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Where to cycle from Chicago

Old 02-18-16, 07:56 AM
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samh537
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Where to cycle from Chicago

Hello peoples

I might fly to Chicago over Easter for 2 weeks. I will depart from Chicago too.

Does anyone know the best cycle routes I could take, maybe round Lake Michigan .. but the easiest route back. I think New York is too far for the time I have and also probably a boring route.

Or am I better flying into NY and touring around there.

Thanks peoples.

Sam
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Old 02-18-16, 08:51 AM
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Here is one option:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/rou...k/north-lakes/

Check out some of their other routes. But keep in mind that Easter is early this year.
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Old 02-18-16, 09:00 AM
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Sam,
just so you know, the weather around Chicago and a northern route you're considering around Easter March 27th, can be fraught with really crummy weather. Snow would not be out of the question, but I can guarantee high winds, chilly temps and likely rains. You could consider the Grand Illinois Trail, 500+ mile loop that could bring you back to where you started. If you didn't want to go that far west, you can shorten the loop by heading north at the Hennepin feeder trail to Rock Falls, IL. Where ever you decide, have a great ride.

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreat...usersguide.pdf
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Old 02-18-16, 09:56 AM
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Here is the western half of a northwest Indiana map of bicycle trails: http://nirpc.org/media/3618/greenway...ysmap_west.pdf

Although you can continue on US Bicycle Route 35 up through Michigan--near the lake and through many state parks with camping--you will likely run into a lot of wind and rain. And that early in the year, you might even have to contend with lake effect snow.

BTW, Michigan is a great area for cross-country skiing in the winter.

Last edited by Aidoneus; 02-18-16 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 02-18-16, 11:58 AM
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Maybe take Amtrak from Chicago to St Louis, then do the Katy Trail . I believe the Illinois state trains all have bike racks, so your bike doesn't need to be boxed.
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Old 02-18-16, 01:09 PM
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Are you thinking of camping in a tent or using a hotel/motel at night?

With Easter being in late March this year, as noted above, the weather can still be cold and wet and potentially snowy and icy.
Or it could be comfortable shirt sleeve weather and dry roads.
Plan for either.

This weather site seems fun to play around with:
Chicago, Illinois March 2016 Weather Forecast | WeatherTAB

I keep hearing about the Katy trail system and would like to ride that myself one of these years.
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Old 02-18-16, 01:18 PM
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From ORD O'Hare International you can go any where in the world..

I like Flying into AMS Shiphol,NL.. riding to Zandvoort and camping there, the first night.

But Amsterdam's weather is similar, often, to the North West OR Coast.

This time of year How about Australia?

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-18-16 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 02-18-16, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by UDFA View Post
Maybe take Amtrak from Chicago to St Louis, then do the Katy Trail . I believe the Illinois state trains all have bike racks, so your bike doesn't need to be boxed.
St. Louis can get nasty weather Apr. 1 also. Just a bit warmer than Chicago.
About the Katy consider bringing your bicycle with super low gears and include Highway 94 from Jeff City to St. Charles in the trip.

Last edited by Squeezebox; 02-18-16 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 02-18-16, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by samh537 View Post
Hello peoples

I might fly to Chicago over Easter for 2 weeks. I will depart from Chicago too.

Does anyone know the best cycle routes I could take, maybe round Lake Michigan .. but the easiest route back. I think New York is too far for the time I have and also probably a boring route.

Or am I better flying into NY and touring around there.

Thanks peoples.

Sam
Not sure what you are saying, are you currently in NY?

Amtrak goes in many directions from Chicago. You can go out and plan to return on Amtak but depending on which train you use, you might have to get a bike box, they are only available at Amtrak stations that handle luggage, some Amtrak stations do not take luggage.

I concur with the comments made by others on weather, I live 150 miles NW of Chicago.
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Old 02-18-16, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by samh537 View Post
Hello peoples

I might fly to Chicago over Easter for 2 weeks. I will depart from Chicago too.

Does anyone know the best cycle routes I could take, maybe round Lake Michigan .. but the easiest route back. I think New York is too far for the time I have and also probably a boring route.

Or am I better flying into NY and touring around there.

Thanks peoples.

Sam
If you are flying in from overseas you should consider the Altanta International Airport and leave from there for an Easter tour. The weather is good there that time of year.
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Old 02-18-16, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

Amtrak goes in many directions from Chicago. You can go out and plan to return on Amtak but depending on which train you use, you might have to get a bike box, they are only available at Amtrak stations that handle luggage, some Amtrak stations do not take luggage.

I concur with the comments made by others on weather, I live 150 miles NW of Chicago.
The Illinois only Amtrak routes (IL Zephyr, IL Service, Saluki, Carl Sandberg, IL Service) all have bike racks on the train. The fee is $10.00 and reservations are required. These trains travel three basic routes: CHI to Quincy, IL; CHI to Carbondale, IL; and Chicago to ST Louis. The long-distance routes that travel through Illinois (Empire Builder, Zephyr, City of New Orleans) all require you to box your bike at this time ASAFIK.

I agree with the others who have suggested you look much further south, if you want to travel that time of year.
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Old 02-19-16, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Aidoneus View Post
Here is the western half of a northwest Indiana map of bicycle trails: http://nirpc.org/media/3618/greenway...ysmap_west.pdf

Although you can continue on US Bicycle Route 35 up through Michigan--near the lake and through many state parks with camping--you will likely run into a lot of wind and rain. And that early in the year, you might even have to contend with lake effect snow.

BTW, Michigan is a great area for cross-country skiing in the winter.
Late March/early April can be pretty ugly up here in the Michigan U.P. You could encounter fresh snow, and if the highway shoulders have shed winter's ice/snow pack they'll have a nasty layer of road debris accumulated since Halloween.

That said, I still occasionally muse about how to rig a x-country ski rack on my Disc Trucker.
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Old 02-19-16, 06:10 AM
  #13  
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Ski Rack? You need a trailer!
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Old 02-19-16, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Quarryman32 View Post
Late March/early April can be pretty ugly up here in the Michigan U.P. You could encounter fresh snow, and if the highway shoulders have shed winter's ice/snow pack they'll have a nasty layer of road debris accumulated since Halloween.

That said, I still occasionally muse about how to rig a x-country ski rack on my Disc Trucker.
I've never been to the U.P., but maybe you're thinking of this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mT6pDvkmtFM

But with some ingenuity, one doesn't have to rely on gravity: http://www.gizmag.com/avalanche-snow...default-widget

Last edited by Aidoneus; 02-19-16 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Tried to add photo
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Old 02-19-16, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Aidoneus View Post
I've never been to the U.P., but maybe you're thinking of this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mT6pDvkmtFM

But with some ingenuity, one doesn't have to rely on gravity: Quebec students aim to develop a more authentic snow bike
Thanks for the grins! The second link looks more practical (cross-country skiing involves uphill as well as downhill), but I'm thinking IGH and of course there's the shortage of eyelets and braze-ons. The real challenge would be the SON charging hub. So much to ponder....
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Old 02-19-16, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
St. Louis can get nasty weather Apr. 1 also. Just a bit warmer than Chicago.
About the Katy consider bringing your bicycle with super low gears and include Highway 94 from Jeff City to St. Charles in the trip.
Better to stay on the Katy instead of using Hwy 94. It's much too busy anymore. It use to be fun to ride on, especially around Augusta, decades ago. BTW: RAAM still using Hwy 94.
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Old 02-20-16, 06:05 AM
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Where to cycle from Chicago

Originally Posted by samh537 View Post
Hello peoples

I might fly to Chicago over Easter for 2 weeks. I will depart from Chicago too.

Does anyone know the best cycle routes I could take, maybe round Lake Michigan .. but the easiest route back. I think New York is too far for the time I have and also probably a boring route.

Or am I better flying into NY and touring around there…

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Not sure what you are saying, are you currently in NY?...
I cycled in Chicago once. While attending a professional meeting, I rented a bike for the duration and cycled early in the morning through various neighborhoods, and on the Lakeshore bike path. I had a good time just finding my way around. Like @Tourist in MSN noted, it seems like the OP has the possibility of visiting other cities besides Chicago.

On a general note, I think it would be a great service by various BF subscribers to provide write-ups for visiting cyclists about their cities. For example, I wrote a post in reply to a similar query about riding in Boston that I have frequently cited as a “Cyclist’s Guide to Metro Boston.” It’s intended for the visiting cyclist who wants to know where to ride, and how to get around by bike. Mine is mainly written for roadie / tourists, who want to get in a substantial ride in interesting areas.

@ Papa Tom has attempted a similar thread for Long Island,”Would Anybody Mind A Few Threads About "Casual" Rides In Our Region?.” A sticky on the Touring Forum would be a nice storehouse for such posts.
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Old 02-20-16, 06:45 AM
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Chicagoland has a surprising amount of bike trails. For long distance the ACA Route 66 comes to mind. In the city itself there is an amazing lake side path. As for the suburbs, you can bounce from trail to trail using Trail Link Maps . Like others have said, Chicago in April is not always friendly to cyclists.
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Old 02-20-16, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
Better to stay on the Katy instead of using Hwy 94. It's much too busy anymore. It use to be fun to ride on, especially around Augusta, decades ago. BTW: RAAM still using Hwy 94.

My experience is decades ago!

Thanks for the update!

Last edited by Squeezebox; 02-21-16 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 02-20-16, 07:39 AM
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Don't bother responding.

The OP probably won't follow up on this thread. See his posting history here. Lots of initial plans, no actual touring, and no details for the questions.
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Old 02-20-16, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Don't bother responding.

The OP probably won't follow up on this thread. See his posting history here. Lots of initial plans, no actual touring, and no details for the questions.
Hey big fat meanie!

I accomplished my tour last year from SF to south of LA, thanks very much!

Thanky for all the advice guys. I think maybe going somewhere South this year might be better given the weather. I'll be flying from Germany. Might consider somewhere outside of the US this time, because I'd like to do a longer trip so might leave it for the summer when I have more time.
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Old 02-21-16, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by samh537 View Post
Hey big fat meanie!

I accomplished my tour last year from SF to south of LA, thanks very much!

Thanky for all the advice guys. I think maybe going somewhere South this year might be better given the weather. I'll be flying from Germany. Might consider somewhere outside of the US this time, because I'd like to do a longer trip so might leave it for the summer when I have more time.
I live a couple of hours NE of Chicago in Kalamazoo. I have recorded a number of rides in the Chicago/ Michigan area on my blog. When you get to it, you might want to review a few of them here for ideas. As the rest have said, the weather in upper Midwest can be challenging April 1st, but I don't usually let it stop me entirely.

Marc
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Old 02-21-16, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by samh537 View Post
Hey big fat meanie!

I accomplished my tour last year from SF to south of LA, thanks very much!

Thanky for all the advice guys. I think maybe going somewhere South this year might be better given the weather. I'll be flying from Germany. Might consider somewhere outside of the US this time, because I'd like to do a longer trip so might leave it for the summer when I have more time.
Good. But forums need a little followup to question threads. Either respond to some of the good answers, or just post a quick report of your trip after the fact.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Good. But forums need a little followup to question threads. Either respond to some of the good answers, or just post a quick report of your trip after the fact.
As we say in Germany... zer are no rules in zeez forumz
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