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Flashback Friday

This was first posted in June of 2010.  

Summer's First Good Ride - Part 1

Group ready to ride after breakfast in Galesburg. I'm not sure my impression of the place was the same as my companions, but suffice to say the food was OK, the price was good, but the ambiance was more akin to a Red Cross disaster relief cafeteria.

This is Gillies tavern in Kickapoo and hasn't seen a scrubbing since Moses carved his initial in the bar. Our bar wench was a sight to behold and I would have taken a picture of her but I was simply too stunned. A lady whose middle age years seem to have come and gone with a dirty blouse that exposed her midriff. The place was filthy and since it was my idea to go there I had to put up with a lot of guff the rest of the day.

Fellow bikers putting on a good front in Gillies.

Tim attempting to mask the smells.

Two Gilles patrons stunned into perpetual silence. Oh, and I didn't put a sepia tone on this picture, everything was this color. Years and decades of cigarette smoke caked everything, including Lolita our barmaid.

The sun came up and with it a summer ride. I love the morning of a ride: what will we see, do, encounter? Today (Saturday May 22) we organized a ride that was going to take us to Galesburg for breakfast at a place I don't even know the name of. After that we went for a soda/beer at a place in Kickapoo called Gilles. We had also planned on a trip to Creve Coeur to see Tim's parents and lunch at Davis Pizza. This was the itinerary. It's what happens at these places and in between that makes for a good or not so good ride. This was a very good ride.

After breakfast we rode down Rte. 150 to Kickapoo. I'm usually the lead bike; I'm not sure if this is an honorary position or if it's just something no one else wants to do. It's not so bad if I know where I'm going, otherwise its torture. Well, I missed the turnoff to 150 East like I always do and I had wanted so to do it right this time. I had suggested an old bar in Kickapoo I had been years ago as a place to stop and rest. Gilles was something else. As explained above, the place has been virtually placed in a time machine. It is what actually comes up if you type "dive bar" on Wikipedia. We were the only ones there while another large biking group went down to the next block to a nice place we have been to before.
After our eyes had had enough of the barmaid and our glasses were empty we couldn't beat cheeks fast enough to leave. This made the breakfast restaurant seem like the Ritz. But, you know, that's what makes for good rides and creates lasting memories.

Our next destination was Creve Coeur, Tim's hometown, and he led the way; if I can't find Kickapoo I sure as Hell can't be trusted to find Peoria. We got separated a couple times at stop lights, but quickly regrouped and parked in Tim's boyhood home driveway. Mom & Dad (Gary and Patti Stage) greeted us and a very pleasant half hour ensued. Tales of growing up, Mom and Dad swapping stories about each other, and a back yard forest gave us a bit of an insight into why Tim is Tim. Lucky man, nice family.
By the way, Creve Coeur means "Broken Heart". We may be bikers but we like to learn.


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