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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Four New Trails In One Day!

Wow! Has it been that long since I have posted to this blog? Yikes! I will have to do some back blogging to get caught up here! I have been racking up some good miles since May when I decided to abandon my old road bike project and just get to the biking by buying a new road bike that noone in my family had already owned. I will back blog my monthly mileage later on.
        Yesterday, Saturday 8-9-14, I managed to ride on four new trails I had never turned a spoke on in the past. My friend Rob and I decided to take our road bikes down to the inner Chicago suburbs to do some trail riding. I looked at some pictures and video ahead of time at this great website called . They are a great resource for videos and pictures of trails in the Chicago area. So I was looking at the Greenbay Trail page at their site, as well as a few others, and realized that maybe road bikes weren't the best choice of bikes to take. So managed to talk Rob into using a mountain bike. I used a hybrid folder.
    Ahead of time we had decided that Lake Bluff would be the best "middle" spot to park. From there we took the North Shore bike Path to the West(Map). This trail connects the Robert McClory Trail(Map) and the Skokie Valley Trail(Map) to the Des Plaines River Trail(Map). We took this to the Skokie Valley trail.
A winded Rob pointed South on the Skokie Valley Trail.
We picked the right trail to ride first in the early morning light. Note there isn't much shade to be had on the Skokie Valley Trail. We found that the bikes had low tire pressure so we were in search of a gas station for most of the Skokie Valley trail.

Skokie Valley Trail sign

Skokie Valley Trail in the Lake Forest area looking South. Have you ever seen a double no passing line on a bike trail before? Wuuuut?

Looking North from the same location as the last few pictures.
The Skokie Valley Trail is somewhere in the approximate range of 8 miles long. It currently runs from Rte. 176 South to Lake-Cook Rd. When we got to Lake Cook Rd. we went East to the Braeside Metra train station where we headed South on the Greenbay Trail. The Greenbay Trail is approximately 16 miles long, running from Wilmette to Highland Park. We went as far as Kenilworth and then headed back North.

Robert McClory Bike Path sign
We took the Greenbay Trail back to the Robert McClory Trail and North on that back to Lake Bluff. The Robert McClory Trail stretches all the way from Highland Park to Kenosha Wisconsin for a nice approximate distance of 26.5 miles! That full trail I am going to save for another day. That will make a nice round tripper. Now back to Saturdays ride.

A 90 degree turn on the Robert McClory Trail
We stopped for lunch at Buffos Restaurant in Highwood. Good stuff. Mmmmm, pizza!

Rob is about sick and tired of the mountain bike and its sluggishness.
At the end of the trip we had a nice 40 miles in. What a good day to ride. The temperature averaged about 73 degrees during most of the peak hours of the days riding. We decided to break out the road bikes when we got home to remove the kinks that the other clunky bikes had worn into us. So we finished with a ten mile ride on the Fox River Trail.