Alongside for the Journey: Grand Illinois Bike Tour explores Madison County

Alongside for the Journey: Grand Illinois Bike Tour explores Madison County

Bezos can have his weightless enjoyable. A brisk 15 to twenty mph cycle is pleasure sufficient for me. Re-entry is easy, secure, too, simply flicking down the kickstand.
Inexperienced lighting this column final July, the Every day Herald launched me into the bike writing ether, letting me report commonly, with biking security the underlying thrust. Final yr my fear was subject, not using, exhaustion. Surprisingly, my very own biking stimulated concepts, not simply endorphins. Any nervousness I might run out merely vanished.

Like bikes in an overloaded faculty rack, concepts quickly started toppling over one another from readers, golf equipment and advocates. My downside turned, “How do I cowl all of them?”
Reply: Herald columnist Burt Constable. He reminded readers just lately that veteran journalist Jack Mabley, now deceased, “often wrote what he known as a ‘junk column,’ the place he made his level rapidly and moved on to a different subject.”
I am persevering with that advantageous custom, although I choose the time period “collage.”
Illinois By Bike
Journey Illinois’s 18th annual Grand Illinois Bike Tour in June attracted 193 contributors who explored Madison County Transit’s rails-to-trails system throughout from St. Louis, quiet roads, and close by cities together with Alton, Lebanon and Litchfield. Routes of 200 to 375 miles supplied flexibility on the six-day tour, plus “loads of scenic and historic areas,” per Ed Barsotti, Journey Illinois advisor and GIBT trip director.
Sights ranged from Mary Meachum’s Underground Railroad Freedom Crossing, U.S. Route 66, century-old Cahokia Mounds, and St. Louis’s Gateway Arch, glimpsed throughout the mighty Mississippi.



GIBT originated when “board member Chuck Oestreich and Illinois Division of Pure Assets’ Dick Westfall (retired and now board president) envisioned a weeklong tour, tenting at state parks close to the Grand Illinois Path, a big community of trails/routes in Northern Illinois,” Barsotti explains.
“Over time, GIBT migrated to different components of Illinois. This was the primary yr it was hotel-only.” The pandemic canceled tenting choices.
GIBT is the one multiday trip supporting Journey Illinois, the statewide, nonprofit bike advocacy group, whose mission is to make Illinois higher by biking. Government director Dave Simmons notes, “It is our largest annual fundraiser, representing 20-25% of income.
“Journey Illinois was lucky to be in good monetary standing in 2020, and in a position to face up to the influence of the canceled fundraiser. Donations from some registered for 2020 GIBT had been very beneficiant,” stated Simmons.
It isn’t too early to start out fascinated about the June 2022 tour, rolling by Bloomington, Regular and Peoria countryside. Registration on Journey Illinois’s web site at will open Nov. 1.



Biking teacher coaching
Chicago SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) Ambassadors/Imaginative and prescient Zero program is sponsoring a League of American Bicyclists League Biking Teacher (LCI) certification seminar for knowledgeable cyclists all in favour of coaching others to bike safely.
The Sept. 24-26 seminar consists of classroom instruction, on-bike dealing with expertise, plus examination. Instruction will Zoom on-line, with on-bike coaching at a College of Illinois-Circle Campus coated car parking zone. The seminar focuses on educating and demonstration strategies to make use of with college students at school and on bikes.
Candidates have to be LAB members, have handed the LCI-led Good Biking class a minimum of one month earlier than the seminar, and register on LAB’s web site, material/become-instructor. Registered candidates full an open-book examination utilizing seminar supplies.
Larry Mysz, LCI program nationwide coach, will conduct the seminar. Mysz, an Energetic Transportation Alliance board member since 2011, serves on the Bike/Ped Committee and belongs to People on Spokes Biking Membership.

Left on the enhancing ground
• Biking With out Age trishawing resurrected nice reminiscences for 90-year-old Rita Moody in Arlington Heights, from Michigan’s Apple Cider Century to Barrington Hills highway bike outings together with her husband. She was following the Tour de France once I phoned, interrupting her viewing.
“Watching the tour jogged my memory of using with the Wheeling Wheelmen to Lake Geneva,” she reminisced. “Coming again we had a tail wind and, boy, we had been actually touring then.”
• Alan Kooperman, retired highschool social research and store trainer, refurbishes used bikes for donation. Whereas Chicago’s West City Bikes advantages essentially the most, his volunteering accompanies him to Bonita Springs.
“In Florida many retirees need to bike for train,” he explains. “After they grow old, they generally resolve it is probably not smart to trip any extra. Some condos and large residences find yourself with deserted bikes, some hardly used.”

At Café of Life, a homeless charity, Kooperman fixes them.
“We donate bikes to individuals who want them for attending to work, no questions requested.”
• A aspect perk of biking columnists is getting invited to occasions, together with McHenry County Bicycle Membership’s fortieth anniversary celebration June 26. Unable to attend their 40-miler, I Zoomed on the “Jumbotron” display on the Johnsburg neighborhood heart luncheon. I felt proper at dwelling among the many honored company, together with membership founders Lon Haldeman, Chuck Howenstine, Erin Hynes, George Mann and John Shiel. Greater than 50 celebrated fellowship, reminiscences and a meal collectively. Forty years is loads of miles, and much more fellowship.
• Bikers and pedestrians can now safely cross busy Lake-Cook dinner Street at Wilke to get pleasure from 5.5 miles of trails in Lake County’s Buffalo Creek Forest Protect. Cyclists can entry the protect with out risking the Schaeffer Street crossing — no crosswalk or alerts — or the bustling Arlington Heights Street intersection one mile east.
Cooperation amongst Lake and Cook dinner counties and village of Arlington Heights supported this security enchancment. It included $198,300 in federal funds and $33,717 every from Cook dinner County and Arlington Heights.
• Be a part of the trip. Contact Ralph Banasiak at [email protected]


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