Thursday, March 08, 2007

Biking Illinois Without A Car

When I scouted and selected the 60 bike rides for Biking Illinois, I carefully chose starting points that were car-friendly with ample parking and easy access from major highways. After all, automobiles are the default mode of travel for the majority of Illinoisans. I'm sure most of my readers drive to the trailheads with their bikes mounted on racks, stuffed in hatchbacks, etc.

Reading Jennifer's Grand Illinois Trail Blog reminded me that not everyone drives or wants to drive (I lived without a car for three years in the 1990s). Since she said she was thinking about buying my book, I thought she'd like to know other ways to get to the rides. I started out writing a comment on her blog highlighting certain trips, but it became too long. So for Jennifer and anyone else enjoying a car-free lifestyle, I created a Web page with directions to every ride via public transportation including Amtrak, CTA, Metra, Pace, and Greyhound. I even categorized the rides based on how easy or difficult they are to reach.

Even if you do own a car, you might consider the "Amtrak Weekend Getaways" section. Chicago, Galesburg, Alton, and Carbondale have a combination of Amtrak access, good biking including one or more rides from my book, other attractions, and convenient lodging & dining. Amtrak has roll-on service for bikes on certain Illinois routes, so why not leave the car at home? Who knows, you might decide you can live without it.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Why, thank you. Just in time for summer vacation time bargaining, too.

*sheepishly reads brand-new copy*