Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Libertyville IL
Bikes: 1984 Ross Signature 292S, 1954 Carlton International, 1993 Bridgestone XO-4, 2006 Schwinn Cruiser SSX
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I have ridden the Des Plaines RT for about 5 years, and it changes quickly. It can be hard packed (i.e. frozen) at times, but when you get a thaw, you have about an inch of slop. If it snows, it is there until it melts, which also causes the slop condition. Plus, if you have horses on the path early in the morning during a thaw, you will be riding in their hoofprints, which have rattled me so bad I rode in the twigs and sticks on the shoulder.
I'd bring the studs. You never know what you may encounter during this time of year.