It has been at least a year since we rode the Illinois Prairie Path from Wheaton to Elmhurst and back. Not much has changed. There are brand new stop signs at virtually every intersection. And the cars that cross the path are far more patient and permissive than I remember in the past. The trail is still very dusty and a demon on your drivetrain if you ride it with any frequency.
We cut through Pioneer Park before reaching the coffee shop. As we were entering the park a mother and her son were down on the gravel walkway that leads from the IPP into the park. He had fallen and bruised his knee. His mother was at the water fountain trying to dampen some paper towel to wipe down the wound.
Connie stopped and offered her a Wet Wipe embedded with anti-bacterial fluid. I still to this day wonder why so very many people venture out onto paths to ride with nothing to aid them in the event of an emergency. No spare inner tube, no pump, no first aid kit, no tools, but plenty of contempt for folks who are on Welfare and sponging off the rest of us. So why then do they behave in a similar manner in regards to something as simple as a bike ride? Go figure.
At the coffee shop we sat and enjoyed iced decaf coffees and scones while sitting on the shady side of the building. Afterwards we donned our helmets and gloves and retraced our steps along the still dusty surface of the IPP. But it had plenty of shade and a relaxing atmosphere to make up for the dustiness.
Distance: 16.9 miles
Time: 2h 08m 37s