Caution – Tractor Crossing

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Nan and Dave Palmer, fellow bicyclists, told us about the Long Prairie Trail in Boone County, and exactly how to get there. Never ones to let grass grow under our feet, nice and early on Monday morning we loaded the bikes on the back of the car and headed out.

The head of the trail was waiting for us exactly where they said it would be, with a nice little parking area for a few cars. We took off on our bikes at a leisurely clip. As you can see from the photographs, the trail is nicely paved, flat, and always visible for at least a mile.

Lovely trees bow gracefully toward each other over a good portion of the trail. At one point we came across a patch of birch trees mixed in with the rest. Surprisingly, there were very few other cyclists.

Pedaling along merrily, I heard a crash. I turned around just in time to see Len in the end part of a body roll.

“Are you okay? What happened?” I asked.

“I got too close to your back tire and I didn’t want to knock you over. I don’t know if I braked too fast, or turned too sharp, or what — it happened so fast.”

Good thing we wear helmets, riding gloves with padded palms, and carry a well-stocked first-aid kit. I could sew up a deep gash if I needed to. We’ve never had to use the kit for ourselves before. On occasion we’ve used it for other people we’ve come across who’ve taken a nasty spill. Gratefully, no stitches were needed.

That part of our ride was 15 miles—a little longer than the actual trail because we did a little off-trail snooping. After we got home, and just before dinner that evening, we took another ride much closer to home. We rode up to the train station in McHenry and back—it was a lovely 10 mile ride.

If you were to hop on your bike and ride somewhere today, where would it be?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

27 thoughts on “Caution – Tractor Crossing

    • It is indeed beautiful countryside, isn’t it, Sandi? I don’t think Len’s knee will scar – at least not the shallow one on the outside left. The deeper one close to the knee cap might, but we got to it so fast with saline solution and neosporin that I don’t think it won’t scar either. Thank you for stopping by this morning.

  1. Sounds heavenly!

    I am unable to open the slides yet, can’wait!

    If I were to get on my bike today I would ride the trail from Lake in the Hills to Holessence and give Laurie a big high five! In the meantime I am still working on walking in my neighborhood.

    I rode everywhere when I was little..never stayed home much.


    • Kim – When I was little we had a “radius” we had to stay within on our bicycles. Granted, it was a pretty wide berth, but my parent’s wanted to know that we were within that geographic location. And we almost always were (we snuck out periodically).

      I’m glad you were able to open the photos. The birch trees were a totally unexpected, pleasant surprise.

      Yep – I filed an “incident report.” The minute I heard the crash I was “on the line” with Spirit in a nano-second. It all turned out well. I knew Len was gonna be okay when he swore like a drunk sailor as I poured the saline solution over the wounds. A blue streak hovered over the little town of Capron, Illinois until he finished his tirade. I learned some impressive new word combinations!

  2. Laurie,

    Looks as if it was a lovely bike trail and that you and Len had a great day discovering new sites, new vistas, even if some of them where the ground! Ha ha.
    Good of you to go so prepared every the scout I see.

    I am not sure where I would go on my bike, I am not too aware of bike trails and the suburban roads are too crazy for riding bikes even though people do all the time.


  3. Len just cured me of riding my bike ever again!! I’ll just ride my exercise bike in the family room!! Sorry Len for your Boo Boo! Love, Mona

    • Mona – Please don’t let Len’s bit of road rash keep you from riding your bike. That type of event is rare. And while the exercise bike in your family room is certainly healthy for your body, I’d save it for the winter months when it’s too cold to be outside. This is the time of year to be outside on your regular bicycle getting up-close-and-personal with the great outdoors!

  4. Hi Laurie, so beautiful! Like Kim, I love the birch trees. So glad Len came away from the tumble in one peice….more or less. It sounds as if you had a great day. Our bikes are in storage up in Vancouver but maybe it’s time to bring them down and start exploring. Where would we go? Probably one of the ridge trails along the coast … summer fog or not. Beautiful views in either case. Hmmm… now you have us thinking! Thank you.

  5. Hi Laurie … such wonderful photos in your biking slide show – thanks for sharing! Right now I’m working on getting fit enough to do 10 minutes (nevermind MILES) on the treadmill consistently, so that I can increase that to 20, and then 30 … ultimately, I’d love to be able to get out and explore the world on foot or two wheels again. Back in the day, I used to thoroughly enjoy heading off in just about any direction, with a happy and enthusiastic dog attached to a very long leash, leading the way. Slowly but surely, I’m working on getting back out there to explore.

    • Nancy – You’re doing precisely the right thing — slow and steady. By doing it that way — manageable, bite-sized chunks — you’ll stick with it. And before you know it, you’ll be right where you want to be.

  6. I think everyone has a scar on their knee from a spill. Gosh you coulda visited my father. He lives in the brick building by the train station. And you coulda eaten salsa and chips and had margaritas at the Mexican restaurant! That woulda made the boo boo feel better but I guess could cause another crash.

    • Beth – I’ll have to see if I can spot the brick building you’re talking about. Is it on the water tower side of the station (west), or? If it’s on the water tower side, the bicycle path practically touches the red brick, two-story apartments. At roughly 17 miles per hour (which doesn’t sound fast, but on a bicycle it’s a brisk clip), I don’t think I’d want to be under the influence of margaritas — the potential for more rash would definitely come into play!

  7. Okay, now you’ve made up my mind to get my two mountain bikes out of storage and bring them over here to Jonathan’s house. At least if they are here, I can take them into a shop for a tune-up and then start hoisting them in the back of my Honda CRV to tote over to one of the hundreds of trail heads around me. I love biking and it is such good cardiovascular exercise.

    • You go, girl! Barbara, you don’t know how delighte I am to hear that. Here is a LINK to a list of designated bike trails in the Washington DC/Baltimore area. I’m so excited — please keep me posted!

      • EVERYONE – For those of you who live in my neck of the woods (the greater Chicagoland area), here is a LINK to some wonderful bike trails, with loads of details, including maps.

        Mona, please notice there’s one over in your geographic section (scroll down and you’ll see it).

  8. Laurie,
    The bike trails are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your jouney’s with us.
    I love how adventurous the both of you are and how prepared! to have first aid kit with you.
    I hope Len doesnt have a bad scar, but what a story he has to go with the scar if he does.

    • Jean – I’m so glad you stopped by today. Let’s see now … you’re in Northeastern Nevada. Here is a LINK to bike trails in your neck of the woods (remember, you can WALK the beautiful trails, too). On the right-hand side of the page, you’ll find individual links to specific trails by city/town. Enjoy!

      • GREAT NEWS! Len just received a call from the Geek Squad in Texas (the lab where my dead hard drive went). They were able to retrieve 95% of my files including 1,100 photographs!

        They are shipping the data on a new, super-wammy-dine external hard drive it to our local Best Buy store. They, in turn, will call us when it arrives and let us look at it to verify that it’s there, indeed. Once we pay them, they’ll hand it over. The price they quoted on the phone falls within what Len and I agreed we were willing to pay. The doubly-good news is that they were able to save the directory structure. In other words, the files are where I expect them to be, and are named what I named them. I won’t have to play hide-and-seek with my data. It will be in a form I’m familiar with.

        If you could SEE me, you’d see me doing the wigglie-jigglie, yippee-skippy dance of gratefulness and joy!

  9. Oh wow Laurie,
    Yippy, what great news.
    Just think of all the time you just got back now that you don’t have to reconstruct everything.
    I’m doing the giggle wiggle with you.

    • Jean – Having the data back is a real time-saver, to be sure! And getting 1,100 photos back is like being handed a miracle — whoohoo! Thank you for swinging by, I appreciate it.

  10. Sorry to hear about Len’s accident, Laurie. Thank goodness it wasn’t more serious. What a kind husband to avoid hitting his wife…to take the fall himself. I believe he is a “keeper”.

  11. Laurie, I don’t dare risk a ride on a bike and the possibility of damaging all the titanium now resident in my back. However, growing up, my bike and I went everywhere within the radius set by our folks. I loved my bike, and I miss the freedom I felt it gave me. Loved the images! Sorry Len had to go body-rolling!

    • Sherrey — I, too, remember the parental radius (and testing its strength on a regular basis). And I absolutely agree about not taking the chance of displacing any titanium! 🙂

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