cycling back into time – rootbeer

If you start in Naperville Illinois at the crack of dawn and head toward the Fox River bike path, you’ll catch the mist rising above the ponds. Then Northward bound along the mighty Fox river the daffodils burst into sight and the frog princes croak their song of undying love to all the frog maidens as you silently pedal by.

Up near the Wisconsin border in Richmond after sixty miles or so along the path you’ll find a small fast-food joint still attended to by pretty teens who’ll take your order and bring you a hot-dog or a rootbeer and a smile. It was a long day riding, about 73 miles total and I hadn’t seen a Dog N Suds since the 1970’s. We pulled our weary seats in and enjoyed a root-beer as celebration of a day well done.


It was 1973 she was sixteen, I was seventeen and her first real job was car-hop and the local Dog N Suds. That year root-beer was the taste and flavor of youthful romance. She brought the root-beer out in a frosted mug ( just like the old days ) and it was lightly carbonated, slightly sweet with just a hint of licorice, just as good as I remembered. I told the story to our server, did we look so young at sixteen too, and she smiled and told me there were only a handful of franchises left in the whole country, a place of distant memories and tastes.

a sip of tastes from the past

a sip of tastes from the past

20 Comments on “cycling back into time – rootbeer”

  1. Kristi says:

    Wow Bill, I wondered if I read the mileage correctly but of course I did. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘It’s you. You’re a man with young spirit and that means anything is possible. That beer looks so good and you look so happy. πŸ‘

  2. Probably too far to cycle, but if you ever find yourself in Indianapolis be sure to stop at Edwards Drive-In, about 2100-something South Sherman Street. Just north of Raymond Street…. It’s just like the place you wrote about – at least as much that I remember from the old A&W stands back in the 60s… Ice -Cold frosted mugs of some sweet nectar! I’ll bet Edward’s Tenderloin Sandwiches are better than the old A&W’s, though they weren’t shabby either as I recall!

  3. Shannon says:

    You are still cranking out the miles like you are 17!! πŸ™‚

  4. Wow. Nice. You got a lot of information that story.

    I can’t imagine bicycling in 73 miles in a day. That is great. My knees would be killing me for the next week. I barely make a half an hour bicycle ride.

    Your description of the daffodils and the frog princes was very nice.

    I did take umbrage with your description of “pretty teens who take your orders…”–That’s assuming that you think both male and female teens are pretty, which I don’t believe you meant. I would have preferred to have read pretty teenage girls. And chuckled about you being a lecherous sixty-year-old man ( or maybe one who just appreciates the beauty of young women in the same light that he appreciates the daffodils).

    And I have to read into this that this is where you and Janet first met. which is another tale in and of itself, I assume. Very nice.

    And it’s heartening to read your root beer tales once again.


    • billgncs says:

      I have to plead “old school” for I never knew of male car-hops, but in today’s world it’s certainly possible.

      Actually, that wasn’t Janet, but the first teen love – which is a bit of a mobius strip memory – plays from time to time with no beginning and end πŸ™‚

      Janet and I met in another story – which was unique as well. But that’s another story.

  5. elainecanham says:

    Gosh. I973. I was washing dishes at a boys’ private school, and listening to Led Zeppelin coming down the stairs from their studies…

  6. reocochran says:

    I liked this story so much! I also used to like something that was called, “Birch beer” which was a milder kind of vanilla root beer flavor. I think I have been to only one Dogs n’ Suds, but I have been to a few ‘car hops’ restaurants. I enjoy the roller skating but always fear the tray will go down. Ha ha! This is a ‘cheers’ to you and yours!

  7. RoSy says:

    I haven’t been there in years. Reading this makes me want to stop by soon. I think the one in Grayslake would be the closest for me.

  8. ahh a bike trip and a trip down memory lane – love it Bill! Hey by the way, you’re looking good! How’s your health? ❀
    Diana xo

  9. Resa says:

    Fantastic, Bill! Cheers to you! πŸ™‚

  10. Clanmother says:

    My grandmother used to make root beer! Still my favourite drink! And yes – you still look 17!!!πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  11. globalunison says:

    Whatever I read on here always makes me smile. You go, Paa!! ❀


  12. Hello with huge smiles and hugs!!! And hi to Janet.

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