The Chainlink

I'm looking for suggestions for longer loop rides leaving from and returning to the city. I rode the various bike paths/trails north to the WI border last weekend and really enjoyed that, but now... what's next? The up and back nature of that ride was also not ideal. So:

 

If you were going to do 60-100 miles on a nice Saturday, where would you go and what route would you take? 

 

If you wanted to do up to, say, 200 miles in a weekend with an overnight somewhere (camping or hotel), where would you go and what route would you take? 

 

All suggestions welcome, but the idea is that the ride originates in and returns to Chicago w/o the need for a car. Of course, if you've got a great ride suggestion that requires a car, that could work, too, but...

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ambimb said:

I ended up going south on Damen to the United Center where I turned west on, you guessed it, Madison. My plan was to go west on Diversey, then south on N. Oak Park, but I missed Diversey and didn't really notice until I saw the United Center. On the way back I did find N. Oak Park which I took north to Addison, then east on Addison back to Damen. I don't recommend either Addison or Madison for the east/west travel. Google's biking directions recommend Diversey so I'll be definitely trying that next time. 

 

It's a shame that there doesn't seem to be a better way to link up with the IPP from the city. If anyone knows of a better east/west route from the city to Maywood, please let us know. 


A pretty standard route to IPP from the northside is, starting at Logan Square:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4384014

Although, I usually skip the IPP segment through Maywood and take Randolph at the Des Plaines/Randolph intersection and pick up the IPP at Butterfield Rd.
I like to take Augusta or Wabansia to Thatcher Woods then head south on Thatcher.
Thanks envane x. I'll try that route.

 


A pretty standard route to IPP from the northside is, starting at Logan Square:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4384014

Although, I usually skip the IPP segment through Maywood and take Randolph at the Des Plaines/Randolph intersection and pick up the IPP at Butterfield Rd.

Wow.  That takes me back...

 

But these days I'm getting more into this hitting-every-brewpub-within-60-miles type riding.  'Randonnslurring'.

 

Best overnight in the state: Metra to Joliet, ride the I&M Canal trail 70 miles and overnight at Starved Rock State Park. 

 

ilter said:

Your question reminded me of T.C. O'Rourke`s blog.  He tells about a few 50+ mile rides around Chicago he did in preparation of randonneuring(?) events.  I don`t think there are maps or anything.  It`s a good read nevertheless.

http://parisorbust2007.blogspot.com/

That sounds like a perfect Saturday.  You should organize a ride to do this one day...

Kelvin Mulcky said:

A tour de Brew

Something Like...

Haymarket-->Lunar-->Stockholm's-->Two Brother's-->Rock Bottom-->Revolution

 

85 miles round trip. Could anyone survive that? Map here

I tried a new loop yesterday that's about 100 miles, depending on where in the city you start. (I'm in Andersonville, so it's 100 miles from there.) The route is north and almost entirely on bike paths, like so:

-- North Shore Channel Trail north to

-- Green Bay Trail north to

-- Robert McClory Bike Path north to

-- IL 173 W/Rosecrans Rd. west (pick this up just north of Zion, IL; pretty good shoulder, fine riding) to

-- Des Plaines River Trail south to its southern terminus, at which point you have to thread your way by hook or crook to

-- North Branch Trail or just wherever in the city you're going by that time. 

 

The last 10 miles or so of the DPR Trail in Cook County are pretty awful and in some places barely there; it was more like muddy singletrack than anything in places. So that's not awesome, but in a way it is because it's amazing there are such "remote" and primitive trails so close to the city. Just don't take your fancy road bike; it won't like it. You might be better off just looking for a good route south on surface streets once you get to the Cook County border on the DPR Trail.  

Here's a map:

http://bit.ly/hfMMWx

 

Did this loop last summer over a weekend, around 130 miles. It was mostly trails and the roads it was on were nice and relaxed. 

 

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/20066310

 

I am in!
Anything but memorial weekend I can go.



Eduardo Acosta said:

I'm down to do this if anybody's interested. We can call this "The Long Loopy Ride."

 

April 15 - April 30 I will be out of town. We can plan for May or next week if everybody's thirsty.

envane x said:

Realistically:

 

[start in Chicago] -> Lunar -> Two Bros -> Stockholms -> Roundhouse -> [Metra to Chicago] -> Rock Bottom/Haymarket/Goose Island/Revolution if you still want to drink.

 

Unless you want to start drinking at 9 AM and riding through west burbs at night semi-drunk.

On Satuday, I got to try this route since I was riding from West Chicago, IL to Logan Square. I did try to skip the IPP Maywood segment and take Butterfield to Randolph but found it to have too much traffic unless you ride on the sidewalk.

 

Once in Oak Park, I think I'll pass on the Franklin<Circle<North Blvd<Oak Park Ave route. Difficult to cross Harlem and a lot of traffic on Oak Park Ave. The rest of the route was good.

 

On the way back, I got off Oak Park Ave at Augusta and went down on Thatcher. In the future, I would want to skip Oak Park Ave. altogether.  Thatcher to Madison, south on 3rd Ave and took the IPP home.

 

33 miles to chicago in under 3 hours. It was my first time riding to Chicago and back. Got home and passed out on my porch sitting in a chair with a beer in my hand. Winner.

 

envane x said:


A pretty standard route to IPP from the northside is, starting at Logan Square:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4384014

Although, I usually skip the IPP segment through Maywood and take Randolph at the Des Plaines/Randolph intersection and pick up the IPP at Butterfield Rd.

Here's another long loop ride that was just spectacular yesterday. It was 128 miles almost entirely on bike/multi-use paths with only about 10-15 miles on streets. Especially with yesterday's spectacular fall weather, this was a quiet, peaceful, and really beautiful ride. I'm amazed it's so easy to go so far in and around Chicago with so little interaction with traffic!  

 

Here's the route: 

 

1) Make your way to the Illinois Prairie Path (IPP) in Maywood. This might be the worst part b/c there's no great way west through the city. Armitage worked pretty well for a western route, esp. early in the morning.  

2) Follow the IPP to the Great Western Trail (GWT) heading NE to Elgin. 

3) Follow the GWT to the Fox River Trail (FRT) heading N toward McHenry. 

4) Turn right on Bull Valley Rd. and follow to T-intersection where you'll pick up the tails in Moraine Hills State Park. 

5) Follow the trails in the park SW across the park. Here things get a little tricky as you have to navigate streets from the park to the Millenium Trail. 

6) Follow the Millenium Trail to the North Shore Path (you'll have to ride just a bit on Hawley Rd between the two paths but it's only a mile or two and not bad traffic). 

Take North Shore to Robert McClory and turn right (South). 

7) Take Robert McClory south Green Bay Trail and North Shore Channel Trail and then you'll be back in the north end of the city. 

 

This was all on Google Maps bicycling directions so if you want to duplicate it, just ask for bike directions from wherever you are to the IPP, then to McHenry, then to Libertyville, then back to the City. If you go, have fun. It's a pretty great ride. 

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