Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Midwest Road Ramblings in Indy and Peoria - Part 1

8.22.2012

Midwest Road Ramblings in Indy and Peoria - Part 1

For many a motorcycle racing fan, last weekend was the Indianapolis Moto GP races. Thanks to an long string of events, an old California buddy acquired luxury suite passes for the entire event and as a result, I got to meet her for dinner and another friend of mine received free passes to the races (isn't it fun when things work out like that?).

So after work on Saturday, I jumped on my bike and barreled west on I-70 to meet up with my friend at Dick's Bodacious BBQ located in the main square in the middle of Downtown Indianapolis. Mind you, this is the first time I've ever been down to the city during Moto GP weekend, so the tens of thousands of motorcycles that lined up the plaza and the surrounding areas was amazing. It was a sea of machines with a variety that I had never seen before in a single place. Thanks to the event security (ran by volunteers of Indiana ABATE), I was able to park Eleanor within walking distance of the restaurant.

This was the tip of a very, very huge iceberg of bikes.

I met up with my friend, her dad, and her very published celebrity dog, Chopper at Dick's. Because of all the hustle and the bustle, it took a bit of time to get our food and settle into a table, but I will say that they do make some really good ribs! I was pretty full after three ribs, 1/2 pound of rib tips, a corn muffin, an ear of corn, and a scoop of potato salad. I'd recommend them for a quick stop in Indy, and they were surprisingly quick considering the volume of people they had to serve.

Yikes that's a lot of food.
We hung out and caught up for a couple hours. Chopper got his ears tied in knots in between sips of sweet tea and ribs (he likes that stuff). After that we went over to my bike to take a few more photos with Eleanor and the ocean of motorbikes that took over the middle of thown. And a little bit more about Chopper - he's starred in a couple children's books and has made a number of appearances at schools. (For more about his travels, visit his website at http://choppersmc.com/.)

This pooch loves his motorcycles!
After that, I gassed up and rode the remaining 200 miles through the night to Peoria, IL to hang out at my usual stop with my old high school buddy. I spent a couple days here as part of a miniature vacation so I had some extra time to hang out at some of the local favorites.

Instead of hitting the restaurants (because frankly, we're broke), we took a trip to The Fresh Market - think Whole Foods/Trader Joe's - to pick up fresh food to make dinner at home. I got out of there with a Bourbon-seasoned salmon filet, wasabi peas, and assorted chocolate expresso beans from their bulk foods department. And just to try something new, Abita root beer from Louisiana.

Expresso beans, expresso beans, they're good for your heart. The more you eat the more you CAFFEINATE!!!
I have to say, it was quite tasty. Regional flavors are so much fun to experiment with.
The next day was a lot of riding around Peoria and sightseeing on the bike. It would be nice to have a camera installed on my bike someday, but there's nothing too spectacular to see on a Monday other than road construction, but this was the longest time I've stayed here so it was an opportunity to cruise the town. I did come across a Wing Stop, so I'll keep that in mind for my next need for munchies.

Yahoo! Wings nom nom nom.
So now I'm hanging out with my buddy here. The study rooms are quite nice, and there's a pool table and ping pong table to pass the time when she's in between [reviewing] medications! And there's a supply of chocolate milk, too.


My next stops tomorrow will be two hours north to the suburb will be Downer's Grove, IL for some hockey gear shopping at Total Hockey and to visit one of the few Fry's Electronics within reason to Columbus, OH. Yes, I do consider 6-8 hours of motorcycle riding to a destination "within reason." More to come soon so stay tuned!