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I need to live near scenic, cycling safe, rural roads and bike paths.

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Old 05-22-18, 07:23 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I used the North Branch Bike Path in Cook County which starts on the north side of Chicago and made access to the North Shore suburbs moderately safe. The Lake Front bike path is very scenic, but severely overpopulated with pedestrians on the weekends. I also got into gravel bike cycling and started using the Des Plaines River Trail about 8 years ago. So cycling in Chicago was possible, but urban cycling is always more hazardous and stressful than empty farm roads.
There are lots of miles of gravel/crushed limestone prairie paths and also paved paths in the western chicago suburbs. (there is an A&W along a Fox river path ). Yeah, still have to cross busy roads every once and awhile.

But far enough west, still have these paths and rural country roads aren't that far away.

I will eventually retire to Rural Ohio, where there are country roads and a large network of paved bike paths. Different kind of danger there because of poor economy and Heroin/Meth drug problems.
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Old 05-25-18, 06:25 AM
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Pack up the bike, get on the Dan Ryan Expressway, go east. Head towards I-65 south, and shoot down to I-70. Go east to the Dayton, Ohio area. We have the largest paved, off-road Rails-to-Trails system in the nation. Ohio-to-Erie and points in-between. Just over 5 hours from Chi Town. Moved here from Blues Brothers town 30 years ago. We run a small boutique hotel right on the trail.

Ohio To Erie Trail
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Old 05-25-18, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by stuart1865 View Post
Pack up the bike, get on the Dan Ryan Expressway, go east. Head towards I-65 south, and shoot down to I-70. Go east to the Dayton, Ohio area. We have the largest paved, off-road Rails-to-Trails system in the nation. Ohio-to-Erie and points in-between. Just over 5 hours from Chi Town. Moved here from Blues Brothers town 30 years ago. We run a small boutique hotel right on the trail.

Ohio To Erie Trail
I lived near the Cuyahoga National Park between Cleveland and Akron several years ago. Ohio has some great cycling. The park was set in a valley with plenty of steep climbs to be found. The tow-path trail was perfect for long, scenic rides. An ideal and relatively safe place for a century ride. The Dayton area must be superb also.

Edwardsville Illinois has some of the best cycling infrastructure I've ever seen. A local light rail network was converted to paved and crushed limestone trials. With more than 150 miles of trails that are set in park like surroundings and rarely must cross busy streets, the riding is superlative. See: http://www.mcttrails.org/map.aspx

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Old 05-25-18, 12:10 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I would love to be in Madison. I've done the Dairyland Dare several times and the Horribly Hilly. The local culture is also more vibrant than most Midwestern communities with the University and State Capital. However, I really need to be within a 90 minute drive to O'Hare, so Madison is too far west. I'm house hunting in an general area between Racine and Lake Geneva. Local cycling there is almost as good as the Madison area.
You'll find the areas in Southern Kettle Moraine, around LaGrange (corner of Hwy 12 and Cty H, n-east of Whitewater, west of East Troy) to be VERY nice road riding. There's lots of paved MUP-trails throughout the Milwaukee region (Oak Leaf system, connects to the Interurban Trail that ends up by Sheybogan..did 60 miles a couple days ago on this one, The Glacial Drumlin runs between Waukesha and Madison..can be accessed from the Milw-Oak Leaf Trail). There's a nice paved trail-route between Racine and Illinois Beach State Park..will be riding that this weekend. Great road riding around New Glarus. Lots of options.. If you open up to the rest of the state..many..many more options.

If you have questions on the area, shoot me a PM..
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Old 05-26-18, 04:52 AM
  #30  
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I need to live near scenic, cycling safe, rural roads and bike paths.
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I spent most of my life living in highly populated neighborhoods in or near Chicago. Seven months out of the year I could cram four or five thousand miles of riding in, if I was willing to endure the elements and budget the time.

Four years ago I relocated to a college town near St. Louis. While the quantity of my cycling didn't increase, the quality improved by an enormous amount. A huge bike trail systems allows me to avoid traffic anytime I want. Hundreds of miles of quiet rural roads allow me to enjoy a huge range of bucolic scenery without needing to use a car to transport the bike. It's been cycling heaven.

A recent career decision requires me to live somewhere near Chicago and Milwaukee again. Initially, I started searching for a home close to the city limits of these two cities.

But I can't go back to dangerous traffic and a serious lack of cycling infrastructure. I think I've found a town between Chicago and Milwaukee that is rural and remote enough that local riding is reasonable safe and pleasant.
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
…So cycling in Chicago was possible, but urban cycling is always more hazardous and stressful than empty farm roads.
I have had a similar midwestern life experience:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston…[however]
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
And I cycle a nice distance of at least 14 miles through one of America’s most charming, interesting, and historic metropolises on residential and light commercial roads (and partially on a bikepath in a park) in the reverse commuter direction early in the morning, during all four (pleasant to tolerable) seasons.

For training purposes, I can expand my routes to encompass popular high-level cycling outer suburbs……
Originally Posted by Stun View Post
My experience is that people drive differently in every city and treat cyclists very differently. The best advice often comes from cyclists that live the closest to you

The exception here would also be Jim from Boston--anyone that can successfully commute around Boston has my full respect and probably knows how to deal with about every intersection imaginable!

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-26-18 at 07:04 AM. Reason: added second quote by Barrettscv
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Old 05-26-18, 06:44 AM
  #31  
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If you are still looking near the Chicago area, the eastern portion of DuPage County has the Salt Creek Trail system that runs from the northern boundary of DuPage south and connects with the Great Western Trail and Illinois Prairie Path. About 90% of the Salt Creek Trail is MUP. Towns like Itasca, Wood Dale, Addison and Villa Park offer great access.
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Old 05-27-18, 05:35 PM
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I'm on the very outer edge of the Madison County Trail system. You would have a hard time finding a better town than Edwardsville for bike riding. Car traffic there sucks, however. That place grew too fast and the roads aren't laid out well for the amount of traffic they have.
Ever been to the Wildey? I saw a good hypnosis show there recently.
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Old 05-27-18, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I spent most of my life living in highly populated neighborhoods in or near Chicago. Seven months out of the year I could cram four or five thousand miles of riding in, if I was willing to endure the elements and budget the time. Four years ago I relocated to a college town near St. Louis. While the quantity of my cycling didn't increase, the quality improved by an enormous amount. A huge bike trail systems allows me to avoid traffic anytime I want. Hundreds of miles of quiet rural roads allow me to enjoy a huge range of bucolic scenery without needing to use a car to transport the bike. It's been cycling heaven.

A recent career decision requires me to live somewhere near Chicago and Milwaukee again. Initially, I started searching for a home close to the city limits of these two cities.

But I can't go back to dangerous traffic and a serious lack of cycling infrastructure. I think I've found a town between Chicago and Milwaukee that is rural and remote enough that local riding is reasonable safe and pleasant.
Wherever you go, it will be tough to beat the trails and back roads around Madison County. I greatly enjoyed the rides I got to share with you both there, and in the Chicago area years ago.
However, Wisconsin has great cycling infrastructure and bike friendly backroads, so hopefully you can land in a good spot.
When I was on the road,I found lots of great spots all over the state to ride.
Even in the middle of the greater Chicago area, I found a safe, enjoyable spot to ride. Lets just say, I never did find any hills in Hickory Hills.
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Old 05-28-18, 02:32 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
Wherever you go, it will be tough to beat the trails and back roads around Madison County. I greatly enjoyed the rides I got to share with you both there, and in the Chicago area years ago.
However, Wisconsin has great cycling infrastructure and bike friendly backroads, so hopefully you can land in a good spot.
When I was on the road,I found lots of great spots all over the state to ride.
Even in the middle of the greater Chicago area, I found a safe, enjoyable spot to ride. Lets just say, I never did find any hills in Hickory Hills.
Hi Dan, Yes the cycling and mild climate make Madison county the best place for cycling in Illinois. Cycling in Chicago is doable for me if I live close to The North Branch Bike Path. I also enjoy The Des Plaines River Trail for easier gravel bike cycling, this trail can help a cyclist travel all the way from Chicago to the Wisconsin border without any vehicular traffic enroute.

I enjoyed cycling with you in Illinois.
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Old 05-28-18, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Hi Dan, Yes the cycling and mild climate make Madison county the best place for cycling in Illinois. Cycling in Chicago is doable for me if I live close to The North Branch Bike Path. I also enjoy The Des Plaines River Trail for easier gravel bike cycling, this trail can help a cyclist travel all the way from Chicago to the Wisconsin border without any vehicular traffic enroute.

I enjoyed cycling with you in Illinois.
The last Illinois exit on I 94 is Russel Rd. Several times, I parked at the TA there and rode about a mile to the start of the Des Plaines River trail.From there, my only limit was how much time I could spare.
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Old 05-31-18, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Is Madison close enough to Chicago and Milwaukee for your purposes? It's become quite a bike friendly town, with a network of bike paths, and reasonable access to rural roads. Lots of commuters ride through the winter, including myself.
Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
You'll find the areas in Southern Kettle Moraine, around LaGrange (corner of Hwy 12 and Cty H, n-east of Whitewater, west of East Troy) to be VERY nice road riding. There's lots of paved MUP-trails throughout the Milwaukee region (Oak Leaf system, connects to the Interurban Trail that ends up by Sheybogan..did 60 miles a couple days ago on this one, The Glacial Drumlin runs between Waukesha and Madison..can be accessed from the Milw-Oak Leaf Trail). There's a nice paved trail-route between Racine and Illinois Beach State Park..will be riding that this weekend. Great road riding around New Glarus. Lots of options.. If you open up to the rest of the state..many..many more options.

If you have questions on the area, shoot me a PM..
​​​​​​​

We just got the news. We have an accepted offer on a ranch about a half mile from Elm Park in Lake Geneva. I had a Macchiato at the Avant Bicycle & Cafe this morning. I noticed the have an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra hanging above the door. I might fit in here.

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Old 05-31-18, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
We just got the news. We have an accepted offer on a ranch about a half mile from Elm Park in Lake Geneva. I had a Macchiato at the Avant Bicycle & Cafe this morning. I noticed the have an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra hanging above the door. I might fit in here.
Congrats! I'll bet the cycling will be great there.
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Old 05-31-18, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post

We just got the news. We have an accepted offer on a ranch about a half mile from Elm Park in Lake Geneva. I had a Macchiato at the Avant Bicycle & Cafe this morning. I noticed the have an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra hanging above the door. I might fit in here.
There's a lot of pretty country in there. Parts of it could get traffic-y when tourist season gets going -- anything within driving distance from Chicago gets a lot of people. But I'm sure you'll find the less-traveled back roads and bike paths.
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Old 06-01-18, 06:20 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post

We just got the news. We have an accepted offer on a ranch about a half mile from Elm Park in Lake Geneva. I had a Macchiato at the Avant Bicycle & Cafe this morning. I noticed the have an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra hanging above the door. I might fit in here.
Congrats..nice area. Lake Geneva is a good town. You'll like Snake Road. Yes..a tourist haven in the summer, but not like the Dells(cough). Did a 46 miler around the Lake Geneva, Williams Bay, Delavan area a few weeks ago. Shoot me a PM when you hit town..maybe I can point you to some good routes.
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Old 06-01-18, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Congrats..nice area. Lake Geneva is a good town. You'll like Snake Road. Yes..a tourist haven in the summer, but not like the Dells(cough). Did a 46 miler around the Lake Geneva, Williams Bay, Delavan area a few weeks ago. Shoot me a PM when you hit town..maybe I can point you to some good routes.
That would be great. I should be moved in a settled by August if everything continues as planned.
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Old 06-01-18, 06:43 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
That would be great. I should be moved in a settled by August if everything continues as planned.
Cool. In the mean time..the link below..a nice perk from our tax dollars at work (as opposed to those locales (BTDT) that say.."we have low taxes!.."..sadly, that's all they got.) Wisconsin is a nice place to live.

I think this was done in conjunction with the Wisconsin Bike Federation. Combine this series of traffic-density maps with Ride With GPS planning..great combo.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation County bicycle maps
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Old 06-01-18, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Cool. In the mean time..the link below..a nice perk from our tax dollars at work (as opposed to those locales (BTDT) that say.."we have low taxes!.."..sadly, that's all they got.) Wisconsin is a nice place to live.

I think this was done in conjunction with the Wisconsin Bike Federation. Combine this series of traffic-density maps with Ride With GPS planning..great combo.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation County bicycle maps
Thanks' About 10-14 years ago Waterford Precision Cycles held some well attended group rides. I remember one particularly well. The route started in Waterford, went around Lake Geneva and returned to Waterford. 95% of the route were either rustic roads or wide paved highways with a generous paved shoulder. I'm looking forward to some of the hills near Alpine Valley.
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Old 06-01-18, 08:27 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Thanks' About 10-14 years ago Waterford Precision Cycles held some well attended group rides. I remember one particularly well. The route started in Waterford, went around Lake Geneva and returned to Waterford. 95% of the route were either rustic roads or wide paved highways with a generous paved shoulder. I'm looking forward to some of the hills near Alpine Valley.
Waterford still does rides I think. Bike Doctor does also: https://www.bikedr.com/

Lots of community-sponsored rides also. A number of us are doing the Ft. Atkinson Tour de Fort Metric Century. https://www.travelwisconsin.com/even...century-104409

FLAT route..but nice scenery and well run, so I'm told.
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Old 06-02-18, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Waterford still does rides I think. Bike Doctor does also: https://www.bikedr.com/

Lots of community-sponsored rides also. A number of us are doing the Ft. Atkinson Tour de Fort Metric Century. https://www.travelwisconsin.com/even...century-104409

FLAT route..but nice scenery and well run, so I'm told.
I'll try to join you for the Ft. Atkinson event.
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Old 06-03-18, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'll try to join you for the Ft. Atkinson event.
OK..send up a flare when you're in the neighborhood.
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Old 06-12-18, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
And good luck with Winter. I understand there is more of that North of Central Indiana. But, rural and remote will probably make up for that.
The MONON! Bloomington to Carmel. That's where my daughter and SIL ride..
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Old 06-12-18, 12:19 PM
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SW Lower Michigan is getting there.. still a little ways to go.. KVRT runs from Galesburg, through downtown Kalamazoo then up to D Ave.. 24-ish miles.. construction this summer on a spur across downtown to connect to KalHaven Trailway, 34-ish miles Kalamazoo to South Haven.. next year, the KVRT leg continues across Greater Metropolitan Galesburg to Ft. Custer State Rec Area, 14 miles of trails in a couple loops.. plans also to extend it across downtown Battle Creek to Marshall.. an extension 42 mile leg is planned to join Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. another five, six years, maybe ten.. another spur will connect to Portage Creek Trailway, that has I think 20 miles When completed, we're really gonna have something. And a lot if it has been crowdfunded
Hope I'm still riding at age 66..
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Old 06-12-18, 12:22 PM
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one of the popular events on the KVRT is the "Bell's Beer Ride"
Start at Bell's Eccentric Cafe, ride the 16 miles out to the production facility, take a tour, then ride back and tip suds and eat the best damn cheesefries you've ever had..
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Old 06-19-18, 11:40 AM
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White River State Trail. Mid-point with trail parking is in Springfield, just north of Lake Geneva.
Easy-peasy crushed limestone rail trail with a gradual rise from east to west, 11 miles one way.
Requires a trail pass from the DNR.
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