Roundtrip Bike Ride to Woodlawn

On Sunday, Mr. Dottie and I biked to a friend’s home for brunch in Woodlawn, a neighborhood on the southside of Chicago.  The total roundtrip was 31 miles.  The Lakefront Trail conveniently took us almost straight there, allowing for a beautiful and car-free ride.  As you can see, the weather was absolutely perfect!  The sky was blue, the lake bluer, and the sun shining.  Days like this, I really treasure living in Chicago.

Because poor Betty Foy needs a tune-up desperately, I rode the Civia Twin City that I’ll be reviewing soon.  For the haul, I swapped in my personal Brooks saddle and slipped on padded bike shorts under my skirt.

Although I enjoy going for long bike rides, I usually need a destination to motivate me.  My daily 9 miles of commuting prepares me pretty well for longer hauls, but I admit that my legs were tired while finishing the ride in a strong headwind.  That’s when you really know you’re alive, right?  :)

Have any of you commuters broken free for a long ride lately?

 

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Sounds lovely! I haven’t taken a longer ride lately (know what you mean about motivation!), but the Tour de Nash could change all that.

    The Civia is a nice-looking bike! Can’t wait to read your review.

  • Apie

    I couldn’t ride my usual 21 mile commute yesterday, but when I got home I took a ride west on Montrose from Austin, and surprise!!  It was the smoothest road I have found in the last year!  And even more to my surprise, as I passed Cumberland I noticed a trail marker which took me to a grassy 2 track to an unknown location.  I came upon a great trail system 2+ miles from my home….the Des Plaines River Trail!!   I thought the north branch trail was convenient and fun, but nothing compared to the scope and distance I can travel on the DPRT.  What a successful free ride last night, and here I was upset I couldn’t do my usual milwaukee ave commute.    

  • http://twitter.com/Apielet Andy Pielet

    I couldn’t ride my usual 21 mile commute yesterday, but when I got home I took a ride west on Montrose from Austin, and surprise!!  It was the smoothest road I have found in the last year!  And even more to my surprise, as I passed Cumberland I noticed a trail marker which took me to a grassy 2 track to an unknown location.  I came upon a great trail system 2+ miles from my home….the Des Plaines River Trail!!   I thought the north branch trail was convenient and fun, but nothing compared to the scope and distance I can travel on the DPRT.  What a successful free ride last night, and here I was upset I couldn’t do my usual milwaukee ave commute.    

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Wow, that sounds really cool! What a fun discovery. Where does the DPRT trail start? I want to learn more about the local trail system and take more scenic rides, aside from the Lakefront Path.

      • Apie

        “The trail spans nearly the entire length of Lake County for 31 miles as it winds through 13 forest preserves. It is a key link in a regional network of trails that includes the North Shore Bike Path, the McClory Trail and the Millennium Trail.
        The trail follows the river’s edge from Russell Road in Wadsworth to just south of Riverside Drive in Lincolnshire. It picks up again just north of Estonian Lane and runs south to Lake Cook Road where it connects to the Cook County Forest Preserve trail system. Bridges and underpasses from Wadsworth Road south make it possible to travel without crossing any major roads.”

        http://www.lcfpd.org/preserves/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.view&object_id=160&type=P

        This weekend I hope to take the N. Branch trail (that starts at Pulaski and Foster and goes all the way to WI) with my daughter in tow, those trails are mostly paved.  My house is pretty much en route between these 2 trails.  I just moved to the hood so I am stoked!

      • http://twitter.com/Apielet Andy Pielet

        “The trail spans nearly the entire length of Lake County for 31 miles as it winds through 13 forest preserves. It is a key link in a regional network of trails that includes the North Shore Bike Path, the McClory Trail and the Millennium Trail.
        The trail follows the river’s edge from Russell Road in Wadsworth to just south of Riverside Drive in Lincolnshire. It picks up again just north of Estonian Lane and runs south to Lake Cook Road where it connects to the Cook County Forest Preserve trail system. Bridges and underpasses from Wadsworth Road south make it possible to travel without crossing any major roads.”

        http://www.lcfpd.org/preserves/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.view&object_id=160&type=P

        This weekend I hope to take the N. Branch trail (that starts at Pulaski and Foster and goes all the way to WI) with my daughter in tow, those trails are mostly paved.  My house is pretty much en route between these 2 trails.  I just moved to the hood so I am stoked!

        • http://twitter.com/Apielet Andy Pielet

          Oops, that is quite north where the “path” is more prominent.  Looking on the IL Official Bike Map, it looks like it starts at 290 off the Illinois Prairie Path. Even though it not marked as a definite path, it is totally bikable, with any bike. You can even take it further south…It seems that everything is connected!  See the link above.

          • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

            Very cool.  I’ve biked the Illinois Prairie Path before (while bike camping) but I don’t have experience with the rest of the trail system.

  • Annie Angello

    I just got a puppy, which necessitates going home at lunch.  This means my normal universe of bike commuting has been swapped out for my car until my new little buddy is old enough to deal with me being gone all day – for right now I’m ALL recreational.  It’s interesting viewing cycling from the other side of the imaginary fence.

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Puppy!!!  

      I’d be interested to hear more about how your drive to work compares.  

      Think how much more you’ll appreciate commuting by bike after you’ve been forced to live with the joy for a while.  :)

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Puppy!!!  

      I’d be interested to hear more about how your drive to work compares.  

      Think how much more you’ll appreciate commuting by bike after you’ve been forced to live with the joy for a while.  :)

  • http://twitter.com/BoyOnABikePA Jason I

    I’ve been a dedicated transportation cyclist for over a year now, virtually every day, rain or shine.
    Lately, I’d been considering some local touring events, so on the way home from work, I’ve taken the long way home a time or two, building my mileage, & going for longer or extra rides on the weekend. Just this past Saturday, rode four miles to a local park for the start of our Rotary Club’s Ride for Literacy, twenty-three miles through gorgeous countryside and Amish communities. I rewarded myself with a post-ride ride to Rita’s for a cool treat, then six miles back home. All told, thirty-five total miles for the day. I enjoyed the day so much, I’ve rounded up a motley group of roadies, mountain bikers and spin instructors to follow the same route again this weekend! :)

  • Burton

    I love that south Chicago ride. Great photos!

  • http://twitter.com/squirrelgal Carolyn

    I love both riding around town as a commuter, and riding on longer hauls.  I’m going to be helping out as a sweep on Tour De Jasper and then bicycling down the Pacific Coast this Summer. Bike touring is so much fun!  

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  • Georgekommer

    I’ve always liked Mr. Dottie’s helmet.  Any info?

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      The helmet says “Uvex.”  That’s all I know.  He likes it!

  • http://www.akinz.com/ Suzanne Akin

    My commute is only 3 miles each way, so lately, (partly spurred by the National Bike Challenge), I’ve been going for some extra little trips to do some work at a coffee shop in a little town outside of Fort Collins, the Bellevue Bean.  It’s about a 15 mile round trip which is a nice little distance to get some fresh air. :)

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Sounds lovely! Do you live in Fort Collins? I really enjoyed my trip there last fall.

      • http://www.akinz.com/ Suzanne Akin

        yeah, I’ve been here for about 3 years now.  I really love it here.  Miss the mountains a little bit, but they’re still close enough for day trips.