If you enjoy long distance cycling close to home, you’ll love these iconic trips across Illinois that deliver the best adventure in the area. There’s nothing like a long ride to see the wonder of nature up close while you test your limits. The camaraderie of touring with a group of friends is like icing on the cake, so look for an experienced, reliable tour company that supports you at rest stops and guided itineraries.
Three states in one day
It’s possible to ride across three states in the space of one day on this itinerary. You’ll start in Indiana, travel north along Lake Michigan through Illinois, and end up in Wisconsin along this 85-mile route.
If you intend to complete the ride in one day, it’s best to spend the night before in a hotel close to the starting location so that you start the ride refreshed. You can choose stops along the way from the available services in the cities, such as hotels, restaurants, bike shops, and hospitals. Ending your ride in Kenosha, Wisconsin allows you to take the Metra Train back to Chicago. Each train allows up to 20 fully assembled bikes to be carried aboard at no additional charge. Trains arrive in downtown Chicago at Ogilvie Transportation Center .
Begin your ride after a brief warmup on the well-designed bike paths around Wolf Lake in Hammond, Indiana. The first 50 miles will take you through Chicago, Skokie, and Lake Forest. Disabled riders or those who need to opt out can take the Metra train back. Another 16 miles puts you in Waukegan to prepare for the final push to the Kenosha harbor with a view of the beach. From there, you can take the return Metra Train to Chicago.
Cross All of Illinois in One Day
Challenge the limits of your endurance while riding from one border of Illinois to the other in this extremely demanding event. Not suited for novice or inexperienced riders, this route challenges even experienced cyclists in peak physical condition. According to the NHTSA, approximately 20 people die in Illinois every year in crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles. Only experienced cyclists who are comfortable in heavy traffic on state and US highways should attempt this 175-mile cross-state ride.
Try to choose a weather-friendly day in the summer where you can expect the longest daylight hours for this trip. It’s best to spend the night before in a hotel near Moline, so you start the ride refreshed as soon as the sun rises. Review and bookmark this website in case you get into an accident on the road. Plan out your route ahead of time so you know where the nearest hotel, coffee shop, or hospital is before you start out on your ride. Start in Moline, IL and proceed from west to east 175 miles along the border of Illinois to finish in Chicago.
Depart at sunrise from Moline and stop every 35 miles to rest. You’ll pass through Prophetstown, Liston, Hinckley, and Aurora. Disabled riders or those who need to opt out can take the Metra Train back to Chicago from here. After about 20 miles you’ll arrive in Glen Ellyn, where there is another Metra Train stop. The final push is almost 30 miles back to Chicago near Lake Michigan.
Enjoy some iconic bicycle routes with easy access to amenities near the Chicago area. These trips cover the state with criss-cross routes that give you an opportunity to see the best of the beauty and fun of Illinois and the surrounding states. Test your endurance limits and make new friends touring the state by signing on with a tour company to lead the way.