Perfect weather greets bicyclists
Bicyclists pedaling their way along Ogle County’s rural roads may have become a common ho-hum occurrence for some local residents and motorists.
But there was at least one spectator who took the Third Annual Tour of Scenic Ogle County several gallops further on Saturday.
Hildago fixed his eyes north from his lush field along Ridge Road and when a bike rider buzzed by his fence he did what any happy horse would do, he galloped right along.
“He was gorgeous,” said one bicyclist when she reached the rest stop at the John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour. “I tried to get a photo, but it was hard to do. It was really neat.”
Tex Bellows, Hildago’s owner, said the gelding was very interested in the bicyclists while the other horses in the field ignored the.
“He ran with the bikers all day and was very tired,” said Bellows.
Perfect fall temps and sunny skies resulted in 320 bicyclists taking part in this year’s TOSOC.
“It was fantastic The weather was just marvelous - not a cloud in the sky,” said Brion Brooks, executive director of the Village of Progress, the organization that hosts the event.
Proceeds from TOSOC benefit the Village of Progress, a private not-for-profit corporation that was founded in Oregon in 1969 to meet the training needs of adults with disabilities who reside in Ogle County.
Bicyclists could choose from three riding routes, a 10-mile, 32-mile, and 62-mile. Riders started and finished their rides from the Village of Progress in Oregon.
Close to 200 riders had passed through the first rest stop at the John Deere Historic Site by 11 a.m.
Tim Johnson, of Rockton, was riding with seven members of Team Fur Bandits when he pulled his 1984 10-speed Raliegh to the fence at the John Deere Historic Site rest stop.
“I found this bike along the road and restored it myself,” said Johnson, smiling. “I wrecked it in Iowa at the RAGBRAI. I just like riding old bikes.”
RAGBRAI, (The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state.
According to its website, Team Fur Bandit “steals the attention away from the negativity in the world and renews the interest in fun, fur and philanthropy. We’re about good deeds, a good time and creating a connected cycling community. We make it our personal responsibility to look out for the well being of our community and those around us.”
It donates dollars raised through biking events to local charities, Johnson said.
The John Deere rest stop enabled B.J. Fenwick, owner of Green River Cyclery, Dixon, to fix Steve Casillas’ bike.
Casillas, a Rock Falls native who now lives in Evergreen Park, welcomed Fenwick’s expertise.
“I was struggling in just one gear, but he just fixed it which is great,” said Casillas referring to Fenwick. “It’s amazing what you can do when you know what you’re doing.”
Fenwick and his company provided maintenance for bikes before and during the race.
“It’s great experience so see how things break and how to fix them again,” said Fenwick. “And it’s a lot of fun too.”
After leaving Grand Detour, 32-mile riders headed off to the next stop at the Nature Conservancy’s Nachusa Grasslands, along Lowden Road.
Many riders pulled off by the Grasslands to get a good look at the bison who were grazing close to the fence.
“Even the bison showed up,” said Brooks.