The Five Fillies Ride

G+: The Five Fillies Ride

My friend Julia Stace is an avid cyclist; she and her husband Roger are friends from local rides through some bike groups that my husband David and I ride with.

Julia organizes a Ladies' Ride on the first Friday of the month, at a forest preserve called Herrick Lake/Danada. It's scheduled after work for most people and May is about as early as we can schedule it for daylight hours and average temperature. Last night was the first one of the season, and what a fun ride it was!

5 women showed up; Julia's husband Roger comes along to act as "sweep" and bring up the rear. They both ride fat bikes with gigantic tires; most of the rest of us ride hybrids, mountain bikes, or road bikes with treaded tires. It was cool, breezy, but lovely and clear. The trail conditions were good – Herrick Lakes has a well-maintained 10 foot wide shared-use trail thats got a crushed stone base. We usually ride both sides of the preserve but after 8 1/2 miles of riding, the loop on the other half would have added an extra 20-30 minutes of riding, and the sun was low. So we opted to end back at the starting point rather than continuing to the Danada side via the underpass. The Equestrian Centre is on that side, we'll visit it next month. Last night it was Julia, Andreia, BL, Lisa, and me (plus Roger).

Herrick Lakes/Danada is on the site of an old estate that was famous for raising racehorses. On the Herrick side, there's an old oval track for training, and a set of starting gates. So we had fun posing for pictures before we set off.

After the ride, we couldn't get into our usual spot Cozymel's because it was Cinco de Mayo, so we ended up at Houlihan's restaurant, laughing and talking for a good couple of hours. We didn't get out of there until almost 10pm, we were having such a good time.

I can't explain why it was so funny, but at one point after a particularly raucous comment by BL, Roger commented that "this is why I probably shouldn't come along on women's rides." He's a big, strong ex-Marine, and we howled at his pretense at embarrassment. Despite that, a good time was had by all.

It's not just for fun, I'm in training for Tour De Cure Chicagoland again, planning to ride 65 miles while raising funds to help fight diabetes. If you'd like to support my TdC ride, please visit, which re-directs to my official American Diabetes Association/Tour de Cure fundraising page.

If you'd like to join me on Team Red Chicago, the ride is June 11 2017 from Riverside Park in Aurora IL. Visit to sign up!

Five Fillies – Red Gibbs’s 9.0 mi bike ride
Julia’s first Ladies Ride of of season, with Lisa, BL, Andreia, Julia (and Roger riding sweep). We meet at Herrick Lake/Danada and ride a nice evening route around the forest preserve.

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