A Family Bike Ride Along the Fox River

This past weekend some friends of ours invited us to bring our bikes out to their place near Aurora Illinois. They live near the Fox River and wanted to take us on a bike ride along the river trail and check out the local Wine on the Fox festival. Biking, prairie paths, good friends, and wine? How could we say no? We were considering taking the train out their way, but the logistics didn’t quite work out, so we loaded up our bikes on the bike carrier– including Oma! — and drove west. After some lunch we headed down to the Fox River Trail near their house and were on our way.

fox_river_trail_winds_through_the_woods

The first part of the trail wove it’s way between the trees in the woods along the river.

Right away we had to cross over the Fox River on this impressive bike bridge. It was a challenge for Little Ding to ride up and across it but he persevered.

Bridge over the fox river

Pedestrian and bike bridge over the Fox River

After we turned off the bridge, we rode through the park, and spotted a few families of geese.

The trail wasn’t very crowded even with the festival going on, so we were able to ride at our own pace and circle back around the younger riders when needed.

We rode about 1.5 miles to the park in downtown Oswego where they were hosting the wine fest. I have to say it’s a pretty nice festival.  The park is nicely situated along the river, with a really great playground in the center. They placed the wine tents around the playground on two sides so the kids could play and we could sip wine.  It worked out well. They also had a few bands that played, sold some food, and had a water give-away tent for designated drivers.

Wine on the Fox at Hudson Crossing Park

Wine on the Fox at Hudson Crossing Park

We actually rested Little Ding’s bike cross-wise over our bikes and locked all three bikes together with my ABUS chain lock. It’s a heavy beast of a lock, but it sure comes in handy sometimes.

solar-powered street lights

By the way, all the lights in the parking lot were these cool solar/wind-powered lights.

Eventually we had to turn around and head back, while the kids still had enough energy left to ride.  There were a couple of inclines that we tackled that were big ‘hills’ for Little Ding so he got in some good practice going up and going down hills.  It’s not as easy for him to stand up on the pedals as with other kids so we’re thinking his next bike will probably need to have some gears.

Heading back down the trail

Heading back down the trail

At the end of the ride we had to cross back over that bridge, and it actually has quite an incline.  Little Ding made a valiant effort, but he was pretty worn out riding hard and playing hard while lugging around those leg braces, so he asked for a few “Turbo Pushes” to help him get over the bridge. I happily obliged. And yes, that is a girl in a prom dress you see in the background. Apparently it was Oswego’s prom that night, as we rode by a few picture-taking sessions as well as an enormous Hummer limo on the brief section of the trail that overlaps a residential street.

Turbo pushes for LD

Turbo pushes for LD  (and a girl in a prom dress in the background)

All in all, it was a banner weekend! The rain stayed away and we had a great time with some great friends.  If you ever have a chance to check out any part of the Illinois Prairie path system, I highly recommend it. Mr. Ding and I have ridden the section from Oak Park to Lombard and it was equally as lovely. And you now have proof that at least on the Fox River Trail, you can ride it on a Dutch bike!

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