The Bikepaths of Madison County

All the hoopla in my little corner of the blogosphere continued through Saturday. I made contact with some of my fellow Fresh Pressers. All the while the hits parade continued. We didn’t want to spend all day in the ether, so we packed up our bikes and drove across the Mississippi to Illinois.

We drove to Collinsville and parked in the Metro-East Parks and Recreation District lot, formerly known as Madison County Trails.  Madison County is crisscrossed with abandoned railroad right-a-ways that have been converted to bicycling paths.  Now adjoining Saint Clair County wants to participate too and has joined forces with Madison County.

Our ride started off slowly.  We clawed our way north towards Edwardsville, in the face of a freshening headwind.  From there we turned southwest and sailed to Horseshoe Lake. 

Horseshoe is an oxbow lake, at one time it was part of the river, but the river’s course changed and Horseshoe was pinched off. Horseshoe Lake was so named because it retained its bend in the river and still has the shape of a horseshoe. Cahokia Mounds lies between Horseshoe Lake and the present day Mississippi.

We tooled around Horseshoe Lake for a while, trying to take pictures of waterfowl, but mostly we were better at flushing them than photographing them. We saw a Great Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Canada goslings and American Coots. I could not tell you whether they were old, young or middle aged Coots, but there were quite a few of them so I suspect that all age groups were amply represented. The American Coot looks like a small duck, but it is most closely related to Whooping and Sandhill Cranes.

After the lake, we returned to the car.  We got thirty miles.  We ate a late lunch at the neighboring Culver’s.  I moderated blog comments while Anne made faces at other people’s children.  We had just spent three hours riding side-by-side, holding a running conversation all the way.  It just seemed like a nice change of pace.  Maybe I’m just acting like an old coot?

3 thoughts on “The Bikepaths of Madison County

  1. Good writing & again, good photos! Your style is lovely – casual and easy comfort, as though you’re a friend or part of the family leading me, as a sort of tour guide on your experiences.

    Bravo! I shall enjoy reading more…

Leave a Reply