I'm looking for some new road bike friendly routes to ride in Chicago. I live on the North Side, about 6 blocks west of the Lakefront path. The lakefront path was great at first, but I'm starting to get bored with with it - plus the sand and wind is taking it's toll on me.
I'm aware of the North Branch Trail, but last time I was there the south end was all torn up for construction.
Are there any options I'm missing? I'd prefer to pass on the stop and go city streets. Are there any rides that involve taking a Metra out to a remote starting point? I did a ride in Wisconsin this past weekend on some county highways and it was great - long stretches with low traffic flows. Would finding such a route closer to home be possible?
From this route you can also head west about one mile on Lake-Cook Road to enter the Botanic Gardens, then travel south to connect to the north end of the North Branch Trail. There is currently only a one half-mile section of the NBT that is still not paved (between Lake Street and Happ Rd.), otherwise it is all fresh asphalt south to at least Touhy Avenue.
Take the UP-N and get off at Ft Sheridan, you will exit the train right near Old Elm/Everett. You can take this west until it dead ends at St. Marys then head north all the way into Wisconsin. It is a pretty standard route on Sunday morning for lots of cyclists and the roads are bike friendly.
Here is a route from one of the bike clubs that uses the Everett/Old Elm- St. Marys route
a local racing team does group rides along this route (clicky) and though I usually can't make their rides, I still ride the route, it is heavily used by many local cyclists/teams. Basically, it will take you up north along route 41/Sheridan road...Yes, there are traffic lights, but once you are out of Chicago you can move along at a nice clip. BTW, if you want a really long ride you can ride north then connect to the route Kenal0 posted. I may do this some day...soon.
This site is helpful if you are looking for group rides and other cycling/race related info (Chicago Bike Racing)
The far south suburbs have some good road routes, too. Take Metra South to the Matteson station which is just south of the Old Plank Road Trail. Here are a bunch of club rides from a few years backback that left from a few miles away from the Matteson Station. http://folksonspokes.com/images/Maps...son%20Maps.pdf