I decided to kick off my summer Central Illinois tour with a bang (and by bang I mean a bruised rear, skinned up knee and closed ice cream shack) by taking a leisurely bike ride down the Rock Island Trail (RIT) starting in Alta with a mid-trailblazing break at Jane’s Icebox in Dunlap (approximately 8.8 miles total).
To give you some brief background info on the RIT, it’s about a 26 mile trail that stretches between Alta and Toulon, Illinois. It’s pretty much a dirt/gravel path that was at one time a railway (circa 1870-ish to 1950-ish) and now converted into bike/running/skiing trails.
This gives you a pretty good idea–we barely scratched the trails surface! But anyway, I had 2 friends join me and we packed up our bikes and headed to the trail. I knew my purchase of an SUV would come in handy at some point.
We even ran into a real live trailblazing girl who graciously snapped a pre-biking photo for us!
Don’t we look awesome?? I have to admit that I was more interested in going to Jane’s Icebox than I was the biking part..but it was my motivation!
OMG! I made it to mile 4 and I’m SO CLOSE to Jane’s I can hardly stand it!
…oh wait. Jane’s is CLOSED on Wednesday’s at 4pm. (So much for my “preplanning”) OK–think fast, where else can I get a sweet treat because I’m DYING here!? (this is what I was thinking in my head) I guess we’ll follow these random signs that say “JOE” on them to see where they take us. (See that little white J with the red dot and the arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the picture?) I mean, really, this “JOE” person could be some weird sick freak and TP the Town could be over faster than you can say “Dunlap Chainsaw Massacre.” I let my strange mind get the best of me because “JOE” turned out to be a darling coffee shop, Not Your Average Joe.
See? There’s nothing to be scared of. Emily and I ordered strawberry banana smoothies and Megan got an Italian soda to help us cool off. The adorable guy at the counter helped us pick out our sweet treats and told us that each drink was made with love (swoon!). We sat outside to enjoy the gorgeous evening and our beverages.
Then it was time for us to head back.
But of course I had to show off my awesome skills–I can ride my bike with no handlebars!
Our “adventure” on the Rock Island Trail wouldn’t be complete without a scraped knee and bruised kidney. Megan took one for the team when she lost balance biking across the bridge.. But she manned up and biked the nearly 4 miles back to our car. What a champ! I’m certainly feeling it today–I’m not sure if it’s from being extremely out of shape or my shotty rock hard bike seat–either way, it’s not easy to sit down.
This was a great experience for my first real adventure post. I learned that I need to be flexible and probably do some more research!! Head to the Links page for additional info on the Rock Island Trail and Not Your Average Joe’s coffee shop. I’m trying to decide if I should give you a break down of time and costs–if you have a strong opinion either way, leave a comment!
Check back tomorrow to see what I did this afternoon! See you later, Central Illinois!