So last year I rode the Illinois River Byway down by Peoria. I had an OK time with it, but I sort of expected more river. After reflecting upon it for a while I actually realized that I enjoyed the ride quite a bit, despite getting lost. I wanted to do this ride again this fall with a group of people, so I headed out today to scope the ride out and plan my approached.
I decided to to take the route down in the opposite direction this time, on the west side of the river. This proved to be a much more enjoyable ride overall. I was able to take highway 29 down to Peoria quickly and then I ended up with a beautiful drive into the marshlands and wildlife refuge just outside of Havanna. Riding north back on the east side of the river also made for some easier transitions to some side roads and highway 26 on the way back up is a nice long stretch of almost uninterrupted highway, which makes for a nice ride at the end of the day.
Overall it was very productive. I ran into a couple of construction detours that threw me for a loop on one-way streets in Peoria, but I think I have a plan worked out on how to bypass those.