The Des Plaines River Trail

“I have a long-standing tradition of trying to ride the Des Plaines River Trail (in North suburban Chicago) several times each season. I have always loved this place. It is a limestone trail that is never more than about 40 yards from civilization, but makes you feel like you are lost in the wilderness. The segment of the trail that I ride creates a perfect metric century (just over 32 miles each way).

An important highlight of the trip always comes near the Northern-most part of the course, which is a stop at Captain Porky’s — an amazing little dive joint that is owned and operated by a Greek family who specializes in seafood and barbecue. The place is so good that it was  once featured on the show  Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. So, I have dubbed my trips up the Des Plaines River Trail as the Captain Porky’s Run.

After a hard 200km road ride on Saturday, I decided to wind down with a Captain Porky’s Run on Sunday, April 22.

This particular run was special for a few reasons. First, it gave me a chance to introduce a couple of friends to the joys of the Captain Porky’s Run. They had never experienced the trail nor the restaurant, so I was able to introduce them to both.

Secondly, with it being Spring, the river was running a bit high, which meant that several of the road underpasses were flooded. The usual way to handle this is to take a side trail up to the road, then cross over to continue back on the trail. But a couple of the guys in our crew decided to brave the flood waters. And, while I admired their daring, I was also amused when they found the water to be a bit higher than expected. I had never seen a bicycle going in reverse before, or seen someone trying to crawl off a bicycle without touching the graound. That moment made the entire trip worthwhile.

All in all, it was a great day. I managed to squeeze in a few extra off-road recovery miles. I was able to share this the magic of this trail and restaurant with some good friends.   And I managed to enjoy a little urban adventure and laughter, all wrapped into one package.”

Mike N.


Cup O'Dirt Admin

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