Hi everyone, looking for some advice to get in some better weekend rides. I live in the city (at Diversey near the lake), and I don't have a car to drive myself out to the burbs/farmland for some more open biking.
Right now (more better to say in the past since I just got back on the bike this weekend!) my normal path is to take the Lake Shore path up to Lawrence, cut across to the North Channel trail until I can cut over to McCormick heading North. I take that to the end and go north on Green Bay Rd. for a while (not the trail because it is way to bumpy for a road bike). Basically it gets frustrating because I have to go through a TON of traffic lights, and I want to avoid the Lake Shore path at all costs on weekends.
Any ideas or suggestions are very welcome. Thank you!
Try to head west along Devon until the Devon/Milwaukee intersection. Thats there the North Branch Trail starts. During the week and very early on weekends - this trail is great. A bit later on weekends this trail gets crowded like hell and you can't go that fast. The trail goes up to the Botanic Garden and winds through the woods - great scenery.
How far north do you go and how early do you ride? I live in Rogers Park and early weekend mornings traffic isnt so bad through Evanston, then will lighten up considerably north of that. Instead of Green Bay, you could cut over to Sheridan at like Central St. or something. Thats definitely less traffic and lights than Green Bay. Quite a few weekend rides start at Plaza Del Lago on Sheridan too.
XXX might be option too, not sure where they start in city, but up by me they go up Ridge then snake through Evanston on side streets, then up to HP via Sheridan Rd.
I think Chicago Tri Club has some maps for rides north starting in the city too. Thouse could suggest alt routes for you too.
Here's the XXX map. They start at Wicker Park, but also do a pickup at Warren Park. Ridge to Sheridan Rd is not that bad early on the weekends. I haven't ridden this route in the afternoon or evenings so I can't say what traffic is like then. Of course, there are traffic lights in the city, but once you get to Evanston-ish on Sheridan it's pretty consistent riding.
Thank you everyone for the tips! I am going to try out the XXX route this weekend (weather permitting). Looks like a good ride, and goes right past my kickball bar, so I'm already familiar with part of the route!