The Chainlink

I've never been and I read about some concerts there this weekend.  I'd be leaving from the north side.  Any routes would be appreciated, plus tips for good eats along the way.  Thanks.

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Now I really want to bike to the Morton Arboretum from Chicago.

I've thought about going there by bike/Metra, but was a bit hesitant due to the configuration of 53 and driver behavior there. I may attempt it on a weekend morning sometime, because I'd much rather get there without a car. I don't have a problem with paying, because I want to help support all the good things the Arboretum does (maintaining the grounds, having educational and other programs, doing research, etc.).  Their research programs are quite substantial.

Drewbacca said:

I lived in Lisle for a year, and I don't know a good route. Sad, really... 53 is a terrible choice and should be avoided. It has too many areas where four lanes condense down to two lanes and that results in a lot of aggressive drivers trying to cut each other off and get around the slower moving vehicles before the next bottle neck.

No doubt... but I'm unemployed and supporting causes isn't in my budget at the moment. To bad I have to pay in order to enjoy their efforts. They also stand out among many of the organizations that they have agreements with to allow members to visit the other gardens (for example, the botanical gardens and Cantigny) in that only Morton charges cyclists to enter.

In an ideal world, I'd be a member and spend at least one or two weekends a month walking the grounds. Kinda bummed that I couldn't even visit once when I regularly rode by on the bike. I wasn't going to play for a twenty minute long visit.

Anne Alt said:

I've thought about going there by bike/Metra, but was a bit hesitant due to the configuration of 53 and driver behavior there. I may attempt it on a weekend morning sometime, because I'd much rather get there without a car. I don't have a problem with paying, because I want to help support all the good things the Arboretum does (maintaining the grounds, having educational and other programs, doing research, etc.).  Their research programs are quite substantial. 

I live in Lisle. It's pretty easy to ride from the Lisle Metra TO the arboretum. I've done it many times. Straight north on Main St., left on Warrenville Rd. (you either need help from a car to trip the stoplight, or just go when it is clear). Right onto the shoulder of RT.53. Watch for cars off your left shoulder, who might want to cross your path to enter eastbound I-88. Usually they will wait and enter behind you, but not everyone will, so watch for a right hook. Northbound 53 is not scary, because the shoulder is as wide as a car lane. Just watch to your right for cars exiting the tollway. Cars that will go south on 53 will have a stoplight (as will you) cars going north on 53 just merge in. You will need to cross their path, but there is rarely more than a car or two. It is not a popular exit, because cars cannot get back onto I-88 westbound. If they stop in Lisle for gas, for example, they will have to drive to Naperville Road to get back onto I-88 westbound. Now comes the hard part, BACK to Lisle from the Arboretum. All is good when first heading southbound towards Lisle from the Arb's entrance. Rt 53 has a big shoulder there as well. BUT, unlike the continuous northbound shoulder, the southbound shoulder evaporates, and actually becomes the ramp to eastbound I-88. How stupid is that? But at least there are pretty concrete leaves to view on the overpass of I-88. That concrete would have been better used for a bike path and bridge to separate bikes and pedestrians from car traffic, but hey, this is Lisle. So, my solution has been to ride that shoulder until it ends, and then stop and watch for a chance to dart across the two lanes of southbound traffic (there are usually gaps in traffic, because of the stoplight back at the arboretum/Park Blvd.). Then jump into the righthand left turn lane for Warrenville Road. Then back to Main Street south to downtown and the Metra. Main Street is quite tame. Just don't try this on Columbus Day weekend. Because of the Fall color, the cars jam Rt.53, and line up ON the shoulder, waiting to get in. It's hard to get past them on something even as skinny as a bike. The three foot law goes out the window.

Thanks for the local perspective. Much appreciated.

Jon Cunningham said:

I live in Lisle. It's pretty easy to ride from the Lisle Metra TO the arboretum. I've done it many times. Straight north on Main St., left on Warrenville Rd. (you either need help from a car to trip the stoplight, or just go when it is clear). Right onto the shoulder of RT.53. Watch for cars off your left shoulder, who might want to cross your path to enter eastbound I-88. Usually they will wait and enter behind you, but not everyone will, so watch for a right hook. Northbound 53 is not scary, because the shoulder is as wide as a car lane. Just watch to your right for cars exiting the tollway. Cars that will go south on 53 will have a stoplight (as will you) cars going north on 53 just merge in. You will need to cross their path, but there is rarely more than a car or two. It is not a popular exit, because cars cannot get back onto I-88 westbound. If they stop in Lisle for gas, for example, they will have to drive to Naperville Road to get back onto I-88 westbound. Now comes the hard part, BACK to Lisle from the Arboretum. All is good when first heading southbound towards Lisle from the Arb's entrance. Rt 53 has a big shoulder there as well. BUT, unlike the continuous northbound shoulder, the southbound shoulder evaporates, and actually becomes the ramp to eastbound I-88. How stupid is that? But at least there are pretty concrete leaves to view on the overpass of I-88. That concrete would have been better used for a bike path and bridge to separate bikes and pedestrians from car traffic, but hey, this is Lisle. So, my solution has been to ride that shoulder until it ends, and then stop and watch for a chance to dart across the two lanes of southbound traffic (there are usually gaps in traffic, because of the stoplight back at the arboretum/Park Blvd.). Then jump into the righthand left turn lane for Warrenville Road. Then back to Main Street south to downtown and the Metra. Main Street is quite tame. Just don't try this on Columbus Day weekend. Because of the Fall color, the cars jam Rt.53, and line up ON the shoulder, waiting to get in. It's hard to get past them on something even as skinny as a bike. The three foot law goes out the window.

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