The Chainlink

What Are Your Favorite Chicago-Area Bike Lanes, Paths & Routes?

Ok, now that we've been exploring the routes we avoid in the "Dreaded Bike-Unfriendly Streets", what are routes you prefer to take? Whether you are commuting, going for a weekend bike ride, or just heading to the grocery store, do you have some favorite bike routes?

The Mellow Chicago Bike Map Updated 6/20/18 - Collaboration of The Chainlink & Streetsblog

John gives a great recap of everything we've recommended in his article. Definitely worth a read!

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Tend to agree.

No argument that Milwaukee offers more life, if time is no barrier or if you can hit it when it's sleepy it's an awesome stretch. But for me commuting is about getting from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. It's also kinda hard to stop and smell the roses when there's a stampede through the garden.

So true! Always a tough decision.  Boring factories and car washes versus excellent people watching and crowds of cyclists.

Elston has gotten much better over the years. I always take it home instead of Milwaukee now. I am amazed at how many people go straight on Milwaukee vs turning on to Elston.

If it works for your commute hoping over to Clybourn is really nice now too. It isn't as great as Elston but in the early morning I have found it to be faster due to timing of the lights. 

I agree.  I used to use Milwaukee all the way to downtown from Lawrence, but since they milled the surface for several miles lately, I have tried Elston and am pleasantly surprised.   Now I do Montrose to Elston, to Division to Clark.  If only they would place some running boards on the grate at the bridge at Division and Elston.  It's a little shaky when it's wet.  The next bridge east of there has them.

I love riding on the Lake Front Path South of McCormick - mostly wide open with a few exceptions near the beaches but overall, so much better than riding past North Ave and Oak Street beaches. 

I was going to say that, plus it's away from LSD and quieter.

Ugh, I always dreaded how much traffic there is on the lakefront path, south of Fullerton Ave! It's tolerable to like about Fullerton, but beyond there it very often can become such a PITA to bike on. Having to dodge around the bike taxis, whatever those wide biking vehicles are you can rent on the path, etc. It'll be a little bit of a small relief, when the bike bridge west of Navy Pier is completed eventually. Too bad the construction is going at a very slow rate.

I route marked the last 4 Star and one of my favorite rides is based on that one, and I think has a lot of pretty low stress SS journeys! (You can make it a metric if you'd like) Heading south on Racine through Back of the Yards down to Loomis past Sherman Park to Garfield (which has a bike lane) and over to Damen either straight through to Dan Ryan Woods or looping around Marquette Park and exploring is a great day ride. You can catch up with the MTT at Dan Ryan and go all the way to the South Suburbs (v nice Forest Preserve) or cut through to Blue Island and have a picnic or a beer and Metra back if you'd like. 

I find that generally the traffic isn't so bad and riding the south side is way underrated/unexplored. 

If you have an opinion, how would the ride be from California Ave. down Garfield Blvd. to the lake?

Just from my experience taking the #55 bus, I don't intuitively think Garfield is that good of a biking street...but I haven't ridden it so take my comment with a grain of salt!

Thanks. Maybe I'll do a little scouting on that bus.


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