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Any Chicago or Illinois riders?(21 posts)

Any Chicago or Illinois riders?DoubleH
Aug 4, 2003 7:50 AM
What are some good clubs, where are some good trails, and what is your favorite bike shop?

Also should I forget about getting a hybrid and get a road bike? I think eventually I'll want to do long rides. Right now I'm just starting out. (ya know, I might just get one and later on down the line get a road bike).
re: Any Chicago or Illinois riders?t-bill
Aug 4, 2003 8:03 AM
Trails - obviously the lake shore, but there is also pretty good riding in the forrest preserves of the NW suburbs

Bike shops - Higher Gear, Cycle Smithy, Johnny Sprockets, Village Cycle Center, Kozy's (all in the city)

Get the bike you're comfortable riding. If that's a commuter or hybrid, go for it. Riding a road bike will be lots different than a hybrid. Road bikes put you in a different riding position. Do some research and takes some test rides. That's the best way to learn what you want.

Good luck!
You didn't say where you liveMR_GRUMPY
Aug 4, 2003 8:10 AM
There are many bike clubs in the area. Even in the city.
You didn't say where you liveDoubleH
Aug 4, 2003 8:28 AM

I am in the Western Suburbs. Oak Park/River Forest area.
I'm not sure of any clubs down in Oak Park, but you areKristin
Aug 4, 2003 2:05 PM
near Lickton's Bike shop and they are A++++. Stop in and chat with Robin. Tell him Kristin sent you and he should consider putting me on commision. (Actually, I owe them big.) :-0

If you are going to consider making a leap immediately to road bikes, make sure to talk to Robin. They don't have many bikes in stock, but they are excellent at fitting bikes. And bike fit is mucho important when it comes to road bikes. There is lots of fudge room regarding fit and hybrids because they are so upright and cushy. Not so with road frames. Robin will do right by you.

If you want to go for a ride with some local gals. I'm planning a ride for some friends along to Fox River on 8/17. This will be a leisurely 20+ mile ride and we'll stop for lunch at a waterfront pub in St. Charles. Email me at if you'd like more details.
Melon Metric 8/17MisJG
Aug 6, 2003 9:11 AM
So I guess I shouldn't look for you on the Melon Metric on 8/17? Check out the rides & clubs board for the link I posted to the info.
Ha. I couldn't ride 60 miles if a bear was chasing me.Kristin
Aug 6, 2003 9:18 AM
Too bad, I'd hoped to have completed my first century by now. Have fun at the Metric.
Sure you can!MisJG
Aug 6, 2003 9:38 AM
I somehow skipped the entire month of July and didn't ride at all (and I was trying to find a way to do RAGBRAI!!). I plan to 'get back on the horse' by riding to work on this Friday, get in a couple-o-rides next week and be ready. We'll see. Either way, Bike Psychos is 8/24!
Well... This is my new handle so....Chicago_Steve
Aug 4, 2003 8:36 AM
I usually post at "Steve-O" over on MTBr but since this board already has a "Steve-O" I recently switched handles...

From Oak Park/River Forest area you could ride west and pick up the Prairie Path in Maywood (Learn More Here). Or if you fancy a little trailriding then head down North Avenue and pick up the Des Plaines River trail and ride from there North (up to Lake Cook Road and back is approximately 49 miles).

As for shops well... you've got a pretty good one in your backyard
Well... This is my new handle so....Oldtrott
Aug 4, 2003 11:30 AM
There are two clubs (at least) in Oak Park. I've provided info on each.

One is more inclusive Oak Park Cycle Club( which seems to be getting its act together but focuses on riders of all persuasions.

the other is a bit more focused to road bikers.

This is the Lake Harlem Cycle Club - road cyclists located near Lake and Harlem (Oak Park/River Forest IL), riding year round, road distances ranging 20-100+ miles, cruising at 22+ mph, average pace of 18-20+ mph, with sprints up to 30+ mph.

Following are the current default ride times and locations. (These are subject to change!)

- Monday through Friday -- depart 5:30 am from Madison and East Aves (OP) for the weekday loop plus Spring Rd extension (28-30 miles).
- Monday through Friday -- depart 6 am from Madison and East Aves (OP) for weekday loop (20 miles). Fewer riders on this daily option.
- Saturday and Sunday -- depart 6 am from Lake St and Harlem Ave (OP/RF). Rides range from 35-100 miles.
re: Any Chicago or Illinois riders?Jervis
Aug 4, 2003 12:53 PM
I have a friend that works at the REI in Niles. He wrenches occasionally and their head shop tech is exceptional. As for trails I believe I've ridden the forest reserves mentioned by t-bill up in the NW suburbs, but this is pretty flat stuff with the occasional log pyramid or jump. I hear Kettle Moraine is pretty nice. Supposedly up in the south of Wisconsin somewhere though I've never been.

Log jumps?t-bill
Aug 4, 2003 1:31 PM
I was talking about the pavement - road riding.

Are there mtb trails up there too? I would agree, that if you want to ride mtb, Kettle Moraine can't be beat. It is, however, pretty far away and thus only a weekend destination.
Knock Knoll and PalosKristin
Aug 4, 2003 2:27 PM
Photos of a Knock Knoll Dorc race: (The cameraman needs to practice panning.)

Palos Hills is also called Waterfall Glen:
Paletine & ChicagoOldtrott
Aug 4, 2003 2:44 PM
There's a nice trail from up in Palatine -- about 18 miles to and fro -- and loop (perfect for time trials) - all paved.

There's a nice trail that I usually start at the Chicago Botanical Gardens that is about 30+ miles to and fro - and also has a nice loop on it - paved.

Finally, if you stop in a local bookstore or better cycling shop there are some books that describe all of the local trails and rides.

good luck
Waterfall Glen is a limestone path around Argonne...TFerguson
Aug 4, 2003 2:53 PM

Deer Grove is another trail system further north.

See others at

Check Pete's List for clubs and rides

It has lots of single track too. nmKristin
Aug 4, 2003 2:58 PM
Aug 4, 2003 7:33 PM
Offroad Trails
- Palos is good but stay on designated trails. Read more at online forum.

- Deer Grove is the Palos of the North suburbs. Nowhere near the mileage of Palos but rolling and fun. There is a Wednesday night ride group that hits the Deer Grove singletrack weekly.

- The singletrack at Waterfall Glen is closed. Ride it and risk getting a ticket. CAMBr is lobbying to get this open but for now stay on the gravel doubletrack.

Road Riding
- The trail going up the the Botanical Gardens is known as the the North Branch Trail. It can be picked up at the intersection of Milwaukee and Devon. Total mileage out and back is approximately 29 miles.

- If you are adventurous the City of Chicago has a great cycling map that shows most of the streets with bike lanes. On any weekend you can find me with this map going to the far reachs of our city.

- Oak Park has its own Critical Mass ride if you're into that kind of thing.
Oops, I didn't know thatKristin
Aug 5, 2003 5:29 AM
Thanks for telling me about the singletrak at Waterfall Glen. Didn't realize it was closed to bikes. If you've never checked out Knock Knoll and your in the Naperville area, do check it out. Lots of stuff to go over and around.
Oh, and don't forget Mt. TrashmoreKristin
Aug 5, 2003 5:50 AM

Not sure if those trails are still open, but they ARE used.
Aug 4, 2003 8:20 PM
I hear trail, I think dirt and knobbies. A path, I think that's what you're looking for.

Palos Forest PreservesMcBaine
Aug 4, 2003 6:06 PM
If your looking for off road and willing to drive to the trail head I'd say Palos Forset Preserves has the best Mtb trails.