The Chainlink

Chicagoans biking XC down Mississippi River for West Town Girls Bike Club

Hello Chainlinkers! Just wanted to introduce myself and share a current bikepacking adventure with you-- worthy detours and travel tips most welcome! I'm Kristen. My travel partner and I are currently biking (unsupported) from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, roughly following the Mississippi River the whole way. We hit the Mississippi headwaters at Itasca yesterday. Any former Mississippi River Trail riders with suggestions? Our pace is slow enough to allow for ample side trips and explorations, especially for unique and quirky highlights. Trip blog w/ map is and on Instagram #bikebigmuddy.

Since we LOVE biking Chicago's West side (where we normally live), our goal is to raise $1 per mile for the outstanding Girls Bike Club of West Town Bike Coop. By adopting a segment of the route, you'll get a postcard from whatever mile(s) of the river you choose. 100% of contributions go towards these worthy young female bikers, ages 8-20, who love learning about bike mechanics, riding together, and being ambassadors for other young people in their community to start biking. They even recently rode up to IL Beach State Park for a club campout. The group is saving up now to attend a national youth bike summit. Video and more in at if you'd like to support youth empowerment through biking in Chicago!

Thanks for any help, travel-related or towards our cause. Happy biking! -Kristen

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This is pretty great. Thanks for sharing! 


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