Well... Here goes... My first ride report on RBR. Over the years I've put up a bunch of stuff on MTBr but the recent love of the road has me starting to spend most of my time on RBR these days.
I'm not a racer but I do like to put in a lot of miles riding all over the city of Chicago. It seems that all most popular routes for cyclist living in Chicago all head along the lakefront north to the suburbs. For a while I'd been planning something a little different. The map you see below is a 50 mile loop through the southside. My goal was to take Halsted Street due south to Vincennes Ave. and then cut across on 103rd through some old steel mills to the lakefront before heading north again. Since my company has Good Friday off I headed out on Friday to do a little exploring.
This loop takes you through about 20 different neighborhoods. It's really interesting to see the city change as you ride along. Northsiders and visitors are usually pretty familiar with Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park with all the restaurants, Cubs Baseball, etc. As you go farther south past Bridgeport (Mayor Daley's old 'hood) the traffic gets a little less and the neighborhood gets a little tougher. There's not too many people out at 7:00am on the southside and those that are seem a little surprised to see a pasty white guy with shaved legs and tights riding along. While the neighborhoods are a little sketchy, the good part about this ride is that the street from 40th down to 103rd are nicely paved.
After about 20 miles I stopped off in Beverly for some coffee. Beverly is a historically Irish neighborhood on Chicago's far southwest side. Last year they held a crit in Beverly during Superweek so after some caffeine I followed the race route. From a scenic standpoint this race seems pretty nice. Historic victorian houses make up much of the route and there is a fairly big hill that riders need to climb/descend each loop.
From Beverly I rode east down 103rd Street to the lakefront. This route takes you right to the Indiana Border. Just before Indianapolis Blvd you will start to see signs for the bike route heading north. This area along the lake crosses over the International Port of Chicago and it is not uncommon to see tugboats and barges filled with coal being shuffled around for the steel mills.
As for the lakefront, most of the locals are familiar with this path so I won't go into any detail. By now I was over 2 hours into my ride and the joggers and bladers were out in force. I did stop off at the Bokoo Bikes to check it out. All I can say is don't waste your time!
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Thread: Southside ride report...
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