Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Chicago road cycling

Reply

Old 01-10-06, 06:37 PM
  #1  
trackturtle
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Chicago road cycling

Moving to Chicago in 2 months. Want to train and race road. Where are the best places to live and ride?? Please help. I have never been to Chicago before. Also would like to do some track, but want to live in a good area for road cycling.
trackturtle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-06, 08:28 PM
  #2  
Zurich
You only YOLO once
 
Zurich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Napghanistan
Posts: 306

Bikes: Merica

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Well, it depends. Are you planning on living in the city? I've been in Chicago for two years now and there are definatley better places to train than in the city, especially in the Midwest.
Zurich is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-06, 09:00 PM
  #3  
Guest
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
If you live on the northside, I'd head out to the Higher Gear over in Highland Park. I think the guy's name there is Jason- he's supposed to be first rate.

If you are downtown, check out Yojimbo's Garage over on North Clybourn (just over a block north of Clybourn and Division). During the summer, he runs track racing clinics over at the velodrome up in Northbrook.

In August, they have the US Pro Criterium Championships. They race cat 5- professionals there. That's a race you can get involved in.

If you're living closer to the downtown area, you can always join the Triple X cycling team. You can see Marcus at Yojimbo's for more details on that, or you can drop me a PM and I can put you in touch with some folks who help out with that team.

If you ride, just ride north or west.... if you can ride into Aurora and beyond, it's great stuff and less flat. If you ride north, you can ride into Wisconsin and get an awesome endurance ride. Or throw your bike on the train or on the back of a bus and go to Galena, IL on the north west corner of Illinois and do more serious hill riding.

You can also go way south to southern Illinois and get some good hill riding in there too... but that's the extreme southern tip of Illinois, and a 6 hour ride to get what you can get in Galena in a couple of hours is not worth the trip.

Koffee
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-06, 09:07 PM
  #4  
aham23
grilled cheesus
 
aham23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 8675309
Posts: 6,951

Bikes: 2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by koffee brown
If you live on the northside, I'd head out to the Higher Gear over in Highland Park. I think the guy's name there is Jason- he's supposed to be first rate.

If you are downtown, check out Yojimbo's Garage over on North Clybourn (just over a block north of Clybourn and Division). During the summer, he runs track racing clinics over at the velodrome up in Northbrook.

In August, they have the US Pro Criterium Championships. They race cat 5- professionals there. That's a race you can get involved in.

If you're living closer to the downtown area, you can always join the Triple X cycling team. You can see Marcus at Yojimbo's for more details on that, or you can drop me a PM and I can put you in touch with some folks who help out with that team.

If you ride, just ride north or west.... if you can ride into Aurora and beyond, it's great stuff and less flat. If you ride north, you can ride into Wisconsin and get an awesome endurance ride. Or throw your bike on the train or on the back of a bus and go to Galena, IL on the north west corner of Illinois and do more serious hill riding.

You can also go way south to southern Illinois and get some good hill riding in there too... but that's the extreme southern tip of Illinois, and a 6 hour ride to get what you can get in Galena in a couple of hours is not worth the trip.

Koffee
all that and you dont live in Chicago, (Alexandria, VA), ?? good info. later.
__________________
aham23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-06, 10:07 PM
  #5  
Guest
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Because I lived and grew up there... and I just moved to Alexandria in May.

Koffee
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-06, 11:00 PM
  #6  
Nubie
Senior Member
 
Nubie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 694

Bikes: '17 Specialized Ruby Comp, '18 Specialized Diverge E5 Comp WSD

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
+1 what koffee said.

There's also a Higher Gear on Fullerton, which has group rides out to the Highland Park store. There are a few road cycling clubs that you can get involved with, and definitely get in touch with Marcus about track cycling. He's very nice, and extremely knowledgable (sp?).

To add to koffee's suggestions, Indiana and Michigan also have great cycling too.

Welcome to Chicago. Pull up a chair and stay awhile!
Nubie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-06, 11:40 PM
  #7  
ryang
Senior Member
 
ryang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 125

Bikes: 1991 Trek 1400 (105 w/Sora shifters, Look Pedals)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I live blocks from the lake near diversy. You can take a risk and ride the lake, just do it during off peak hours if you want to train and ride uninterrupted. If you don't, the path turns into a chaotic stream of tourists, meandering beachgoers, and parents who let their kids roam freely. All walking 2-3 people wide of course, in the wrong direction

Serisously, I did the lake path all last summer, my usual 25 mi if I had the time, and it was ok for the most part. If I waited till 6pm or noon on weekends I'd get stuck in the muck. I don't go past Navy Pier so that may have been an issue, it might be better south of the McCormick Center.
ryang is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 07:19 AM
  #8  
Thomill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Zion, Illinois
Posts: 264
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 on Higher Gear (http://www.highergearchicago.com/), but you should also meet up with the folks at Alberto's also in Highland Park (http://albertoscycles.com/about_us.html). I live in Zion, Illinois, which is just about as far northeast in Illinois as you can get before crossing over into Wisconsin. (There are also some excellent LBS in Madison and Milwaukee, both not too far away.) Northeastern Illinois is by my observation undergoing a housing explosion at the moment, with single family homes in the $250-350k ranges popping up all over the area. Townhomes are also on the rise. The roads here are in good condition, generally have low grades, and make for good routes. I cannot speak for racing or clubs really, but as for location, my family and I are very pleased with this area.

Take care,
T
Thomill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 10:01 AM
  #9  
duane041
Junk Collector
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicago IL
Posts: 974

Bikes: 1987 Schwinn Circuit, 2012 Colnago M10, 1990 Schwinn CrissCross

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
I live in Libertyville, about 35 miles north of Chicago, and the road riding here is OK, but a little dull. Illinois has little in the way of real hills, so if you like flats, you'll enjoy it. Drivers in the suburbs are more interested in talking on their phone, looking at their GPS, or yelling at their children than they are watching where they are headed, so wear bright colors and beware.
Someone mentioned a housing boom, and it's actually more like a BOOM!!!. Many roads up here are still wide open, you just have to find them.
duane041 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 08:03 PM
  #10  
trackturtle
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thank-you all for the help
trackturtle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 08:08 PM
  #11  
Mariner Fan
59'er
 
Mariner Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alexandria, IN
Posts: 3,302

Bikes: LeMond Maillot Jaune, Vintage Trek 520 (1985), 1976 Schwinn Voyageur 2, Miyata 1000 (1985)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I want to ride the trail that goes through the park by Lake Michigan. Plan to do this in the summer when the Mariners are in town to play the White Sox. Any BF members live in downtown Chicago....?
__________________
Mariner Fan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 08:28 PM
  #12  
Guest
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
God. You'll never get through all the rollerbladers, moms with strollers running 3 abreast, other cyclists, runners who weave both sides of the path, etc.

Good luck.

Koffee
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 08:44 PM
  #13  
Propofol
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I want to ride the trail that goes through the park by Lake Michigan. Plan to do this in the summer when the Mariners are in town to play the White Sox. Any BF members live in downtown Chicago....?
I lived in downtown Chicago from 1991 to 1997, where I went to medical school and did a few years of postgraduate medical training at Northwestern. I lived in an apartment on Lake Shore Drive and Erie, next to the Playboy Building.

Biking on the Lake Michigan path is nice, as it stretches all the way north from Soldier Field to where Lake Shore Drive ends, north of Lincoln Park. However, it's not a route to take if you're riding for training purposes, as it is extremely crowded with walkers, runners, rollerbladers, and recreational cyclists. It is a beautiful and fun path to take, though. The path is much less crowded in the early morning and on weekdays.

By the way, biking thru south Chicago is not recommended. I recall 2 of my classmates getting assaulted and getting their bikes stolen in the middle of the day near the University of Chicago. Comiskey Park isn't in the best neighborhood either.

Incidentally, isn't there a velodrome in North Chicago, around Northbrook?
Propofol is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 09:04 PM
  #14  
Mariner Fan
59'er
 
Mariner Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Alexandria, IN
Posts: 3,302

Bikes: LeMond Maillot Jaune, Vintage Trek 520 (1985), 1976 Schwinn Voyageur 2, Miyata 1000 (1985)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Geez, I thought it would be fun to bring my bike to Chicago and ride when I go to a baseball game. The lake trail sucks?
__________________
Mariner Fan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 09:16 PM
  #15  
Nubie
Senior Member
 
Nubie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Posts: 694

Bikes: '17 Specialized Ruby Comp, '18 Specialized Diverge E5 Comp WSD

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
The lake trail does not suck. In fact, quite the opposite. However, it depends on what you're looking for. If you want beautiful views of the city, lake, and parks with great opportunities for people watching and sight-seeing, it is perfect. But if you want someplace to do hard-core training rides, it not optimal. In the summer, there are crowds at the beaches, runners, roller-bladers, etc. But what urban beach is not going to have that in the hot summer? It's still possible to ride, but you'll have to be careful and go slowly.

That being said, I would not ride to Comiskey, especially not with a bike that I liked and cared about. I would not feel safe leaving it locked up somewhere on the South side where I couldn't keep an eye on it. If you left it in your hotel room, that would be safer.

Propofol: Are you anesthesia? I'm currently a resident at NMH (path) and my sister is 1st yr med student at NW. You were my neighbor - I live in McClurg. And yes, there is a velodrome in Northbrook.
Nubie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 09:52 PM
  #16  
CLNeumie
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake County, IL
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by trackturtle
Moving to Chicago in 2 months. Want to train and race road. Where are the best places to live and ride?? Please help. I have never been to Chicago before. Also would like to do some track, but want to live in a good area for road cycling.
If riding and training defines where you want to live in order to max. the possibilities, I suggest Lake County, IL, between Chicago/Cook County and Wisconsin. More roads, which are getting busier all the time, but you can find lots of options as you head west from Lake Michigan. Also, nearby Wisconsin has great roads, which are well maintained, including the lake country around Lake Geneva, etc.

As for coaching, look into Visionquestcoaching.com . It is led by an ex-Postal rider, Robbie Ventura. He has a fantastic, indoor training facility in Lake Bluff, IL, in Lake County. Dozens of athletes and computerized trainers with big screens. Serious training and racing.

Good luck. Remember, we ride in the winter here as long as it is above 20 degrees. If it snows, use the fat tires. Welcome.
CLNeumie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 10:15 PM
  #17  
Propofol
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Nubie
Propofol: Are you anesthesia? I'm currently a resident at NMH (path) and my sister is 1st yr med student at NW. You were my neighbor - I live in McClurg. And yes, there is a velodrome in Northbrook.
Good guess! NUMS '95, and my sister graduated in '97. Actually, I started out as a surgical resident but switched after deciding the lifestyle wasn't for me. You are correct, I was your neighbor - lived in Onterie Center, just a block away from you.

Mariner Fan: don't get me wrong, like what Nubie said the lake path is a wonderful place to ride. It's very scenic and very easy and accessible. But you won't be able to sprint at 35mph if that's your bag.
Propofol is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-06, 10:25 PM
  #18  
Guest
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
You won't be able to sprint over 15 miles per hour. It's not a ride you do if you want to go fast or if you're in a hurry, unless you go during the off times. I would not ride that path north after 5am. Going south is always much better, but it's still an occasional pain in the butt. By south, I mean riding the path south from Museum campus and heading southward to 74th Street at the end of Lake Shore Drive.

North sucks.

Koffee
 
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service