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 Because I originally made this route up in May of 2017, and had not ridden it since that time, I determined that a pre-ride would be necessary before I would subject a group to this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.

Cancelled July 7th LRW-CET Ride

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.

LRW-CET Wednesday, June 30, 2021

It was a cold morning, with temps in the 40’s, NOT!

The temps were in the mid 70s with a good deal of clouds dotting the sky when, precisely at 9:30 (more or less) our 12 bikes followed our Ride Leader out of the Dunkin Donuts on the start of what would be a really nice 70+ mile ride through the countryside. Don’s route started in Gilbert’s and made a large loop through a nice variety of long curvy roads, and what we who live in this area refer to, as scenic Midwestern motorcycle roads, taking us to our destination, The DogFather Hot Dog restaurant in Bartlett.

Don’s chosen roads had little traffic on them, only a few stop lights and were in good shape so we didn’t have to worry about dodging potholes. There were also some neat old farm houses to look at along the route.

We arrived at The DogFather at 11:40 where we found 4 of our fellow members who arrived by Quadra-cycle, already enjoying their lunch. We proceeded to enjoy “Cheap Eats” hot dog lunch’s along with the tons of laughter and BS-ing that goes on anytime bikers get together.

Attendance was excellent for a somewhat rainy looking day. We had 15 ride and 18 dine and some of us even got to sit and enjoy some new people that joined us for the ride (Welcome Tim, Curt and Val). I think I can state from the comments I heard that everyone had a great ride and that all had a great time.

Thanks Don for leading the ride and arranging for the ‘special’ bikers lunch pricing.

Submitted by: Steve
Photos by: Steve and Bill H.

LRW “The Long & Not So Windy Road” Lunch Ride

If there ever is a perfect day for a ride, Wednesday, June 16th was it.  In the early morning the temp was mid 60’s, during the ride mid 70’s, low 80’s and for the ride home upper 80’s with sunshine and a cool breeze.  Couldn’t ask for better. 

For this ride the meeting spot was the Dunkin’s Donuts on Rt. 72 in Gilberts.  I reasoned that single riders could navigate the “urban crush” from HE to Gilberts easier than a large group.  It turned out that most of the LRW riders enjoyed the change.  Outside seating was plenty for our group, Dunkins’ coffee is really good and fresh donuts to start your engine for the 50 mile ride to lunch in Marengo.  By KSU time we had nine (9) bikes and ten (10) members ready to ride.

The ride to Marengo was as advertised:  “long and not so windy” making for a relaxing ride.  The route featured well paved roads, some hills, some curves and lots of good scenery for visual entertainment.  Plus we avoided all towns staying on mainly county roads.  Bob W. has a GPS that can record the route start to finish and he was laughing about the circuitous route taken to get to a nearby town (17 miles as the crow flies).  Now I know that Bob is entertained by more than round-abouts (the route included a couple, just for Bob).  We arrived at Pointers at 11:20 am, 10 minutes early despite all the doubters who said I couldn’t ride slow enough to take 1.5 hours to travel only 50 miles.  I showed ‘em.

We lunched at Niko’s Pointers Saloon in “downtown” Marengo.  Pointers is a very comfortable place with lots of rough wood and vaulted ceilings and a decent menu.  Our table for 10 was waiting for us upon arrival and we went to the head of the line for seating.  Soon enough drinks were ordered and delivered.  Lunch was ordered and delivered.  And colorful conversations, of course.  I think everyone enjoyed the meal and conversation.  We finally paid our bills, bid ado and departed our separate way at 1 pm.  I rode home a happy member of the LRW riders.

Many thanks to our LRW lunch enthusiasts who participated:  Frank & Candi, Bob and Marge, Steve P, Don K, Bill L, Joe H and Smilin’ Ben L.

HGB  6/18/21

LRW – *CET Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Our second annual LRW –*Cheap Eats Tour was a success. Our 10 bikes departed the Hoffman Estates McD’s at precisely 9:30 am on a 60 mile ride that ended in the parking lot at Flips Beef & Gyros on Route 38 (Roosevelt Rd) in Glenn Ellyn.
Wednesday morning dawned sunny and warm on this 2nd CET ride to Flips. The day turned out to be a flip-flop weather wise! The original forecast was for occasional thunderstorms throughout the day but all we had to contend with was bright sunshine and a little heat. We prefer to see the sun on our rides and we got a lot of it today.
My 60 mile route took us out onto the roads west of Elgin and St. Charles as far as Virgil, IL before we turned East to get to our Glen Ellyn destination where we arrived just in time for lunch at 11:25 AM.
We had 10 members make the ride and 9 stayed for lunch. Rick was working later and does not like to eat before he sleeps, so that left Me, Hugh, Frank, Candi. Bill H., Bill L., Greg, Don and Bob W. enjoy another wonderful CET lunch; i.e. hot dogs & fries. The food was good and, as always, there was lots and lots of sparkling conversation, and a few loud discussions, around the 3 tables that our group occupied. It was all in fun and, as always, it was great to see and dine with our fellow members.
We did some great riding, had a good lunch and had some great fun. Try to join us on next month’s ride.
Submitted by: Steve P
Photos by: Steve P.