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Old 07-14-09, 05:23 PM   #1
fotooutdoors
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Route through Chicago

Late August I am biking from my parents' in Ohio to Madison WI (where I am moving). Most of the route is pretty easy to plan and I can be flexible. Chicago is the variable that I am unsure of. I've sketched out a route on bikely-http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/320279 and http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/320279 cover the Chicago bit.

Questions:
1. How good are the routes on the Chicago bike map? My route uses roads recommended by those maps and MUP's/Rail-Trails when possible. Good idea? Bad idea?
2. I've read conflicting reports on where the Robert McClorey Bike Path (or North Shore Bike Path-apparently the same thing) starts and stops. Anyone with on-the-ground info?
3. Camping/lodging. I am thinking that I will start the day at the Indiana Dunes SP and end at Illinois Beach. Is my speed going through the city going to take a major hit and make for a really long day (it's about 100 miles currently)?

Thanks for your help, and happy riding!
-Andrew
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Old 07-14-09, 05:32 PM   #2
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http://www.geocities.com/letourdeshore/index.html

These guys do a similar ride every year and actually have a good route through NW Indiana and the south side of Chicago. It looks like your route is somewhat similar. If you stay on the trail along the lake front your speed shouldn't suffer to much depending on the time you roll through. Riding the streets in Chicago can suck with all of the stop-and-go.
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Old 07-14-09, 11:19 PM   #3
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Check the maps from Grand Illinois Trail. Segment 10 is the part you are looking for. It will be in reverse order for you.

http://www.bikelib.org/git/index.htm#segment10

I would modify some of the parts. I would get off the Lakefront trail before Wilson, probably at Addison. Then, I would ride 2 blocks north to Grace and go west. Take that as far as you can and then ride back south to Addison. Take that until you get to Elston. Then ride NW on Elston until you hit the North Branch Trail. There's really no point in hitting the North Shore Channel Trail, it will be faster to just go west and then NW on Elston.

You could take Addison all the way west, but it's a pot holed mess, so I'd avoid it by going up to Grace where you can. You might be riding the wrong way on a one-way street, but there's not much traffic and no one cares. Elston has bike lanes all the way up and is nice and wide.

Obviously, if you want to get to Illinois Beach you won't want to start going west in Lake Bluff so just continue north. If you want to get off the trail, just get on Sheridan road and ride north on that. A good portion of Robert McClorey is crushed gravel (I can't remember how much). So, it might be quicker and less annoying to just ride on Sheridan. You could take Sheridan from much further south, but be advised that it's very crappy going through Evanston (directly north of Chicago). Plus, there was construction going on in parts a few weeks ago.
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Old 07-15-09, 06:25 AM   #4
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A better alternative is to take the Chicago Lakefront MUP to Bryn Mar and follow Bryn Mar west. This route is shorter, has almost no traffic and 30 mph speed limits. Take Bryn Mar west, It will dead-end at the Channel bike Path. Take that north to Devon and cross over the channel. Continue north on the Channel bike path to Pratt. Take Pratt west to it dead-ends at Central. Take Central south to Devon. Take Devon west to the North Branch bike path.


Edit, New complete map


This is a map of the entire route, From Grant Park (downtown Chicago) to McHenry. Follow the Lakeshore bikepath to Bryn Mar. Then follow the map in reverse order: http://www.mapmyride.com/edit_route?...24766945912805

Mile marker 54 to mile marker 45 follows the North Branch bike path: http://www.fpdcc.com/tier3.php?conte...8&file=map_68e . Map My Ride does not follow this bike path.

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Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-15-09 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 07-16-09, 06:09 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks for all the help! More than I was expecting. I'll take a look at those routes and work something (better than my current route) out.

Barrettsvc-do you know if there are any places to camp near where the route you plotted ends? Stealth camping is an option as well, though that does require at least a semi-rural area.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:39 AM   #6
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I found this two;

SCHAUL COUNTRY LAKES
900 W Route 120
Round Lake, IL 60073
Phone 1: 708-546-1515

Fish Lake Beach
32223 N. US Highway 12
Volo, Illinois 60073
Telephone (847) 546-2228
http://www.fishlakebeach.com/
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Old 07-16-09, 04:42 PM   #7
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The Robert McClorey path actually originates at the south end as the Greenbay trail which follows Sheridan Rd up through the northshore where it officially turns into Robert McClorey which runs along a MUP through
Highland Park all the way to North Chicago where it moves back to roads. The North shore path runs along 176 and goes mostly east and west.
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Old 07-16-09, 06:33 PM   #8
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Okay, I stand corrected on names. I was going by what I read on the internet, 'cuz that's all true, right? At any rate, it seems that you all have given me a bit better route and some words of comfort to my wife that my final route will be safe. Thanks all!
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Old 07-16-09, 07:22 PM   #9
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I am not too familiar with the south side, but from the Northern Suburbs I have a route to Kenosha that bypasses the questionable areas of North Chicago and Waukegan. I assume you will be taking the Lake Front Bike Path through most of Chicago. From there you need to navigate through the far north side and Evanston, someone else can probably help you there then head North on Sheridan. Sherridan Rd or the Mclory trail is ok up to the Great Lakes Naval Station but then it ceases to be paved and goes through some rather rotten neighborhoods. That is why everyone usually turns around once they get to GL.

Here is my route
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...-to-Kenosha-Wi

I'd take Sherridan/McClory up to Old Elm in Highwood then head west and follow my route.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikingGrad80 View Post
I am not too familiar with the south side, but from the Northern Suburbs I have a route to Kenosha that bypasses the questionable areas of North Chicago and Waukegan. I assume you will be taking the Lake Front Bike Path through most of Chicago. From there you need to navigate through the far north side and Evanston, someone else can probably help you there then head North on Sheridan. Sherridan Rd or the Mclory trail is ok up to the Great Lakes Naval Station but then it ceases to be paved and goes through some rather rotten neighborhoods. That is why everyone usually turns around once they get to GL.

Here is my route
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...-to-Kenosha-Wi

I'd take Sherridan/McClory up to Old Elm in Highwood then head west and follow my route.

I agree that this is a much better and more of a bike friendly route. I ride this route all the time. I also agree with the North Chicago/Waukegan area. Not a great neighborhood and the roads are in bad shape.

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Old 07-17-09, 11:24 AM   #11
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I also suggest not taking the McClory bike path until you reach Lake Forest. The sections south of Lake Forest includes sidewalks, streets, paved paths and crushed stone. I avoid Waukegan altogether.

An alternate route from Chicago to Libertyville is displayed here: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...24779539026461

You can travel on bike frindly streets from Chicago to mile marker 18. There join the bike path that begins in the RR station parking lot and take it to mile 24.5. Take streets the remainder of the way to libertyville and join this route at mile 25: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...24766945912805

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Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-17-09 at 11:55 AM.
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