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Monday, July 11, 2011


Yesterday I went for a little reconnoiter of the West end of the Pecatonica Prairie Path. On the way I spotted a few would be cyclists traveling about.
I think the bike was a Bianchi racing bike.

The following pictures are from various locations along the trail from Freeport,IL to Pecatonica,IL.
Looking South at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking East at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking West at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking North at the very West end of the PPP.

Looking South at the very West end of the PPP.

Only a quarter mile East on the PPP.

Looking back West from the clearing in the below picture.

First clearing encountered on the PPP.

A slight bit more rough.

Wtf? This is a bike trail?
Here I was eventually forced to abandon the trail for the adjacent IL Rte 75. Glad I did too. The trail goes up an incline to part of a bridge and then drops off into a swamp very near where it should cross over Rte 20. Apparently when Rte 20 was increased from two lanes to four lanes, they removed the bridge while doing so and was never replaced. So I was able to go over the adjacent roads bridge and on the other side I encountered an access road for utility vehicles that led to what is supposed to be the PPP. Unimpressed with the trail at this point, I decided to drive on down the road a bit and crisscross over the path at various locations between here and Pecatonica. I found more of the same including this location:

crazyguyonabike blog

So I went a bit East of Pecatonica to where Hoisington Rd. intersected the path and got the bike out for another little jaunt.

Looking West from Hoisington Rd. on the PPP

Back near the first pole is a new bridge.
All the bridges and/or new patches of 'developed trail' that I met with had gravel that was so loosely packed that the bike would skid left or right so much, threatening to throw me from the bike. This kind of thing will sap a riders strength fairly fast. This combined with the 90 degree plus temperatures helped make up my mind about this trail.

Trail under development according to that sign.

Looking East from Hoisington Rd.
I took a ride down this way to verify the paved trail I saw on the way by on Rte 20. The pavement only lasted as long as the other side of Rte 20 after Sherman tunnel. Shortly thereafter the trail became all grass and encroaching bushes and shrubs.
Trail under development

After yesterdays recon work, I have decided that this trail will have to be a separate trip altogether. Also this will have to happen with my mountain bike instead of the hybrid due to the rough trail. This will also take place in the fall months when it is a bit cooler. This is because a machete might be necessary, as well as long pants for protection from the flora. I will have to stick to the alternate cue sheet directions from the Recycle blog while finishing my GIT tour.
Pictures starting from the East end of PPP

On the way home from the PPP I saw the remnants of this nasty accident outside the Chrysler plant.

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