment seems to specialize in wraps, so they must be really good at dealing with tortillas.
On the first visit, Wally treated himself to a Chicken Boom Wrap with a side of pasta salad. On the second visit, he tried their mushroom and Swiss burger with homemade salt and pepper chips (seriously, those were awesome). He described the burger as “Smashburger-style — flat and crispy on the edges.” It too received positive reviews, so much that I vowed to try something new the next time we visited. Hmm … decisions, decisions.
With full bellies, we made the short trek to The River Roadhouse for Sunday Funday with Comatose Catfish. Fortunately, we arrived early enough that the parking lot still had plenty of room in it. Let me tell you, once Funday gets rolling, the lot is so packed with bikes, it’s practically impossible to find a place to park. And, don’t get me started about those poor folks in their cars…
Comatose Catfish. It’s such a great name for a band. And, what a phenomenal band they are! How good are they? Well, you can catch them at Sunday Funday at least once a month, if not more because the crowd adores them. With a range from classic country to southern rock and bluegrass, you are sure to hear something — a lot of things — you’ll enjoy. Personally, I find it fun that they pull out some of the old-style twangy country. Reminds me of when Dad would play his records on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid.
As always, Sunday Funday at The River Roadhouse did not disappoint. But, about an hour or so in, it was time to go — the lawn needed mowing. But first, on the way out, we ran into a fellow Victory rider looking over our bike with a friend. He has a Cross Country that he had recently added the trunk to as well as completed some pretty cool customization. It was fun to “talk shop” with someone who is familiar with our ride and what’s possible with it. We shot the breeze for a few minutes before climbing on and heading out.
The trip home was uneventful, as we had our fun earlier. Now, it was time to get some yard work done and play with the pooches. Over the bridge, through the woods, and up the hill to home we went … and so will I. Until next time…