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Dearest Chainlink,  

I plan on cycling out from Bucktown to Elk Grove Village (intersection Biesterfield and Arlington Heights) tomorrow for work. Usually I'm based in Chicago. But I really hate the idea of taking public transit (metra+pace bus) for 2+ hours.

So, bike peeps, any suggestions on how to safely get there by bicycle? I'm okay with cheating and taking the Metra part/most of the way. My main concern is safety. Although I'd prefer a bike-only route.  I plan on leaving around 7am but I might leave earlier/later depending on suggestions.

Best regards,

Wolfpup

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Agree with the recommendation in rwein5's route about the side streets south of Devon. No experience beyond that--good luck, if you decide to do it!

Take the train to Wood Dale.  Shouldn't be too bad of a ride there.  Looks like you can mostly use side streets.

There isn't any good way to get there by bike, due to all of the traffic around O'Hare.

The best way is to ride to the Western Ave station of Metra (420 N Artesian) and take the Milwaukee West train at 7:21 AM, arrive in Itasca at 7:53 AM, then bike northwest (check map) until you find Arlington Heights Road (residential), which further north, near Devon, becomes the commercial arterial Arlington Heights Road. Another mile and you're there at Beisterfield. If there's too much traffic, take the sidewalk.

If the weather's bad, take the 616 from Itasca.

You can save money by taking the Blue Line to Rosemont, and transfer to the 616.

If you really want to bike there, go west on Belmont to 25th Ave, south to Franklin Ave, west on Franklin to County Line Road, south to Jefferson St, west on Jefferson to the end of the road (west of Rt 83 it's called Oak Meadow, ends at the golf course). Take Wood Dale Road north, past Devon it's called Tonne Road, take Tonne to Elk Grove Blvd, west on Elk Grove Blvd to Rev Morrison/JFK Blvd, which becomes Beisterfield.   Road condition on Franklin looks like crap on Streetview, but it is low traffic. I suggest this route because you want to avoid York/Irving Park, which is a traffic mess.

Or take Grand Ave west to Church, north on Church to Jefferson, west to Wood Dale, etc.

I suppose the fastest way, if you don't mind traffic, is Elston to Bryn Mawr to Higgins to Touhy. You can take Touhy thru Elk Grove, and west of Tonne it becomes Elk Grove Blvd.

it looks like there is a Franklin Ave which runs near the Metra tracks starting in Franklin Park.  You would need to take Diversey or Belmont out to Cumberland to catch it.  Seems better than Irving Park Rd or Touhy which is what Google is suggesting.

Franklin West of Mannheim is only one lane each way with a very narrow shoulder until you get to Bensenville. Traffic is light, but much of it is trucks since this is an industrial area. Drivers seem to behave OK. This is a better option on weekends. I would probably take Metra to Wood Dale.

Folks thank you for the advice. I might try this out another day. But I even consulted with Wostyntje and he doesn't seem to keen on biking out that way during rush hour. He did mention the Itasca station but with the extra time it would take to get to that station and then bike I might as well have taken the blue line to Rosemont and transferred to Pace. 

So, I'm going with public transit tomorrow. :/ But, on another day I will try this out perhaps a weekend with low traffic. And then maybe I'll try on a weekday.

Thank you again bike peeps!

You can't take your bike with you on the Blue Line from 7-9 AM, but as a reverse commuter you can put your bike on Metra outbound. And without your bike, you're limited to what you can walk to during lunch (enjoy McDonalds lol)

Wolf-Pup said:

Folks thank you for the advice. I might try this out another day. But I even consulted with Wostyntje and he doesn't seem to keen on biking out that way during rush hour. He did mention the Itasca station but with the extra time it would take to get to that station and then bike I might as well have taken the blue line to Rosemont and transferred to Pace. 

So, I'm going with public transit tomorrow. :/ But, on another day I will try this out perhaps a weekend with low traffic. And then maybe I'll try on a weekday.

Thank you again bike peeps!

A weekend ride might be nice. I biked to Des Plaines on a Saturday morning and it was lovely.

Yep, this is the best available route out of a basket of few and terrible choices. As a northwest suburban resident, Franklin has been what I've used to cross the nearly impenetrable I-294/Des Plaines River barrier into the city. I've only ever taken it on weekends, so I can't vouch for weekday rush hour, but it was lightly-traveled and safe enough then; the biggest problem is that the road surface is utter shit. Or at least it was the last time I rode it, which was years ago, and Street View seems to confirm that it's only gotten worse.

Touhy and Irving Park around the airport feel like superhighways that you'd expect "no bicycles allowed" signs to be posted on.

I guess the "extreme car-free" route would be heading southwest to the Illinois Prairie Path, and taking that west to the northbound Salt Creek Greenway Trail. But that brings you to ~28 miles vs. ~20 for the direct route.

Shawn Evans said:

If you really want to bike there, go west on Belmont to 25th Ave, south to Franklin Ave, west on Franklin to County Line Road, south to Jefferson St, west on Jefferson to the end of the road (west of Rt 83 it's called Oak Meadow, ends at the golf course). Take Wood Dale Road north, past Devon it's called Tonne Road, take Tonne to Elk Grove Blvd, west on Elk Grove Blvd to Rev Morrison/JFK Blvd, which becomes Beisterfield.   Road condition on Franklin looks like crap on Streetview, but it is low traffic. I suggest this route because you want to avoid York/Irving Park, which is a traffic mess.

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