Sunday, October 07, 2007

Trying to Hit a Moving Target

I drove down to Matteson Friday afternoon to ride the Old Plank Road Trail (OPRT). As I headed south on Cicero Avenue from the Lincoln Highway, however, I felt disoriented. There was a sign for a Target on the east side of the road along with a JC Penney. Hmm, my starting location in Biking Illinois for Ride 32 on the OPRT is the northeast corner of the Target parking lot. And I'm sure Target is on the west side of the road.

Well, it was on the west side of the road. But sometime since July 2005, a bigger Target sprouted up on the east side of the street. Consequently, the Target parking lot where Ride 32 starts is now a big, empty parking lot in front of a vacant building with features reminiscent of a Target. I expected things to change after I wrote my book, but this caught me by surprise. I will add it to the "Book Updates" page soon. The built environment changes so much that writing a guidebook really is like trying to hit a moving Target.

My ride was excellent. For the first time since 2000, I rode west beyond the segment I used for Ride 32 . Needless to say, much has changed as development has run rampant in northern Will County. The OPRT has more street crossings now, and the streets that existed in 2000 are much busier. I continued to the west end of the trail in Joliet and turned around. On the way back, I had time for a couple of detours. First, I pedaled around the north side of the lake in Frankfort Prairie Park. Later I rode up the bike path/sidewalk along Schoolhouse Road to the Hickory Creek Trail. Although it's only three miles long, this is one of my favorite paths. After 43 miles Sunday on the DPRT and 36 miles Friday on the OPRT, I am getting my biking legs back.

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