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Old 01-20-10, 08:37 PM   #1
Randy Bosma
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My 2009 Birthday Ride

Since it's freezin rain out there tonight, let me regale you with a tale of many miles from warmer days gone by.

On the 9th of Noveember, my slightly belated (work and weather interfered) birthday ride started at Green Lake FPD in Calumet City with a southerly tailwind. First, I rode the full length of the Burnham Greenway; the south 2.1 mile section from 159th to State Street, then on street to span the gap-in-the-middle (State St. east to Burnham Ave., and north to Wolf Lake state park at 130th St.) then back on the trail at the north end of the park continuing to 100th St. in Chicago.

I continued on-street through Calumet Park and out on to US41 at 95th St. (via Ewing Ave., Mackinaw Ave., 87th St., Burley Ave., 85th St., and South Shore Drive (bike lane! starting at 83rd St.)) to 71st St. By this time, the wind had swung around to the west.

The south end of the Chicago Lakefront Trail begins (with no fanfare) just north of 72nd St. & South Shore Drive. A double wide sidewalk takes you along the south and west edges of the South Shore Cultural Center, then at 67th St. the paved trail starts and you ride past LaRabida Children's Hospital, Jackson Harbor, and the 63rd St. beach house. From 63rd north to Burnham Harbor (18th St.), over 6 miles, there are no street crossings to deal with, only other trail users. Landmarks along this section include the Museum of Science & Industry, Promatory Point, Hyde Park, beaches with killer views of the Chicago skyline, McCormick Place, and Solider Field.

Next is the Field Museum on the left, the Adler Planetarium on the right, and a bike trail that wraps around the east side of the Shedd Aquarium. At this point you are riding between Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago Harbor and can see Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, part of Millenium Park, and the Chicago Yacht Club at Randolph Street. The trail moves on to the lower level of Lake Shore Drive to cross the Chicago River.

By noon as I arrived at Navy Pier, the wind was coming out of the north - directly off the lake. After a comfort break, I continued northward into the ever freshening headwind past Oak Street Beach (strangely empty), through Lincoln Park (Diversey and Belmont and Montrose Harbors, tennis courts, a golf course, etc.), and all the way to the end of the trail at Ardmore Ave.

The return leg was great with a delightful, if a bit fresh, 10-12mph tailwind. (Average temp for the day- 60F.) Once again I wandered onto Navy Pier, this time for food. After my short and late lunch I detoured onto Northerly Island (formerly Meigs Field) and rode the outside loop admiring the wildflower praire that has been planted where the runways used to be. Noted at 57 miles: my Birthday Ride; added 4 more miles while waiting for my SAG pickup at 63rd Street beach for a total of 98.8 kilometers; the Metric Century will have to wait.

Here's a map: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3313529 (northbound only)

Last edited by Randy Bosma; 01-20-10 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:46 PM   #2
Randy Bosma
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It didn't happen if you don't show the pix!

Here's some pix from the Burnham Greenway.
Starting at Green Lake Woods:
Bham09_01.jpg
On to the road at State Street, Calumet City:
Bham09_04.jpg
The trail starting to get urban in Hegewisch, the SE corner of Chicago:
Bham09_07.jpg
Ending under the Chicago Skyway at 100th St.:
Bham09_11.jpg

More to follow when I get them selected and sized for posting.

Last edited by Randy Bosma; 01-20-10 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:59 PM   #3
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A nice little (almost) Metric. Didn't happen to turn 62 on Nov 9th. did you?

Thanks for sharing. Used to live in Schaumberg. Loved it.
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Old 01-20-10, 09:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthib View Post
A nice little (almost) Metric. Didn't happen to turn 62 on Nov 9th. did you?
Nope, 5 more years till that 'milestone'.
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Old 02-15-10, 08:57 PM   #5
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Finally, a slice of time to post more of those pix.

From that spur off the end of the Burnham Greenway under the Chicago Skyway that leads to the 100th Street underpass, you have your choice of century-old paving brick with a pronounced washboard effect, or a sidewalk with some freshly broken bottles. Take the street - it's only 200 feet of shakin and rattlin.
Chgo_01.jpg

Looking back at 100th Street as in crosses a railroad into Calumet Park.
Chgo_02.jpg

If you turn right (south, 1/2 mile) on Avenue G you can visit the State Line Monument which was erected in 1838 and has stood here ever since.
Chgo_03.jpg Chgo_03a.JPG

I continued north on this park street along the west edge of the park. Had the weather been more agreeable, I might have chosen the longer loop along the lakefront.
Chgo_04.jpg

After you exit the park at 95th Street you'll turn northwest on Ewing Ave. and cross the Calumet River where you can see this huge stockpile of salt that will be applied to our streets during the winter.
Chgo_05a.jpg

I continued on US 41 north on Macinaw Ave. Traffic is usually reasonable in this area, and the street is plenty wide. Chgo_05b.jpg 3 miles later you'll be at 71st Street where the Lakefront trail begins.

Last edited by Randy Bosma; 02-15-10 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Merged inline pix into narrative.
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Old 02-15-10, 09:18 PM   #6
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Chicago Lakefront Trail - Part 1

There is no signage at the south end of the trail other than this mile marker (18) indicating the distance from the north end of the trail. View looks east along 71st.
CLT_01.jpg

Looking west, this is the intersection of Yates Blvd., 71st, Exchange Ave., and South Shore Drive; the sign directs bikers to walk around the corner as they cross the entrance to the South Shore Cultural Center (formerly a country club).
CLT_02.jpg

Looking north along the west edge of the golf course. The trail here is a doublewide sidewalk after you pass the bus shelter.
CLT_03.jpg

The south end of the yacht harbor at the corner of Jeffery Ave., Marquette Blvd., and US 41 (Lake Shore Drive).
CLT_04.jpg

Over 6 miles of uninterrupted trail between 63rd & 18th.
CLT_05.jpg

Navy Pier - United States, Illinois, Chicago - flags display evidence of the north wind.
CLT_06a.jpg

I was going to ask this guy what groupset he had......
CLT_06b.jpg

Quiet day in the harbor and on the pier.
CLT_06c.jpg CLT_06d.jpg
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Old 02-15-10, 09:33 PM   #7
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Chicago Lakefront Trail - Part 2

My trusty Trek carried me all the way to the end. And back too. CLT_07.jpg

Past the end of the trail there's a whole city to explore, if you're so inclined. Chicago has a decent network of signed bike routes, some of them with bike lanes.
CLT_08.jpg

More sights in the city as I head back south.
Lincoln Park; lakefront improvements.
CLT_09.jpg CLT_10.jpg

Man with hot feet, resting. No, I don't know. CLT_11a.jpg

These were probably not cleaned off by the gulls. CLT_11b.jpg

From Olive Park (near the water filtration plant) you can catch a dramatic chunk of skyline, and see a good stretch of the bike path. Cyclist circled in orange. The path is wide and close to the lake here.
CLT_12.jpg CLT_13.jpg

My second stop at Navy Pier - this one included lunch.
CLT_14.jpg
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Old 02-15-10, 09:41 PM   #8
Randy Bosma
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Chicago Lakefront Trail - Part 3

You cross the Chicago River on the lower level of Lake Shore Drive. CLT_15.jpg

The bike path loops around the Oceanarium of the Shedd Aquarium. CLT_16.jpg

I wandered out past the Planetarium and on to Northerly Island which is ringed with a paved hiking/biking path; this view is from the south end looking back north over the new prairie that has been cultivated where the runway of Meigs Field used to be.
CLT_17.jpg

From Promotory Point at 55th Street, another view of the skyline. The trail follows Lake Shore Drive; this was taken from the path that follows the shore around the point.
CLT_18.jpg

Well, that's all I have for this thread. I hope someone is inspired to enjoy a unique MUP ride in a great American city.
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Old 02-15-10, 10:10 PM   #9
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Very nice ride. Well documented.

I worked in downtown Chicago from May '94 through December '97 and recognize some of the places in your photos. I lived down town for the first couple of months before moving out to St. Charles; however, my bike was not available. On some weekend evenings back then, the business district was just about deserted. I thought it would be fun to ride the streets at those times. They were really well lit.

Thanks for the post.
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