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  1. #1
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    Scratching my head over this one

    I live smack in the middle of downtown Chicago. I don't have a car.

    My problem- how do I ride and get my mileage? I would love to get in my 30- 50 miles per day, but I have no idea of where to go to get it. I could ride up and down the lakefront, but I HATE the lakefront. There are so many STUPID walkers and recreational riders and dogs and kids, that it seems more dangerous to ride on the bike path then to ride in the streets.

    I am looking for some low cost alternatives here. Any ideas?


    Thanks,


    Koffee

  2. #2
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    I believe there are rivers and/or canals in Chicago. I would suggest riding along a road next to one of these, as there should be few cross street intersections where you have to slow down.
    If you are not interested in keeping up a speed, why dont you go out to explore the different neighborhoods of the city.

  3. #3
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    Thanks.

    Actually, I am interested in developing speed. We have the Chicago River here, and it runs along the main streets. The canals are also along major streets, so it won't work.

    Any ideas of some routes I can take out there are appreciated. Or if anyone knows any highways that allow bikes, that would be wonderful too.

    Shoot... I just got back from the best bike trip where I felt unlimited freedom with riding just about anywhere, and I feel frustrated that I am limited by my surroundings.


    Koffee Brown

  4. #4
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Koffee Brown
    There are so many STUPID walkers and recreational riders and dogs and kids, that it seems more dangerous to ride on the bike path then to ride in the streets.
    You will find that is the case most of the time. Personally, I would just use the roads to get as far away from there as possible when you want a ride.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Guillermo's Avatar
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    Koffee,

    I also live downtown. I use the lakefront path, as it seems to be the only sustained route that I am aware of. You can ride consistently on it without having to worry about cars and stopping. People, etc. can be horrendous though. The best thing to do is ride early in the morning. Also, south of Navy Pier is usually less populated.

    If you manage to find a good alternative, I would love to hear about it!

    Dax

  6. #6
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Move.

  7. #7
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    Not possible at this juncture..... sorry.....



    KB

  8. #8
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Join a local bicycle club that has weekly road rides. They will know the routes to take and will help you put the miles on a speed.
    Mike

  9. #9
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    Dang, that's a good idea! Thanks for the tip. I'm going to call around first thing Monday and see what I can find.


    Thanks!


    Koffee

  10. #10
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    I have never been to Chicago but I live in urban Broward Co. Fl. with supposedly the most dangerous biking conditions in the country (and judging by the lack of bike lanes or shoulders on major roads I might not disagree).I also use a bike as sole transportation and what I do to get in milage is pick a destinatoin 15 to 20 miles away and go there for a daytrip.Luckily for me Ft. Lauderdale beach is about 15 miles and I never get tired of going there.You will eventually find the safest low traffic routes by trial and error .I will agree that after getting back from a recent Fl. tour riding in the urban sprall has been less appealing thus I have lately been heading towards the Everglades out of the city.Also do you have public transportation where you can transport your bike to the edge of an urban area and then ride outside of the city.I have not tried this yet but know others do this in So. Fl.

  11. #11
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Koffee,

    For me, riding to work gives me all the necessary mileage.
    No worries

  12. #12
    Friend of Jimmy K naisme's Avatar
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    Not sure what to offer you there Koffee. I live down town Minneapolis. Here there are bike paths and routes that lead out to the burbs, where the roads have sholders. You can ride through farm land up here. I've been to Go, and I am grateful for living in the MiniApple. My only suggestion is work on getting those routes to the burbs.

    Does IDOT let bikes on the L? I assume you might be able to take the bike on the train and head to the end of the line where you could do a ride from there.
    "I will remain the stranger who came from a faraway land." Lance Armstrong

    "The more you drive, the less intelligent you become." Miller "Repo Man"

  13. #13
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    Can you take your bike on the L to get out of town or into more hospitable neighborhoods?

  14. #14
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    Try riding real early in the morning. At 5:00 a.m., even Lakeshore Boulevard is nearly empty. You could ride 20 miles every morning easily.
    Also, the CTA has (had??) a program, where you could put your bike on an El train, but not during rush hour. Check it out.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  15. #15
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    when i lived downtown, i used to go up and down Clark St, esp. to go to Lakeshore Athletic Club. I think that Clark and LaSalle has bike lanes now. I know that there are many bike rides out of the city to Highland Park/Lake Forest on weekday nights. Call Higher Gear on Fullerton to find bike routes of the evening rides.

    I also loved picking up the lakeshore path @ oak st and going south till 63rd st. it is nearly empty. going past soldier field, buckingham fountain, the museums to science and industry is cool.

    i agree it is hard. but my buddy goes on rides sponsored by Higher Gear and they fly up to the 'burbs. there might also be interesting options in the forest preserves (during the daylight of course)

    the loop on weekends is great. and following the lakeshore 25 miler through the neighborhood is cool also.

    now i have the best riding in the 'burbs at my disposal....

    good luck.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  16. #16
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    Yo Rx!

    I took the bike path south to 63rd and back. That has to be the way to do it. But I will call Higher Gear and talk to the folks that way. I stopped by the Taste and there was supposed to be the Mayor's Bicycling Ambassador there, but of course, they were a no-show.... since day 1, eveyone's told me.

    I am going to visit my brother next week for the week out in the south suburbs, and I'm taking my bike. (I'd ride there, but I don't know how to avoid the bad neighborhoods, so I'll drag my bike down on the train and then spend some time riding out south. I hope to be more succeessful out south.

    Everyone has good ideas. I can take my bike on the L, but I need to find a train that will drop me far enough so I can get a quality ride, and one that's not going to drop me off in the middle of some really bad neighborhood, although it will probably make me a pretty good sprinter!

    Thanks for the advice.


    Koffee

  17. #17
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    Richard Cranium is right. Move. You are a country girl.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ahuman's Avatar
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    whats wrong with riding in the street with traffic?
    get a map and pick roads lest traveled...
    I lived in New York City and the only problem I had was where to put my bike when I got there..
    If you Live in the middle of town take a few rides act like a tourist
    and see the the site near by...
    "I Love To Ride My Bicycle, My bicycle"

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