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.
We originally planned to see the Sister of Liberty in Oregon, Ill., on the last day of a previous summer vacation but had to cut it from our itinerary at the last minute due to weather. With a long Memorial Day weekend ahead, we decided not only to go see the Sister but also the Black Hawk Statue in Lowden State Park.
My view as we made our way to the Illinois River bridge at Henry, Ill.
Our first destination was Black Hawk, which is way in the back of the park, so imagine how surprised we were to ride all the way through to discover the statue was covered in black plastic, apparently the result of recent repairs. Continue reading
After a couple breakfasts and a dinner Ride to Eat, I figured it probably was time for a new lunch adventure. So, I did a little research and soon discovered our next destination: Perdue’s Grill in Tremont.
Located inside a historic building — the Columbia Opera House, according to their website — Perdue’s is split into two sections: the dining room and the bar.
Our ride had started quite early that Sunday, as we had leaves to deal with that afternoon. Of course, that meant we arrived in Tremont much sooner than we had originally planned, around 11:15. We took two seats at the bar and slowly began to realize that we were the only people in the room. Why was EVERYONE else in the dining area? Continue reading
What do you do when your husband’s company picnic is scheduled for a gorgeous Sunday afternoon? Ride for breakfast and then to the party, of course!
At least, that’s what we did when that exact situation presented itself a few weeks ago. The picnic — at Sommer Park just outside Peoria — was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., giving us plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely Ride to Eat before making our appearance.
We decided to try Victoria’s Country Diner in Lacon. The reviews were excellent, and the location was just far enough from home for some quality wind time. Plus, the husband felt that since the water tower had been altered to say, “Bacon,” we “just had to” eat there — can’t argue with that logic!
If you read my last post, you already know I found my next topic on the way home that day. A quick stop at the Psycho Silo for a drink and some live music led to a return trip the following week.
It was going to be a perfect day to ride, and I was not willing to take the direct route there. So while we were hanging out on Saturday night, he suggested I lay out our plan. After staring at our large-print road atlas (if you don’t have one, I highly suggest making it your next purchase) for way longer than a normal person, I had it all mapped out.
A quick smile for the camera along Grandview Drive in Peoria Heights, Ill.
The morning was beautiful, with bright blue sky and low winds. Our first destination was Grandview Drive for a quick photo op. We needed more photos for next year’s calendar (bike themed, of course). It was early enough we could grab some great shots before the crowds arrived around lunchtime.
Watch for this sign when you head out of Cedar Point to avoid missing the turn into The Gunsmoke Grill.
In anticipation of the long Memorial Day weekend, I pulled up the May issue of BikerSpot Magazine online to find some eating destinations requiring longer rides. Viola — just across from my article was a full-page ad for The Gunsmoke Grill in Cedar Point.
Well, technically, it’s not in Cedar Point.
It was a picture perfect Sunday. Bright blue sky dotted with puffs of fluffy white clouds promised a smooth day ahead. Continue reading
While pondering new Ride to Eat destinations recently, I asked BikerBob for some recommendations. He suggested several places that support the magazine, including Knuckleheads Roadhouse in Washburn. Scheduled to host its first BikerSpot Sunday Funday that weekend, Knuckleheads became the obvious choice. But, I will get to those other places he mentioned soon.
It was a glorious Sunday. The forecast called for sunshine and a high of 80 — time to ride!
Parked at the marina in Lacon by the Illinois River.
As an English major and a writer, I have been intrigued by the Spoon River Drive since we moved here more than 15 years ago. Every year, I say, “This is the year we’re going to check it out.” And every year, it comes and goes before I realize it. But once we got the bike, I knew I would finally be able check that item off my to-do list — and check it, I did.
IL 78 heading toward Havana and the Illinois River Valley.
It all happened as a result of the hubby seeing an installment of WEEK-TV’s You Gotta Eat highlighting a place in Norris called Tracy’s Supper Club. I have since learned that Tracy’s is a rebirth of the bar and restaurant that was formerly called Viano’s, an area favorite with a 75-year history. The owners maintained as much of the establishment’s old charm as they could, right down to restoring the vintage bar. Continue reading
The weather was a bit iffy this particular Sunday, but we really wanted to get some wind time before embarking on a major house project we’d been putting off for a while. After making sure all our rain gear was in the bags, just in case, we decided to check out the new BikerSpot advertiser in Bartonville, Sportz Nutz Bar & Grill.
Since Bartonville is just a short ride from our house, going directly there would never have been enough wind therapy to tide us over. So, we made an adventure out of it, deciding to make our way to Meadows Avenue Tap in East Peoria first. We had never been there before and wanted to check it out — a sort of reconnaissance mission for a future article.