Chicago Skyline from the Bicycle Illinois Ending Location
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RIDE ACROSS ILLINOIS (RAIL)

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RIDE ACROSS ILLINOIS (RAIL) NORTH
Route


Route Description
The RAIL North route almost entirely follows bike paths, county back roads, and low travelled residential streets.

We recommend slightly riding faster at the beginning of the ride in order to bank time and account for the expected slower riding pace coming into Chicago due to increased traffic and stop lights and stop signs.

From Moline, North Along the Mississippi River
The route begins by following the fully paved and signed Great River Trail immediately out of the supported hotel in Moline, riding right along the Mississippi river for almost 15 miles and passing directly behind the John Deere harvester plant in East Moline, it primarily consists of a dedicated bike path following residential streets in a few places. The first ride of the day could not be a safer one as the sun comes up since you will not only be riding on a bike path instead of busier streets but you will also be riding in a larger pack due to the group start.

  • Click Here for more information about the Moline supported hotel.

East Across Northern Illinois and Entering Chicagoland
After the route heads east in Port Byron, there is some climbing to come out of the Mississippi River valley. From there the topography really flattens out and the route is generally flat and fast across north central Illinois, proceeding through relatively low populated rich farmland.

We will have a supported lunch stop at the Subway restaurant in Hinckley, only 0.5 miles after rest stop 3. Click Here for more information.

Once the route crosses Illinois Route 47 west of Aurora, Chicago urban development begins and the route travels approximately 40 miles through developed urban areas until the end.

Path and Road Options into Chicago
Approximately eight miles past Illinois Route 47 and a mile and a half past our rest stop in Aurora, you will have the option of either following the Aurora Branch and Main Stem of the Illinois Prairie Path almost all the way to the Chicago city limits or continuing on a fully paved on road option. While the Illinois Prairie Path has a crushed limestone surface that can be very bumpy, there are plenty of drinking fountains along it and it is very easy to follow because it is well marked and fully signed. Both the on road and on path options will stop at the same rest stop in Glen Ellyn and are very close to each other. In fact they cross over each other in numerous places and as a result the two options will be printed individually on separate on road map sets to avoid confusion.

Right after we cross the Cook County line the Illinois Prairie Path becomes paved and all cyclists will follow this well signed and established path for obvious safety reasons due to the lack of vehicular traffic. The surrounding neighborhood is used to and expects cyclists passing through.

Metra Train Options into downtown Chicago
In case you are unable to finish the ride, you can easily take a Metra Train back into downtown Chicago from rest stops 4 and 5. Bicycles are allowed on the train, subject to restrictions.

  • Click Here for more information about Return Metra Train Service.

Chicago Ending Location
Our ending location in Chicago will be at the Live Grit triathlon shop which is in the West Loop neighborhood and very convenient to local public transportation options. Click Here for more information.

The ending location will not be the supported hotel because there is no room at the hotel for participants to wait to get picked up or for us to set up a rest stop or park trip vehicles. If you are staying at the Chicago hotel after the end of the event you will need to bike over there after you arrive at the ending location.

Click on one of the links at left for additional information about the RAIL North route.

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
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