The Chainlink

What's your favorite stealth bike route or other Chicago biking secret?

Did you that you can skip the crowded (in summer at least) Lakefront Trail and get from Belmont to Foster almost entirely on little-traveled paths paths, many of them unpaved, with even better views of the lake?

And did you know there's a four-mile route encircling Lake Calumet on the Far South Side with almost no motorized traffic and a country-road vibe, with six-foot-tall cattails and high green hills (of sodded-over landfill)?

For a magazine article, what are your favorite little known cycling routes and ways to escape the hustle-bustle of the city's most commonly-traveled bikeways?

And do you know any other Chicago cycling secrets, like bike shops that have unique features or fascinating local cyclists who should be well-known but aren't?

Thanks!

John Greenfield

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I also miss that closed-off section of 14th Pl.  It was useful.

I share your concern about little industrial streets being closed to us if they become too popular.



h' said:

My favorite was 14th place across Halsted eastbound to Jefferson to head downtown.

UPS closed it off and I still miss it.

I'd be careful about promoting some of these (particularly Lumber) because if others start using them they're going to be closed off to public access.

what really annoys me is that there isn't a walk through either.  When i've had to go pick up a package from this location, I have to walk an extra half a mile, instead of just going to the halsted bus.  not fun with a heavy/awkward package. 

Anne Alt said:

I also miss that closed-off section of 14th Pl.  It was useful.

I share your concern about little industrial streets being closed to us if they become too popular.



h' said:

My favorite was 14th place across Halsted eastbound to Jefferson to head downtown.

UPS closed it off and I still miss it.

I'd be careful about promoting some of these (particularly Lumber) because if others start using them they're going to be closed off to public access.

It is a horribly long walk. I always seem to find myself on Halsted south or Roosvelt when I need to get there by foot.

I think if you calculate it out it is actually 3/4 of a mile to walk from the Halsted side.

For the first few months after they started denying access I would ride on in and give the guard a hard time when they came running after me, but I ended up getting tired of it.

The multiuse paths in Grant Park, hidden in plain sight.

I like 21st between Racine and California.  Stop lights at the major intersections, but a quiet residential road with very little traffic.  

It is almost 3/4 mile to walk in from Halsted & Roosevelt.  It's really ridiculous that they won't allow any access from the Halsted side.

h' said:

It is a horribly long walk. I always seem to find myself on Halsted south or Roosvelt when I need to get there by foot.

I think if you calculate it out it is actually 3/4 of a mile to walk from the Halsted side.

For the first few months after they started denying access I would ride on in and give the guard a hard time when they came running after me, but I ended up getting tired of it.

1. Going to and from Evanston, I like to avoid Sheridan Road and the narrow sidewalk along Calvary Cemetery at the lakefront.  Instead, I use Custer Street in Evanston, which connects to Damen in Rogers Park. I use Damen for southbound and Wolcott/Winchester for northbound between Greenleaf and Howard.  Greenleaf is a great way to get across Clark Street to Ashland Blvd.

2. Downtown, I sometimes like to cut through Lake Shore East between Upper Randolph and the Lakefront Trail.  Going northbound, you turn left from Upper Randolph to Field Blvd.  Then you can either head east through a parking garage or continue around the park to Lower Lower Wacker by the impound lot.  There is a crosswalk across Lower Lower Wacker, and an opening in the fence that allows you to get onto the River Trail.  You can wrap around from there onto the Lakefront Trail.

I commute from central loop to the west loop via lower wacker. Starting at Garland Court and Lake, exiting at Post Street and Lake. A straight shot away from many cross streets and pedestrians with just one cautionarty intersection in the middle. Same way home in reverse.

I wonder if you can have your package directed to a UPS store? I know FedEx allows that; you can, I think, even redirect it once they've made an attempt.

Cameron Puetz said:

When given a choice of shippers, I avoid UPS because of this. With 14th Place closed off there isn't a good way to get to this facility by transit despite the bus running very close to the facility. Even if it costs a couple of bucks more I'll ship with someone who makes pickup easier.



Liz said:

what really annoys me is that there isn't a walk through either.  When i've had to go pick up a package from this location, I have to walk an extra half a mile, instead of just going to the halsted bus.  not fun with a heavy/awkward package. 

You can -it just costs something like $5 extra/package to get this "extra service."

Gail Garcia said:

I wonder if you can have your package directed to a UPS store? I know FedEx allows that; you can, I think, even redirect it once they've made an attempt.

On the other hand, it makes for a kinda cool "urban trail" running experience.  I run there pretty regularly in the warmer months.
 
Joe TV said:

Belmont to Foster?  I wonder if you are referring to the path that, last I checked, looks like this: 

Cool!  I didn't know that Cameron.  UPS stores are a huge rip-off and have been even back when they were mailboxes.etc  

Speaking of the Jefferson UPS it is like walking into Mordor when one goes to that place.  I wish I had access to my iPhone pictures right now as I took a picture of the customer pick-up door next to the employee door on the South side of the building.  What an ugly pit of a slaughterhouse entrance.  It's absolutely shocking to me every time I go down there.  Don't even try and pick up a package sent to you at an address you don't have photo-ID with that address on.  If you have two residences and the one the package came to is different than the one on your ID you are SOL -even if it is the same exact name.  I guess I'm the only person in the world who ever tried to order something delivered to a second address.  

HATE ups!

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