With the rare opportunity for a Saturday afternoon ride, we carefully considered our lunch options. Since I was thinking a little outdoor dining sounded good and we had not yet eaten there, Catalpa Grove Tavern was the obvious choice.
Our tires hummed along the highway, and I soon found myself lost in the rhythm of the ride, easing into a peaceful groove. As the last of my cares dissolved in the wind, we rounded the last corner into Toulon and the Catalpa Grove parking lot.
The “outdoor” bar hadn’t yet opened for the day, so we grabbed two stools at the large U-shaped main bar and explored the menu.
The main dining area at Catalpa Grove Tavern in Toulon, Ill., has a large bar and quite a bit of natural light.
Green Bay, Wis. to Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
Our last full day of vacation had arrived. As usual, I checked the weather while he made coffee. So, you know all that rain we’d been having throughout the trip? Yeah, it was nothing compared to the splotches of yellow, orange and red all over the radar. The storms were large, strong and everywhere!
This archived radar data shows exactly what we faced on our ride from Green Bay to Wisconsin Dells.
Although we had been looking forward to a stop on the day’s itinerary, we whole-heartedly agreed on a more direct route to our destination. I consulted my trusty iPad mini (the ideal size for saddlebags) and hastily scribbled our new directions on the back of the day’s original plan. Messy, but effective.
The bags were loaded, and we were off in a flash. We dodged rain drops through Appleton and Oshkosh. Our luck would not last long. Noting an ever-ominous sky, I snuck a look at the radar while at slower speeds in Ripon. The truth was undeniable: We were going to get very wet! But, we were in for the long haul and continued west. Continue reading
Whenever the Midwestern winter holds off long enough for a ride in December, we just gotta take advantage of the opportunity.
On this particular Sunday, the BikerSpot Magazine was hosting Funday at McMahon’s Pints and Plates in Sunnyland. Knowing the ride could be my last wind therapy session for a while, I layered up to make it easier to embrace the slight chill in the air and better enjoy the adventure. Continue reading
Newberry, Mich. to Green Bay, Wis.
Well, it’s about time I finish this story, isn’t it?!
The morning of Day 5 was cold. Bone-chilling cold that felt more like mid-October than mid-August. Fortunately, the weather report promised no rain. At least there was that.
Heading south on 115, the cold started to take hold. I shivered a bit, thankful I put my leather on that morning. I was trying to keep my mind on other things, especially after he mentioned the temperature had dropped into the 50s. No wonder!
By the time our route brought us back to the lake, the rain had started. Darn weather report! Of course, we were caught without our Toggs, so we got a little wet, mostly on our legs from the splash off the road. So now, I was cold and wet … again. BUT, I was still persevering AND having fun along the way. Continue reading
I absolutely love barbecue. I repeat, I. LOVE. BARBECUE! Chicken, pork, beef — it’s all amazing after a stint in a smoke-filled box, so I really was itching to try a new (to me) place in Knoxville called Big Catz BBQ.
The bike really fits the scene at Big Catz BBQ in Knoxville, Ill.
The drive was perfect for an early October day, with hardly a cloud in the bright, blue sky. We hummed right along and found ourselves in the parking lot just a few minutes after 11 — perfect timing since we skipped breakfast to save room for our lunch feast. Continue reading
It was October 1, and fall seemed to be descending upon us rapidly. But, it was one of those beautifully sunny fall days that made for perfect riding — and the perfect Sunday Funday adventure.
Since BikerSpot Magazine was hosting Sunday Funday at Carrigan’s Pub (a place we had yet to try), we were headed down the valley and across the river to East Peoria. And since it was the ideal autumn afternoon, what better route to take than the curvy, climby road through Detweiller Park?
The road through Detweiller Park is one of our favorite routes down into the river valley.
Since its inception, my blog has encouraged readers to send me their ride suggestions, to no avail. So when “Greg” recently commented with a recommendation for Crank’s Bar and Grill in Minonk, I was ready to roll — especially after he mentioned fried deviled eggs!
A serene scene along River Beach Drive on the Illinois River.