Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Waukegan to Chicago, IL
Date: 2006-09-13
Distance: 74 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 4.13 Hours
Average Speed: 18.01 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 4,312 Kilometres  

Thoughts for the Day



Entering Chicago

    On the local TV station there were pictures of flooding on highways. Today, the rivers were also overflowing their banks. The bases of trees were underwater. Everything looked wet.

    Today, there was no rain. There was threat of rain all day long with ominous clouds.

    The ride from Waukegan to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was supposed to be 50 kilometres and ended turning out to be 74 kilometres. It took us almost 9 hours to do. Why so long, I am not sure. The ride time was actually just over 4 hours. Yes, there were breaks for lunch and some shopping in a bike store, picture opportunities, checking the map, and so on but not 9 hours of it. For some reason neither of us could explain it.

    Initially, we decide not to use any bike trails today due to the wet condition and that we feared they would be limestone base. The dirt, the slow travel, and loose base deterred us.

    At breakfast, we noted that Green Bay Road was crammed with cars and trucks. When we got out just after 9:00 am on to the 6 lane road, it was almost deserted. As we cycled a few roads we found the same. There would be some cars stored at intersections and when they passed the road would be empty for 2 minutes or so.

    After a while when we decided to cross a railway track by walking across it rather then taking a bridge over it, a police officer that we encountered advised us of a paved bike path a few kilometres ahead. So off we set for the Skokie Valley Bike Path.  
  Eventually, we reached the spot that the police officer indicated would be the connection point to the trail. We could not see it. As there was a farmer’s stand in the field we decided to ask for directions. In the process we bought a peach and a nectarine. The nectarine was really sweet.

    The southern end of the path came close to a major intersection. No signs to tell us in which municipality we were at or where we should be going for the next trail south. Hunger directed us to a shopping mall across the intersection.

    As we were cruising the mall for a food place we noticed a bike shop. We needed some local bike maps. The one we had was deteriorating quickly.

  So, first stop was the bike store. We wheeled our bikes inside. We were well received. The store manager told us of a paved bike path just a few blocks away. As we were talking, the owner came over and asked if he could take a picture of us with his store and service managers. So we obliged. At the end the owner asked if we had any shop work needed on the bikes. We declined even though our brake pads needed adjustment.

    After a lunch stop we set off to find the North Branch Trail that ran in a park into Chicago. The trail meandered south through park lands and woods. The rivers were overflowing. The tree bases were well under water.

    Around one corner there was a large deer, well large for this area. Unfortunately, as I was just ready to focus on the animal it decided to move on.

    Close to the end of the park we moved on to a road that had bike lanes. From there with assistance from the Chicago Bicycle Map we found our way to the motel using as many bike routes or future routes that we could. Most of the routes had traffic as the light changed and then quieted down for a couple of minutes until the next light change.

    While a motel by the airport has some advantages such as price, short ride to the departure level of the airport, and good transportation services downtown, it also has some drawbacks, such as a wide 6 lane road with no service nor no restaurants or grocery store, which would interest us. A desolate place. So, our room faces a concrete retaining wall. On the wall sits the interstate highway. The traffic noise is consistent.

    Although we were meandering a lot, we enjoyed the two trails. It was worth the extra time to get away from car traffic and their noise.


Cycling Facilities



Skokie Valley Bike Path, Illinois  
  North Branch Trail, Illinois  



Chicago, Illinois