Sunday 19 June 2015. A Homer Lake Birthday Ride!

This morning’s ride got underway at about 6:35, under cloudy skies and at a temperature of 70-some degrees.  The phone weather ap said it wouldn’t rain until 10 or so, but already there were raindrops beginning to fall.   

This was to be my official 60th birthday (the actual date still to come) ride, for which my dear childhood friends Ann and Eileen had come from Chicago late last night, and my neighbor Bill from down the street, to join me!  Originally the plan was to go to Allerton Park, which would have been an age-appropriate 60-mile ride, but as a group of mostly unseasoned riders we decided not to push our luck and opted for a more modest round trip of about 28 miles to Homer Lake. 

Before setting off Ann, Eileen, and I got a “before ” group  selfie.  

And, heading east on Washington, off we went!

Saw about a dozen vultures circling above the little woods on Washington near the Brookens soccer fields. Have seen a number of them before in that area but didn’t remember seeing them make such tight circles above the place. 

We weren’t sure that it wasn’t going to storm at any point along the way, but we boldly went on. 

Rode and rode east on Washington and on to Homer Lake Road.  We talked but did not really stop for pictures the way I would have done if I were by myself. It was a different kind of ride.  did share with my friends the line I adapted from a 70’s song by Stealer’s Wheel, “Corn to the left of me, soybeans to the right, here I am, stuck in central Illinois.”

Must say the miles melted by!  Seemed like we were going downhill the whole way. 

We stopped at the “Lincoln was here” (former site of Kelly’ Tavern) marker at the Salt Fork crossing for another photo. 


And pretty soon we were turning into the Homer Lake Nature Preserve entrance and on to the bridge (causeway?) above the dam across the Salt Fork of the  
Vermilion river that created Homer Lake.   

We stayed long enough to find the rest rooms and look around just a bit. 

A soft rain fell.  Except for a couple of times when the wind kicked up briefly, the way back was every bit as pleasant as the way there. Because of the warm rain the temperature was perfect, and overall the wind was reasonable. Expected that the return trip would feel uphill but it didn’t seem so. 

After the ride we had a perfect breakfast and caught up on our respective lives. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin to greet my sixth decade in this world!  Thank you, Eileen, Ann, and Bill!


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