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Chicago to Milwaukee

Old 04-12-12, 07:00 PM
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Chicago to Milwaukee

Ok, perhaps this is verging on a touring question but I don't consider it one so I am posting here.

I live in Chicago and am going to see my Twins play the Brewers in late May. I am meeting some friends there driving over from the Twin Cities. I figure, why not ride up? It is 85 miles, I figure I can do it in about 6 hours. The first game is Friday night (8pm) so I would take the whole day off to get there. Saturday is a day game. Not going to the Sunday game, just riding back.

I've been as far North as Zion via North Channel trail and Green Bay trails. I have not ridden over the IL/WI border.

So, here is my request, help me fill in the gap! Has anyone ridden between these cities? I'm sure someone has. If not, any Milwaukee commuters care to advise the best routes between you and the border? Any streets to avoid? I've checked google maps bike routes but I know from personal experience that they can be seriously flawed...

As always, any info the community could give would be much appreciated!
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Old 04-12-12, 07:21 PM
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' might want to post this topic here too.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:34 PM
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Hey John - another Chicagoan here.

I just rode to the north end of Kenosha on Friday. To really firm up on which trails and such to use, look into the WI bike map and trail guides. If you do end up doing it, and need a riding buddy, PM me. I've been dying to ride to Milwaukee from Chicago (I've already done Harvard, IL to Madison, WI last month.)

Also, the Robert McClory (formerly North Shore Trail) is absolutely horrible from Waukegan to about Zion. I don't like riding on crushed limestone, and there is broken glass ALL OVER the trail. I actually got a flat on my way back from Kenosha last Friday. I'd advise taking a surface street through that section.
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Old 04-12-12, 08:03 PM
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How was the Harvard to Madison ride? Did you sign up for any organized rides out in the DeKalb/Rockford area. I did the Broadhead/New Glarus ride last year - trail wasn't that great. I found the Great Western Trail (St. Charles to DeKalb) to be the best of the crushed limestone trails
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Old 04-12-12, 08:26 PM
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The Harvard to Madison was so much fun. Actually, I was surprised at how many rolling hills southern Wisconsin has to offer. It's a whole lot different than the pancake flatness of Chicago. The best part of climbing the hills was bombing down the other side. One of the guys we rode with actually had some video footage of us bombing down one @ 41 mph. Excellent stuff.

I'll not ride crushed limestone if I have to. Maybe I'm crazy, but I feel like I'm slower on it. And now I'm paranoid that I won't be able to see broken glass like there was in Waukegan.

Is Broadhead to New Glarus all crushed limestone? Seems like it could potentially be a lot of fun. That also seems vagely familiar...maybe part of a GLR route?



Originally Posted by pmartin4665
How was the Harvard to Madison ride? Did you sign up for any organized rides out in the DeKalb/Rockford area. I did the Broadhead/New Glarus ride last year - trail wasn't that great. I found the Great Western Trail (St. Charles to DeKalb) to be the best of the crushed limestone trails
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Old 04-13-12, 12:43 PM
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I've been planning on doing this ride for quite some time actually. There is even a book about how to do it: https://www.amazon.com/Biking-Trails-...dp/0966225902/

That sucks to hear about all the broken glass but it isn't surprising. That's why I've been so hesitant to take my road bike up there. So I guess a good question for some of the veterans would be, would a hybrid be a good choice for a ride like this?
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Old 04-13-12, 01:25 PM
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You can do most of the Wisconsin part on trails, its quite scenic but longer and slower. If you just want to get to Milwaukee, once you're in WI, go west until you reach Hwy H then take that north until it ends, then ride Nicholson Rd. into town.

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Old 04-13-12, 02:44 PM
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EdgewaterDude: Broadhead to New Glarus is all crushed limestone - we road hybrid bikes on it; trail isn't nearly as nice as The Great Western trail I mentioned. Definitely worth spending a night in New Glarus to tour the brewery ( Spotted Cow beer = yumm ) and catch some awesome German cuisine
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Old 04-14-12, 07:50 AM
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I think you are in the right forum. Aren't the Cubs and Brewers crosstown rivals?

Marc
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Old 04-14-12, 09:07 AM
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There are some threads in the Great Lakes forum.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...o+to+milwaukee

https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=5431205
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Old 04-14-12, 11:07 AM
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I've never done it, but would like to do that eventually. Make sure you keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 04-14-12, 12:29 PM
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Thanks all - I'll be sure to bump after I've done the ride. It is May 19th so it will be a while.
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