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Old 12-17-2011, 06:52 AM
23 posts, read 38,069 times
Reputation: 10


Hi, I lived in the Wheeling/ Buffalo Grove area back in 2010 for about a year, then moved away for my job and then came back a couple months ago. I'm now ready to buy a home. My fiance and I are avid cyclist/ racers. We like to ride right from our door and I had one decent route out to Algonquin/ LITH area where I could get around 50 miles on some lesser traveled roads when I lived Wheeling/ BG.

I'm looking to buy a newer home at an affordable price. I'm finding a lot of what I'm looking for in the Gurnee, Gages Lake, and Grayslake area. Can anybody tell me what the riding is like out there? I've driven up there and see a lot of two lane roads, but people drive like maniacs on them. Have I just not seen the more less traveled roads? Are there any hills up that way? Any good routes one can give me? Any good routes out to Barrington or to hilly areas?

The bottom line is I need some cyclist friendly areas to ride. FYI, I only ride forest preserves or prairie paths if I'm doing a recovery ride or trying to get to other main roads. I had a cyclist racer friend that lived in Naperville and he said it boring and wasn't all that great out there. He had to ride around 100 miles to get in some good hills and nicer roads. He was from St. Louis like me, and we had a lot of good routes with varying terrain.

Thanks for reading and hopefully you can help me out. Oh ya, for what it's worth I work at O'hare.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:31 AM
Location: Chicago
423 posts, read 775,269 times
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You may want to order the Chicagoland bike map from the Active Transportation Alliance. It outlines bike friendly and unfriendly roads in the Chicago area.

Chicagoland Bike Map 5th Ed. | Active Transportation Alliance
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:08 PM
Location: Chicago area
8,197 posts, read 12,420,091 times
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I ride with the Evanston bike club and we usually go either to Gurnee (sometimes to Kenosha, WI) or Barrington Hills. There is some nice riding in Lake county much more so than Dupage or western Cook. In Gurnee the usual route is Oplaine to Old Grand to Delany. Hunts Club and Stearns School are also very bikable. Once you are in Southern Wisconsin there are tons of bikable roads.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:49 PM
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Gurnee is great. Lake County has lots of forest preserves with trails. The Lake County Division of Transportation is starting to put trails on the roads but hasn't quite got it down pat. For example on Butterfield Rd they put high curbs on intersections. But they will gat it right soon.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:11 PM
23 posts, read 38,069 times
Reputation: 10
I'm glad to hear that about Gurnee. It seems as if there are a lot of nice affordable housing out there. Is Gurnee a nice place to live? Where should I be looking, I'd like to find something close to 294.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:38 AM
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,481 posts, read 10,059,157 times
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Why not look in the nicer sections of Wheeling or look in Buffalo Grove? Then you can tap into the many bike friendly roads that take you into Mc Henry county and beyond. Or to avoid the Kennicott Rd. and small stretch of Rte 53 one needs to use to get to Long Grove and beyond; look into Lake Zurich. You're right by Cuba, Long Grove, Miller and many other decent cycling roads.
The forest preserves in Lake Co are crushed limestone. Very smooth, but I question if you'll wnat to take your nice road bike on them. However, they are very suitable to a cyclo-cross, or older "repurposed" road bike with some tires more suitable for the surface.

You might want to contact these guys: Bicycle Club of Lake County
As MSchemist80 mentioned there are other clubs that ride north south in your potential new area. I believe Alberto's bike shop in Highland Park has a group that frequently rides in that area and could offer you a team to ride with.Contact them and see if they know of any good east-west routes to connect you with the routes your did previously.

Candidly, based on doing the North Shore Century (nice ride) for several years; I find the routes in SW and Western Lake and McHenry to be nicer than the the N/S routes through eastern Lake. Hillier a tad less traffic.

I'm with the Wheeling Wheelmen (Wheeling Wheelmen Home) and our Tuesday night and Saturday rides typically have racers as part of the group and most of the other rides will have faster groups that will, at least, keep it from being just a recovery ride and provide you with some moderate efforts and chances to pull. So even if you end up in Gurnee/Grayslake, you can always come ride with us and do the SW Lake and McHenry Co. roads.
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