About Editor

Member since 1984.

LRW-Shabbona Café 09-08-2021

I was sitting around at home last Saturday night and I was thinking is was time for another LRW event. So I fired up my netbook to see if there were any destinations and routes in my Garmin file that haven’t been run yet. Finding none I decided to look down the list to see if there was route and a restaurant listed that we had not been too for a while. Towards the end of my Illinois List I spied the route for the Shabbona Café in beautiful downtown Shabbona Illinois. Because I originally made this route up in May of 2017, and had not ridden it since that time, I determined that a pre-ride would be necessary before I would subject a group to this route. So On Sunday, while the rest of you headed for breakfast in Cortland, I did my pre-ride to make sure there were no surprises on the route. Finding no major problems with the route, later that Sunday I got the notice of the upcoming LRW out to the members.

The weather on Wednesday morning, as promised, was absolutely beautiful. We arranged to meet at the Dunkin Donuts (DD) in Gilberts with a advertised departure time of 9:45 am. When Don, who advised he was coming, did not show up we decided to give him 5 more minutes before we departed. We left DD at 9:50 and, while on the way, Bill heard from Don who said he was meeting us at the restaurant.

The planned route was 70 miles of typical Illinois back roads, meaning areas of what passes for twistie’s in this state with sections of Whoop-Dee-Doo’s along with mile upon mile of corn and soybean fields. A pleasant ride but not very scenic. Well none of six riders got lost or left behind so the voyage to the Shabbona Café could be considered successful. Don, as promised, was waiting inside holding down the big table. Don explained he had a doctor’s appointment so I decided not to penalize him for his absence. He was deducted 2-points for not telling us about it before hand.

We had an absolutely insane waitress, Laura, waiting on us which added to the festive feelings we 7, Bill L., Cosmo, Don, Bill H., Candi, Frank and I were all enjoying. In addition to having a good time everyone appeared to be enjoying their lunches. I especially enjoyed the “small town” prices on the Cafes menu.

After more than a hour of conversation we decided it was time to head for home. Our guest from the Land of Cheddar took off on his own to head back to Burlington. The rest of the group fell in behind me an proceeded to drop off at various places along my route to home. Thanks to you guys for coming out this time. I hope we can get a couple of decent LRW’s in before we have to call the game on account of weather.
Story and photos by Steve.

Friday the 13th Lunch-Pasta Mia, Bartlett, August 13, 2021

This was the 3rd Annual Friday the 13th lunch and the first to take place post-pandemic. With 10 people in attendance I am going to count this in the success column.

Hugh & Joanie, Joe & Marge, Ken & Lynn, Steve & Lu, George and Don were the Cruisers’ that answered the call, and from what I was able to observe had a good meal and a great time. There is something about lunching with fellow Cruisers’ that loosens ones tongue and refreshes the spirits; AKA, everyone talks to everyone else.

Past Mia was (is still) a favorite of ours (Lu & I) from our many years of living in Hanover Park. I was a little concerned when they contacted me on Thursday to tell me they had booked a large, after funeral buffet crowd. They asked if I would mind being moved to the high-tops in the bar area. I told them we were flexible and that moving our tables was not a problem. Good pastas, great sandwiches, delicious pizza and a selection of Craft Beers make this a desirable casual place to stop for a tasty meal. After we downed our lunch I could tell all in attendance were of the same opinion. All to soon the conversation came to an end and we were off on our separate ways.

Thanks to all who attended and I hope to see all of you, and maybe some new faces, again at our 4th Annual Friday the 13th lunch in May 2022.

Story by: Steve P.
Photos by: Steve P.

LRW-CET 8/4/21-Sammie’s

On Wednesday, August 4th, we met up at our favorite Hoffman Estates McD’s at 9am. After coffee, it was kick-stands-up at 9:30 and we were off on my planned route to Sammie’s Hot Dogs in Round Lake, IL. There were 8 of us on 7 bikes present at the start: Bob W., Cosmo, Don K., Hugh B., Joe H., Ken & Sandy M., and myself.
Wednesday’s weather was absolutely perfect for us motorcyclists, with 70 degree temperatures for the ride to Round Lake and just 81 degrees for our rides home.
My route today was 65 miles long and it was a combination of some familiar sections with a mix of some new roads sprinkled in for variety (anyway they were new to me). As best that I could make it, I added in as many twists, turns and as much hilly terrain that this part of our State has to offer. At the end of the ride I was not presented with a list of complaints so I am going to chalk this ride and this route up as a success.
Shortly after we arrived at Sammie’s our group number swelled by one as the lovely and talented Mrs. Brandt (Joanie) graced us with her presence. She was in the neighborhood so she decided to join us.
The dogs and fries were delicious and, near as I could tell, Cosmo was the only non-taker of the tubular delights offered by Sammie’s (he went for the beef sandwich). After 90 minutes of mostly cordial conversation we split up and headed our separate ways home.
Thanks to all who attended I hope you all had as much fun as I did.
Story by: Steve P.
Photos by: Steve P. and Hugh B.

The Meandering Roads Lunch Ride

MEANDER: To proceed by taking a winding or indirect course.

For the second 5th Friday lunch ride the weather forecasters were spot on:  “sunny with occasional clouds, temps of upper 60’s to mid 70’s and pleasant”.  Weather like that is hard to come by but we enjoyed the perfect day to have a group ride for lunch.  For our destination I chose a tavern in the Spring Grove area that I had wanted to try out.  I had driven past KC’s Cabin countless times without ever stopping in so this ride gave me that opportunity.

We met at our Hoffman Estates Mc’D’s at 9:30 am for coffer and conversation with a departure time of 10 am.  I had a 65 mile route planned which I had split into a southern leg and a northern leg.  The southern leg was roads that I ride for my own enjoyment and relaxation so I didn’t bother planning a road-by-road route.  I simply worked my way up to Johnsburg choosing roads I thought the group would like.  The northern leg was somewhat unfamiliar territory so I planned that leg using Goggle Maps from Johnsburg to our destination.  My first pre-ride proved that pre-rides are necessary as my route included 2 roads that were closed by construction and 1 road that didn’t exist despite what Goggle Maps showed.  The ride went smoothly.  No U-turns, a couple of round-abouts, lots of turns (45 turns in 65 miles!) and nobody got lost.  I learned at lunch that the route included a road that Ken & Sandy McC had never been on and that alone made the ride worthwhile.

The folks at KC’s Cabin were ready for us upon arrival having a table set up and waiting.  Service was fast and friendly.  The menu had something for everyone and the food was quite good.  Evidently the group liked the place as there was no hurry to leave.  We finally got out and heading home after 2 hours of eating and conversation.  Turned out to be a good place and I’ll certainly be back.

Many thanks to our LRW lunch enthusiasts who participated:  Frank W, Bill L, George G, Steve P, Ken & Sandy McC. HGB  8/4/21

LRW to Broken Spoke, July 21, 2021

It was a beautiful morning on July 21st when our group of riders led by Frank pulled away from the Gilberts Dunkin’ Donuts . We immediately complied with JPC history in making our first U-turn to avoid a cement median strip on Tyrell Road that didn’t allow us to proceed north. Traffic was light and there was no rain in sight.

We used back roads all the way to Genoa City, Wisconsin and arrived at the Broken Spoke near 11:30am. Imagine the look on Frank’s face when we pulled at the locked door at the entrance……the restaurant was dark but after a few desperate knocks, a rushed employee appeared and apologized for running late. We chalked it up to a true Wisconsin experience.

Once seated, Steve and Lucy joined us (travelled by car) as their plans were to cruise the high seas of Lake Geneva on a boat tour after our meal.

The Broken Spoke has a large menu including such items as brats covered with pulled pork, bacon and cheese smothered burgers, chili, nachos, cheese curds, Nashville hot chicken, fish and to-die-for fried potato peels (with cheese of course). All good! Frank was excited about his very thick chili and demonstrated to all , the spoon that stood straight up in the bowl without even beginning to lean over (the spoon, not Frank).

All in all, the Broken Spoke offered excellent service, clean surroundings, nice bathrooms and awesome food…………. It definitely deserves a repeat performance!

Story by Candi
Photos by Hugh & Steve

LRW-Spam-a-Palooza July 14th

LRW-Spam-a-Palooza @ The Bunker
Dateline: Wednesday, July 14th, 2021
It was a beautiful clear and mostly sunny day when I rolled out of bed this morning. After being forced to cancel this ride last week I was very much encouraged to see the sun light streaming in my window.

On my ride over to the Hoffman Estates McDs I was trying to remember how many responded positively to the flyer notice. I guess, for the most part we had what we have begun to call the “Usual Suspects.” Myself, Hugh B., Don K., George G., Frank W. (Candi had an excused absence), and Kurt L, a recent convert.

My route consisted of a lot of tried and true road segments that would certainly be familiar to a lot of members who have ridden to Wisconsin with us before. My planning and execution of the route was absolutely perfect right up to the point where in ended in a Waterford WI residential neighborhood. As they are wont to say even the best laid plans sometimes go astray. Mr. Brant stepped forward to direct us to the Bunker and I made a note to check my GPS file when I get home to see what happened.

George decided on Pulled Pork while the rest of us ordered our Spam Burgers and fries. We then spent the next 30 minutes drooling in anticipation of their arrival. 4 of us agreed that there was no finer sandwich in the world while Frank said he could take it or leave it and George just said “too much salt”.

After lunch and photos we were treated to Mr. Brandt’s patented ‘return routes” This is definitely one ride that will be repeated. How often will depend on the number of requests we receive. All in all, a great time was had by all. We enjoyed the nice weather, the ride, and some of us even positively enjoyed our lunch.

Story by: Steve P.

My Eagle Cargo Trailer

This is a cargo trailer manufactured by Smitty’s of Ames, Iowa.  I purchased it in 1981when we were doing a lot of travel by motorcycle.  A couple of years later Smitty’s came out with a taller bottom shell which gave the trailer a full 9 c.f. of packing space which was perfect for our travels at that time.  We pulled our Eagle cargo trailer behind our 1976 Goldwing throughout the USA, from Key West to Washington State, from southern California to Nova Scotia.  And many points in between.  Countless 3-4 day motorcycle rallies and JPC weekend campouts.  Camping gear and personal items were inside, 2 lawn chairs strapped to the luggage rack and our Little Oscar cooler strapped to the luggage rack on the bike.  The Eagle trailer was also put to use for Cub Scout and Boy Scout campouts.  By 1992 our 2 growing lads were at an age where we needed to spend a lot more time with them and their activities so the camping days came to an end and the trailer went into the garage.

Fast forward to 2021 and I had a need to make room in the garage for a bigger car so something had to go.  Sadly the trusty old trailer was chosen.  I gave it a good wash, checked for any accessories and checked the tires (yes, they still held air !) and put it out on the road with a For Sale sign attached.  On day 3 a Harley guy stopped by and showed interest in buying the trailer.  We had a good chat and all his questions got answered.  A few hours later he was back to buy it.  Terms agreed to, money changing hands and we stuffed the trailer into his truck and off it went.  That was the first week in June.

Today I heard what sounded like a motorcycle engine idling but I could not place from where.  Much to my surprise there was a Harley sitting in my driveway with the Eagle trailer hitched to it.  My friend had cleaned the old thing up, painted the inside, cleaned and polished the wheels to a like-new chrome finish and upgraded the wiring.  And it looks terrific behind the bike.

I am now happy knowing that my old trailer, which served us so well. is once again on the road in very good hands.

HGB   7/18/21