View from the hill located in the Brownlands.
[This piece also appeared in “Checkerboard City”, John’s weekly transportation column in Newcity magazine, which hits the streets on Wednesday evenings.]
A local ordinance requires that all new developments along the Chicago River include public access to the waterfront, so eventually there could be a network of riverwalks to rival the Lakefront Trail. But for now it takes a little detective work to navigate the waterway by bicycle. I’ve researched a few “stealth routes” along the North Branch, connecting bits and pieces of riverfront path with quiet side streets — you can read about them here. Last week I scouted out a fascinating route along the South Branch from the Loop to Bridgeport, but I should warn you that it isn’t completely legal. Here’s a Google map of the route.
Continue reading A stealth route along the South Branch of the Chicago River
The Riverwalk on the west bank of the Chicago River north of Diversey Parkway.
Hopefully Grid Chicago readers aren’t yet tired of reading about stealth bike routes. We did get a good response the posts about “secret” river routes from the Loop to Division St. and Wellington Ave. to Webster St., as well as our roundup of Chainlinkers’ favorite routes.
By the way, here’s a fun video created by James Presley, which I caught at the Bike Winter Film Festival last Sunday. He explores the Loop to Division route from north to south. The background music really creates tension, like he’s defusing a bomb or something.
Continue reading Stealth River Route III: Diversey to Montrose
A Midnight Marauders ride on Lower Wacker Drive – photo by Dubi Kaufmann
Last month I posted on The Chainlink, a local social networking site for bicyclists with over 6,000 members, asking them to share their favorite little known cycling routes and ways to escape the hustle-bustle of the city’s most commonly traveled bikeways. I’ve compiled some of their responses for your reading and riding pleasure.
Continue reading Chainlinkers share their favorite stealth bike routes
The path on the east side of the Chicago River, south of Costco, as seen from the Damen Avenue Bridge
Grid Chicago Readers seemed to enjoy last week’s write-up of the stealth route from the Loop to Division/Halsted, and I understand that last Friday’s small Critical Mass successfully rode the route. (Does anybody have photos or a write-up of the ride?) So, I thought I’d share another “secret” path along the North Branch of the Chicago River, roughly from Wellington Avenue (3000 N) to Webster Street (2200 N), with the caveat that right now it’s fairly tricky to navigate. Continue reading A stealth river route from Wellington to Webster (almost)
Underneath the southern building of the old Montgomery Ward complex, 758 N. Larrabee
Saturday night I led a group of cyclists to Won Kow, 2237 S. Wentworth in Chinatown, for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Afterwards people wanted to go hang out at Delilah’s, a punk rock bourbon bar at 2771 N. Lincoln in Lincoln Park. Remembering that the Halsted Bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River is currently under construction, I recalled a cool riverside route we could take from downtown to Division and Halsted, bypassing the missing bridge.
I stumbled upon this route a few months ago while exploring bits and pieces of riverwalk and riverside bike paths which I hope to eventually string together into a tranquil itinerary from the Loop to the start of the North Branch Trail on the far Northwest Side. My companions on the Chinatown ride seemed to dig this “secret” path, so I thought I’d share it with Grid Chicago readers. Here’s a Google map of the route. You might try it next time you’re traveling from downtown to Lincoln Park or Wicker Park. Continue reading A stealth bike route from the Loop to Division and Halsted