This was my second "Century Ride" up the various bike trails in Illinois to the Wisconsin border. This day I was joined by Denny (Dad) as well as Matt H. This would be Matt's first century ride and the 4th or 5th at least for Denny. Weather report was perfect for the day and indeed the weather was great and sunny all day.
We left on the Great Western Trail from Lombard just after 6am. We took this west and it eventually hooks up to the Elgin Branch of the Illinois Prairie Path. As the IPP begins to turn north and hits Elgin it eventually turns into the Fox River Trail. This continues north along the river and eventually turns into the Prairie Trail around McHenry. From there it heads north to the Wisconsin border where it ends at Genoa City. We made great time and were feeling good the whole hike north. It was fun heading through Stern Woods again around Crystal Lake where the big hills provide a challenge to the gears (and the legs!).
We made the Wisconsin border at 11:20am. We spent 10-15 minutes making phone calls, posting on twitter, and catching a drink. We were getting pretty hungry, despite the light snacking. We had originally considered hitting the Subway near the northern end of these trails. But we then decided loading up on a big sub wouldn't do well for the tummy. We hit a gas station instead and loaded up on slim jim-style meat and other lighter snacks for lunch. The ride back was a joy as well. The length of the day and the exhaustion of the legs didn't really start to sink in til we were getting onto the Great Western Trail once more. Actually for me the worst part of the return was the sore hind end from sitting on a tough bike seat all day. I nearly wanted to stand on my pedals and not sit the entire trek back on the Western Trail. We hit Lombard at 5:36pm and were most happy to be able to get off those bikes. We treated ourselves to an awesome supper at Buona Beef. Yum!
STATSDistance Total: 118 miles
Total Time: 11 1/2 hours
TRACKHere is the KML track file for our bike hike: