Friday 8th June 2001, Willowbrook IL

We parked up at the Fairfield Inn, Willowbrook, on the outskirts of Chicago, in sunshine, shortly after lunch. A few other bikes had arrived, and we both soon realised that ‘sports’ bikes (anything that isn’t a Harley or heavy-duty cruiser) were definitely going to be in the minority on the Rally.

Brigid, in particular, began to feel self-conscious about her meagre 650cc single-cylinder engine. But, as usual, both bikes aroused curiosity, and the other participants (worryingly equipped with top-of-the-range Harleys and Hondas) were all friendly and encouraging.

We used the afternoon to equip ourselves with 2-way radios, and post home various unwanted items. Then we met up with the others for a chicken dinner in Del Rhea’s famous Chicken Basket restaurant across the road from the motel.