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Other possible C&V Chicago, Milwaukee area Saturday rides - ideas welcome

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Other possible C&V Chicago, Milwaukee area Saturday rides - ideas welcome

Old 04-27-15, 05:47 PM
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Other possible C&V Chicago, Milwaukee area Saturday rides - ideas welcome

Even though the Chicago Spring ride turnout for this wasn't large, the number of C&V enthusiast in Chicago is. There was a nice number last Fall at the Chicago lakefront ride. Have to say, the company on these rides are tops. The bikes, enthusiasm and pace of ride is excellent.

Not always easy to make the events and I can understand. The main challenge is fitting ones schedule, between family related, home projects, obligations, perhaps other rides, etc.. (Hope to make iab's ride in Mineral Point, WI this coming month, other in Mi. and S.IL.)

But for those within a few hours drive radius, it would be nice to have more of the C&V rides. Of course theres many organized rides of all type but I'm encouraging and geared more with the C&V enthusiast. Dust your old bike off, sport old attire whatever and grind out.

Additionally, the variety of dedicated bike path system in and around Chicago is diverse with great scenery. The lakefront speaks for itself and this last ride west of the city rural countryside roads is terrific. Last year, I rode with smontanaro and iab thru the Bull Valley area. That one is more of a workout.

Anyways, I've been exploring some routes a bit north of this Spring ride (bordering IL/WI). I found one area with just enough terrain to mix it up. When I mean mixed terrain, there's some off-road involved, then onto packed gravel, probably the remaining 80% asphalt. Could avoid that entire portion but misses half the fun of the route. This would be a ride to somewhat test your technical riding skills but at a slower mild pace and throttle back.

Not exactly cyclocross either. All rideable, if have to, walk it, but no race running. Have no fear though, an older road bike on 700c or 27" wider road tire is good enough and absolutely nothing extreme. I've managed it on sketchy on old narrow tubulars. Mild cyclocross tire isn't neccesary, but a wider width is. Very doable for older road bikes having a 24 cog / 42 chainring or such combo.

A few weekends ago, I did the shorter off-road forest section while wearing vintage road shoes with cleats and toe clips. The road portions wind thru rural, ranch area's, neighborhoods that have plenty of short climbs allowing nice rollers. The loop route / angle of wind direction seems consistent to work in ones favor.

Could always choose to skip the off-road section, but I think it adds character. Pretty scenery in the woods, along the water ways, lots of wildlife, deer, turkey, pheasant, herons, etc.. If the off-road gets the better of one, its a nice walk and not too long of distance. For some I wouldn't say its easy peasy for but rather feels rewarding and accomplished. You're on some old steel road bike thats more capable than most realize. Maybe you'll cuss too, but I think you'll be grinning just the same. When one completes the off-road course and then hits the tarmac with a tail wind, it feels like your flying. No mountain bike is going to come close.

Plenty of good landmarks for rest stops and re-group. Haven't mapped it but so far, I'm liking a loop approximately 35 miles. Distance could of course be modified if wanting extra miles, but I think is just challenging enough and where most are comfortable with. Assume a 9:00 am start and if there's a breakdown, flats, or other, scenery / photo op's there's plenty of day. Plus it allows time to relax afterwards before heading home. With that in mind, theres good places on or post ride to eat and drink.

Other ideas, places? Feedback welcome ~

Last edited by crank_addict; 04-27-15 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 04-27-15, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Other ideas, places? Feedback welcome ~
I have several awesome routes up the north shore - Evanston to Lake Forest. 35-60 miles.
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Old 04-27-15, 07:16 PM
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Your route sounds great to me (though probably too far away for me to make it). If you were to venture a little further north to the Kettle Moraine, then I could sketch out a really nice ride for you from West Bend to points north. Pick the right weekend, and I'd MC the event. I really like the C&V crowd as opposed to the 41.
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Old 04-27-15, 08:33 PM
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Always game for something down here in my neck of the woods, as long as I can ride to the IP. I'm not much of one to pack my bike in a motor vehicle and drive somewhere just to go for a bike ride.
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Old 04-27-15, 08:38 PM
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As long as I'm not working or a big family thing like a wedding that weekend, I'll definitely show up! The C&V people are the best, the bikes are awesome to look at, and I don't turn down good food and a cold one after the ride!
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Old 04-27-15, 08:49 PM
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A bit North of Milwaukee, but Door County.....and maybe a fish boil should make for a very nice C&V ride.....
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Old 04-27-15, 09:05 PM
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I'm up for some combination of the Prairie Trail to WI and the Moraine Hills State Park trail. Should be a nice combination of smooth roads, a little ruggedness, and tiny hills.
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Old 04-27-15, 09:32 PM
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I really wish it had worked to make that ride this last weekend. I'm up for trying again...
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Old 04-27-15, 11:49 PM
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Miss my Chicago area C and Vers! Have fun....
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Old 04-28-15, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Other ideas, places? Feedback welcome ~
I have several awesome routes up the north shore - Evanston to Lake Forest. 35-60 miles.
That's my stomping grounds as well. Sheridan Rd is the cyclists highway on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I am usually out there early picking up with whatever group rolls by. A C&V group would be awesome.

Wouldn't mind a southern Wisconsin ride. I am always looking for an excuse to do some camping, so incorporating a bike ride into a camping weekend is always a possibility.

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Old 04-28-15, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
That's my stomping grounds as well. Sheridan Rd is the cyclists highway on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I am usually out there early picking up with whatever group rolls by. A C&V group would be awesome.

Wouldn't mind a southern Wisconsin ride. I am always looking for an excuse to do some camping, so incorporating a bike ride into a camping weekend is always a possibility.
I'm familiar with some the areas mentioned. Great ideas, keep them coming.
Especially good if you have a route in mind, scouted and with respects to all rider capabilities plus type of lightweight bike.

I was thinking perhaps Saturday event's but could also see a C&V light load camping ordeal.

For camping, found this blog of taking the train from Chicago to Harvard and then ride to Madison or New Glarus. Seems the author rode short mileage days. A four day round trip could work. Devils Lake camping / destination?
Chicago to Madison Bicycle Route

I could arrange for anyone wishing to drive to Harvard, park their cars secure and private. There's very little road vehicle traffic up that way plus bike specific trails to mix it up. Could even see riding to Mineral Point.

(Thoughts of the return, southerly route and wind currents in that region. Open farmland beating? Good, bad?)

I know a north heading from Bloomington, IL works favorably while in the open. Heading south is tougher. Could be brutal too if carrying full load panniers / camping.

Last edited by crank_addict; 04-28-15 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 04-28-15, 10:43 AM
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Primary idea:
More frequent C&V single day rides
Location for those in the region
Between ones busy life, family, obligations, the timing of or schedule such events

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Tossing it out there ~
(Hope the topic is not in the wrong forum and even though regional, its focus is C&V.)

This is not about knocking out hardcore mileage but just enough challenge, comfortable distance for the majority. Good company and a whole lot of ooh's and ah's cool bikes in action. Scenery or destination points of interest is a big plus. I wouldn't expect any elaborate planning, yet enough in the group prepped for self support.

The more the better-
I'm also thinking of those who might feel slighted by not having the right bike or setup for one of these gatherings. Lets say one has a steel lightweight but rested on race tubulars, tall geared, etc.. I'd be willing to loan wheels, tires or gearing for that particular ride (assuming I have available). Probably not neccesary to most forum members but for example, I know of a fellow seemingly afraid of riding his old bikes... for any number of reasons. If you've ever seen the typical flat landers older lightweight hanging in the garage for the last twenty years, you'll get what I mean. I'm trying

Plus some may think (and rightly so) at their age can't hang with the young dudes on modern / CF bikes. Not easy convincing them to dust an old bike off and air the tires. It would be nice to convey to others yet to try one of the C&V gathrings. The atmosphere on these rides is way beyond the weeknight hotshot drop rides. The latest team repro kit ain't gonna fit with this crowd. A neat old lightweight, white sox and toe clips fit right in. A few at the Chicago Spring ride were sporting knickers.... too cool. Old school cycling bags, racks, whatever.

And for something to move the experience up a notch-
Assuming and by having frequent regional meets, eventually we can get to know each others riding, speed comfort, how we feel with elevation changes, etc.. With that, perhaps take it to another level.... don't freak now.... read on.

Depending on the comfort level and skill of riders, might be fun to have a coordinated paceline. If and only when on clean roads, low debris, no pot holes, etc. and the biggie - certainly mind full of rare bikes and our safety. For all of us a recovery from mishap is not the same as when we were 20. But no reason to hammer out solo and I rather think the casual riders would greatly enjoy a paceline. And how cool would it be sailing along with a bunch of steel and chrome?

We'd follow a predetermined set of rules, considering the type of bikes (down tube shifters, the non-index'r, safest gap between riders etc..) Would includes throttling back for stronger riders, their duty to moderate pace for everyone, stick to a pre-determined rotation, optional leader meaning a mid pack rider doesn't have to at all or at any time.

I think the casual riders would greatly enjoy the experience, getting pulled along, conserve far more energy and enjoy the closer company. The more often the same riders get together and learn the routine, I think some greater distances will be on the want list.
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Old 04-28-15, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post

I'm familiar with some the areas mentioned. Great ideas, keep them coming.
Especially good if you have a route in mind, scouted and with respects to all rider capabilities plus type of lightweight bike.

I was thinking perhaps Saturday event's but could also see a C&V light load camping ordeal.

For camping, found this blog of taking the train from Chicago to Harvard and then ride to Madison or New Glarus. Seems the author rode short mileage days. A four day round trip could work. Devils Lake camping / destination?
Chicago to Madison Bicycle Route

I could arrange for anyone wishing to drive to Harvard, park their cars secure and private. There's very little road vehicle traffic up that way plus bike specific trails to mix it up. Could even see riding to Mineral Point.

(Thoughts of the return, southerly route and wind currents in that region. Open farmland beating? Good, bad?)

I know a north heading from Bloomington, IL works favorably while in the open. Heading south is tougher. Could be brutal too if carrying full load panniers / camping.
I was just thinking outloud. If a ride were to be planned on a weekend day in Wisconsin, I would probably drive up the night before to camp overnight. Then just a short drive or perhaps ride to the start of the C&V ride in the morning. Haven't bike camped before, as that takes a bit of preparation and some specialty gear.
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Old 04-28-15, 02:42 PM
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Subscribing in case I can link up for one of these rides. Several years ago one of the local shops tried to get a "vintage" ride going, not sure if it is still going though.
There are a variety of paved and some unpaved trails up here which might also be an option. I tried to get an Ozaukee Interurban ride going a few years ago, but family stuff took over so I couldn't make it.
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