The Grape Creek Hills


Saturday morning several friends and I headed over to Kickapoo for a bike ride. We didn’t ride the mountain bike trails there, instead we did a long road ride up and down the Vermillion River bluffs. These aren’t mountains, but the hills are order of magnitude larger than any we have in Champaign county.

We started in Kickapoo and headed south, through the county fair grounds, out to Shangri-la, down to Catlin, over to Belgium, down to Grape Creek road. Once there we twisted and turned and rode up every hill we could find.

Kickapoo - Grape Creek ride

Eventually we wound our way through Westville and Catlin back to Kickapoo. It was cold, though much of the ride was perfectly tolerable where we were surrounded by trees and hills. The miles between Catlin & Westville were out in the open and the wind was brutal. It was a good ride. Afterwards I visited my parents in Danville for lunch before heading home.


Sunday morning I took part in Second Wind’s 20 mile marathon training run at Lake of the Woods. Rather than running the trails as I usually do, we stuck to the paved 3.3 mile bike path. The wind was even worse on Sunday, gusting up to 30 mph. I had to throw on some additional clothes at the last minute because the wind made it feel even colder than I expected.

I ran with two or three other guys the whole way and we ran fast, averaging 7:20 per mile. On one hand, I don’t typically run my long runs this fast so it was pretty challenging for me. On the other hand, I hope to run the marathon even faster than this so I felt the need to prove to myself I could do it.

Sore Rob

I was pretty sore after the run. I ended up sleeping or lounging around the rest of the day. I was able to perform some household chores, albeit very slowly.

2 thoughts on “The Grape Creek Hills”

  1. Shangri-La is a town? I think that was the name of the apartment complex where Niles lived after he and Maris split up (from the show Frasier).

    Prove yourself on shorter runs, long runs should be slow, otherwise it is too difficult to recover! From here on out, just don’t get injured and you will have no problem running the marathon at the pace you want.

    What with my hyperemesis gravidarum and your training schedule, we need a freaking housekeeper.

  2. As if Vermilion county weren’t scary enough as is, you had to visit one of the scariest parts (east of Westville).

    When Kimberly taught there, they took the teachers on a tour of those rural areas and said, “Don’t ever drive here.” They didn’t say anything about cycling though.

    I also highly recommend the Indianola area for a scary cycling experience.

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