The Chainlink

Thinking about what to do for our next vacation. We try to fit some bike time in when we go on vacation. Some trips are completely bike focused. Here are a few of our recent bike vacations...

Mountain Biking in Sedona

Hilly training rides in Santa Barbara County Wine Country

Mountain Biking in North Carolina

So I'm hoping for some help - some ideas for vacation. Ideally in the U.S. and involving bikes. If you have pics, please post them. :-) Thanks!

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Mississippi River somewhere?  

I live in Chicago and have vacationed in Chicago for the past 4 years. Chicagoland is blessed with the lakefront and north branch trail, and the suburbs are loaded with suburban forest preserve trails or the I&M Canal trail. You can start from home each day or grab a room somewhere close by. I often tell people that I live in a resort town. People fly in from all over the world to enjoy what we have here, so it is not unseemly to give our town a bikation.

Ah, the staycation.

I biked the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) from Pittsburgh to Maryland last fall. Beautiful ride in the forest along a river and on a smooth trail.  It was the most beautiful ride I've taken.  Although I ended in Maryland you can extend it to DC, too.  Highly recommended.  

I've really wanted to do that ride and visit Fallingwater while I'm there. Thanks for the reminder.

The Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee (aka D2R2) in Massachusetts this summer? While you're up there, there are also the Kingdom bike trails in Vermont.

Phil Fifer was awesome

He'll do mtb/road/gravel and when we got too beat up he drove us around for wine / beer tours.

He also picked us up from the airport and dropped us off.

We rode Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa area, and Mendocino, so that spans a pretty good area.

Some of us rented some of us brought bikes. He does women only rides as well as pretty much whatever you want. Knew the area very well.

That actually sounds kinda nice. When you stay at a B&B do they let you bring your bike into the room?

It depends on the B&B.  We've been to 2 in Lanesboro.  One let bikes in the room, the other let you lock them in a garage. 

We ride MTB, Cx, and road bikes so I am open to off/gravel/on road adventures. Please keep these great ideas coming. I love these ideas. So many of them weren't on my radar... until now. :-)

1) All or part of the Grand Illinois Trail

About 1/2 on roads 1/2 on Trails, some crushed stone

2) Various Lake Michigan Shore routes;

   a. Bike Chicago to Muskegon, MI, ferry to Milwaukee,WI,  bike and/or train to Chicago from Milw or Kenosha  (350 mi)

b. Bike Chicago to Ludington, MI, ferry to To Manitowoc, WI,  bike to Milw, bike and/or train to Chicago from Milw or Kenosha  (450 mi)

Those would use some combo of


And your own self supported version of the League of Michigan Bicyclists Lake Michigan Shoreline and Shoreline West routes


3. Maybe drive to Traverse City and hub’n’spoke on the Leleanu Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula, or  make a multi day trip (120 mi each way) from Traverse City up to Mackinaw and back.

Similar would be to drive to Harbor Springs, MI and bike to Mackinaw and back ...about 55 mi each way.  Maybe ferry over to Mackinaw Island and hang out for a day.


4. Ride a combo of roads and trails between Milw, Madison,  Dodgeville, New Glaurus.  You can set up a hub’n’spoke from any number of towns along the bike trails in the area. Driftless area roads south and west from Madison are very hilly.  Rail Trails are Glacial Drumlin (Waukesha to Madison), Military Ridge (Madison to Dodgeville)  Badger State and Sugar River (Madison to New Glaurus to IL state line)  Wisconsin trails are crushed stone


5. Root River rail trail in MN, southwest of LaCrosse, WI  Is in driftless area, so roads are very hilly.

All of those are possible with either camping or staying in motels and/or B&Bs

I agree with Traverse city, even better- ride around the Glen Lakes, the epic Pierce Stocking scenic road, and Crystal lake.  And bring your mountain bikes too, great trails up there.


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