Dateline H.E.: Wednesday, July 7th, 2021, 6am.
The weather in our area did not look all that bad. However, when I checked the report for Waterford WI they were already reporting light drizzle with some real serious looking weather lurking nearby. Because of this I sent out an email calling off my Spam-A-Palooza ride to the Bunker.
Now Cruisers’ being Cruisers’ I decided to ride over to the Hoffman Estates McDs to inform any who showed up that the ride was cancelled. Sure enough I had 4 ride in; 2, George G. & Bill L., that didn’t get the message, 1, Don K., that happened to be driving by and saw the bikes, and Hugh B. who knew I was going there to see if anyone else would show up.
Well you know how they say that when one is handed lemons the best thing to do is make lemonade? Well that is precisely what we did. I had a restaurant in Elgin I wanted to check out for a potential Sunday breakfast ride so I gathered up Bill, George and Hugh and after a 30 minute ride we pulled into the Iron Skillet Restaurant. We enjoyed a pretty good meal but were disappointed when I asked about bringing a group and was informed that they do not take any reservations.
Even when things don’t go as planned with a little thought and some flexibility from fellow riders a good time can still be had.
Story and Photos by: Steve P.
Wrapping up the 4th of July weekend activities was a Cruisers Sunday morning breakfast ride. Most of the usual suspects of the breakfast club met at the Hoffman Estates McD’s for an earlier than normal 8:30 am start. Our destination was a small & friendly restaurant just north of Wauconda on Rt. 12, Deacon’s Restaurant & Bar. The early start was due to a request by the owner, Deacon, to arrive by 9 am due to an anticipated big breakfast crowd. By 8:30 am we had 13 riders lined up for a straight shot to Deacon’s. Kick stands up and we were on our way. My good buddy Steve doubted we would arrive by 9 am but this was my riding area so I was confident. As luck would have it we had all green lights and no trains in Barrington arriving at Deacon’s in 25 minutes.
Upon arrival we found 2 more of our riders waiting us and we were now a group of 15. For the restaurant, no problem as the back deck was big with plenty of seating and there was also indoor seating available. CDC protocols were being followed and I believe our group felt comfortable. Once seated coffee was served and orders taken. The meals arrived promptly, looked and tasted great. The omelets especially looked terrific. Our group must have enjoyed the meals as I didn’t get one (1) complaint. From this group, that’s saying something.
After breakfast I had a 60 mile meander through the northwest countryside with the final stop being in Port Barrington on the Fox River. The first big challenge (read that as a big concern) was leaving Deacon’s parking lot. Our destination road was directly across Rt. 12 meaning we had to safely get 15 bikes across 4 lanes of race track traffic without much road to work with. With everyone cautioned we lined up for departure. I looked left, then right and was amazed not see a single car or truck insight. PERFECT! Accelerate, lean right to get into the turn lane and then lean left to cross the southbound lanes and onto Case Road. All 15 bikes made it safely; a good sign for the ride to follow.
Meandering through Island Lake, Crystal Lake and north to the Bull Valley area brought us to open farm country. The turn-back-to-home point was just west and south of Hebron. We continued to the Wonder Lake/Glacial Park area and then south through Ringwood to our rest stop in Johnsburg. From Johnsburg it was a quick ride on River Road to Port Barrington and to the No Wake Bar & Grill where the survivors (5 of 15) relaxed under a huge tent enjoying refreshing beverages and a cool river breeze to keep the afternoon heat away. Many, many topics were explored, including toilets for some reason, to everyone’s amusement. A proper ending to an enjoyable days ride.
Note to the SBR riders: Great job of group riding. We maintained a steady pace with no delays over the 80+ miles travelled. Thank you all.
Note to Round-About Robert: Route featured five (5) round-abouts.
Our JPC Father’s Day breakfast group gathered at McD’s in Hoffman Estates on Sunday, June 21st. Frank Wenzon led the group of 10 to Pub 72 in Gilberts for an alfresco breakfast under a very large tent, due to restrictions dining indoors during Phase 3 of Illinois’ Covid virus edits from the honorable Governor Pritzker. The weather was sunny, dry, calm and traffic was light.
Heading northwest toward Williams Bay, we enjoyed a relaxed ride through Lakewood, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and smaller towns beyond. Somewhere around tiny Sharon, Wisconsin, Frank’s GPS malfunctioned and Bill Hominick volunteered to take over as the leader of the pack.
Lots of scenery, usual farm fields………..the corn fields we passed seemed to be doing well, plants are between 1-2 feet high already………so we’ll be able to enjoy what seems to be everyone’s favorite vegetable (which is a starch) in July sometime. We opted NOT to travel through the downtown areas of Williams Bay and Lake Geneva, as the reports of large crowds turned us off to the slow trek we would have had to endure riding through those popular lake towns.
We all agreed that on the road back to civilization, we needed to stop in Hebron for ice cream. That seemed to be the “hot spot” of little towns, lines of hungry people waiting for ice cream and so many motorcycles, cars and a very large truck (maybe overweight???) unlucky enough to attract the attention of the Hebron police. Definitely NOT a pleasant Father’s Day for the truck driver!
Arriving home at 3pm, we enjoyed the after-glo of a very nice ride!
Thanks to all who participated and a special thank you to Bill Hominick…..a very kind man with a big heart, willing to take over in a pinch!
As Willie Nelson wrote: “I can’t wait to get on the road again”
With restaurants now open for “al fresco” dining, the Cruisers hit the road Sunday, June 14th for the first Sunday Breakfast and ride of the season. To make the day interesting our ride Leader, George G., reversed the normal order of the ride to have breakfast first followed by a lazy afternoon guided ride north to the Chain-O-Lakes State Park. A quick 5 mile ride to the Rose Garden for breakfast followed by a 45 mile meander to the State Park was the plan for the day. Half way to our destination the breakfast group picked up 3 more members (2 bikes, 3 riders) for the final country ride to the park.
Once in the park we stopped for a break and to appreciate the scenery of this park. Plus we were overlooking an inlet of the Fox River making the view that much better. Lovely, relaxing stop. Here the group proceeded to do what Cruisers do best: mill around, swap stories and lies and simply enjoyed the camaraderie of friends.
Back to Willie. Our leader had a route back to the city and while riding home a tune written by Steve Goodman and covered by Willie, “City of New Orleans” came to me and a few lines of the lyrics seemed a perfect fit for our day ride.
“Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
“The train pulls out of Kankakee. Rolls along past houses, farms and fields”
Kinda sounds like our travel today. We had 11 bikes and 13 happy, smiling riders and we certainly rolled past houses, farms and fields. No twenty-five sacks of mail though. Works for me.