Rides and Events
8 July, 2017 (Saturday) 5pm
Another full moon is upon us. Taking a cue from last month, we aim to get an earlier start. Some daylight riding will let us soak in all that the wonderful Des Plaines River Trail has to offer. We will ride as far as folks would like, with the intention of riding north to the east-west segment of the Robert McClory trail, taking it east to Lake Bluff (and a Metra option), and riding the Green Bay Trail home. We could also ride all the way to Wisconsin and meander over to Illinois Beach State Park, taking a 7am or 8:45am Sunday morning train home. Chime in if you have a preference or questions. Bring food and water, eh?
9 June, 2017 (Friday) 7pm
A night ride! This month's full moon is know as the Strawberry Moon, due to ripening strawberry crop. I would like to ride the crushed limestone Prairie Path. By moonlight the white limestone is bright, making headlights unnecessary. But there will be plenty of road miles to and from, so lights will be important. This will be a multi-hour ride, so bring food/sustenance. If there's consensus, we will ride to the Fox River and back. But I'm open to shorter distances/time commitments. Meet at the shop.
1 April, 2017 (Saturday) 9am
I hope you've made it out already this year. April Fools' Day will be our first group-ride of the year. Meet at the Illinois Centential Monument. We are going to head north along paths and railbeds, some old, some still active. If there's momentum, we can ride all the way to the Baha'i Temple off-road, or double back from Green Bay Road on new paths along the Channel. Wide tires are helpful, as there are short intense sections of ballast. Cyclocross tires will work fine if you can power through the ruff.
23 October, 2016 (Sunday)
Hello Folks. It's time for another off-road exploration. I'd like to take you all on a tour of some westside tracks and "found land". The first segment has a few rough patches of ballast, so powering through on a cyclotour bike will be necessary. I usually ride this on my MTB with 2 inch tires, but ripped it on my 'cross bike recently. The jem of the route is the second half- a rollercoaster of singletrack. Perfect for multiple loops.
This month we've moved the ride to Sunday morning, 9AM. Many folks had trouble with Saturdays. The intention is short and sweet- two plus hours of riding. I have to work at noon back in the Square, and would like time to clean-up and eat before the workday.
I will be making coffee for anyone that arrives at the Monument before 9am.
17 September, 2016 (Saturday)
We're gonna ride the Des Plaines River north, towards last month's Lake County segment. Cook County's half of the trail is dirt, with a little gravel mixed in. If there's time we'll make it to LakeCook, more likely we'll head east on Ballard/Church to the North Branch Trail, and ride it's horse trails back south, mixing it up with some Chicago River singletrack back within the city limits.
27 August, 2016 (Saturday)
All Day Ride via Metra UP-N !!! This month we will change our meet-up place. We will take Metra North to Winthrop Harbor (along Lake Michigan at the Wisconsin border). Then ride back to Chicago via beautiful, crushed limestone bike paths. In particular, the Lake County half of the Des Plaines River is really something special. We will then use other paths and quite scenic roads to windour way back to Logan Square. The mileage is close to 60 miles, so bring some provisions and plenty of water.
Meet at Metra's Clyborn Station (Armitage and Elston) for a 10:43am UP-N train. Train arrives in Winthrop Harbor at noon. Plan on six hours to ride the 60 miles home.
16 July, 2016 (Saturday)
It's time for our monthly off-road ramble. I was recently up on the route we took in March, and it is a blast! If it's dry we can detour into La Bagh Woods. If we see more rain before Saturday, we can stay high and dry on the rail beds. Wide tires are helpful, as there are a few patches of rough ballast. But a cyclocross bike works fine if you can handle it well. Plan on two-plus hours of riding, with time to regroup, goof-off, or snack. I have a birthday party back in Logan Square I need to prepare for by 1pm.
18 June, 2016 (Saturday)
It's been a while since we've all gotten together for of-road fun. The Gravel Metric came and went. Then a busy early June has kept me from scheduling a ride sooner. This month, I'd like to explore an area known to my buddies as "The Zone". Many folks have ridden here over the years. There are some good swoopy trails, with some steep- almost BMX worthy- rises. This area is soon to be leveled in favor of development, so we better tear it up while we have the chance. Meet-up at the Monument at 10am for a few hours of riding. Mountain bikes and Cyclo-cross bikes will work best, but anything is welcome.
1 May, 2016 (Sunday)
For this month's installment we'll be hitting some super special terrain above ground, between here and the loop. You will experience two off-road routes out of the loop, perfect for a little respite during evening rushhour. Meet-up at the Monument at 9am with a tough bike and a friend and a sense of adventure. Because of schedule conflicts a longer ride will have to wait til June.
3 April, 2016 Sunday 9 am- 12pm
Second Installment of the Chicago Off-Road Series. This time on a Sunday morning to accomodate othder folks' schedules. Last month we explored abandoned rail to the north-west. This installment will keep us closer to the center of the city. A combination of rail gravel and dirt path for a mixed experience.There's a great twisty loop that I can ride over and over- a perfect cyclocross course. I've been riding this stretch on my 35mm tired roadbike and I love it. A mountainbike or fatbike would be just fine. Meet-up at the Illinois Centennial Monument, just north of the bikeshop. Bring a friend.
5 March, 2016
Time to get dirty! (actually the terrain in mind is typically dry, even in rainstorms, so we won't get too dirty).
We are launching another series of rides focused not on speed, but on getting 'out there'. No traffic, no lakefront joggers. Meet at the Illinois Centennial Monument, across from the bikeshop. Cyclocross bikes, mountain bikes, fatbikes welcome. Skinny tires will be a drag, as will a clunky commuter bike. It's a two hour loop, with time to stop and fix a flat, or take in the scenery.