I am fired up for this weekend! I am an out of state Chainlink member, but this weekend I get to ride in Chicago for a few day! I need some advice. Here we have over a foot of snow on the ground, and more coming. What bike would be best in Chicago this weekend? I could bring my road bike(which I like better), or my winter hybrid with snow tires. I see forcast says 40 degrees Sunday, 44 Monday, and 45 Tuesday. If you don't have much snow on the ground, it may be gone by then.
I also wonder about a route. My plan now is to start downtown, and take LFP to its end. Forgive me, but I forgot that area. I know we have done it before, it is near Ann Sathers. Then I would like to ride back on Clark, because I remember a bike lane. Any better routes? I will probaly be able to ride Sunday afternoon, and Monday and Tuesday mornings.
What do you mean by "snow tires?" Knobbies, or studs?
They are studs. I use them almost daily because our plowing here leaves much to be desired.
you shouldn't need studs in Chicago.
I haven't rode to the Botanic Gardens recently so I don't know what the trails look like, but I love that ride from Ravenswood, Bowmanville, Sauganash, to the start of the North Shore Channel Trail.
I think knobbies are overkill but your planned ride is not that long and I guess they will slow you down so you can take in the scenery. A hard core road machine may be too sleek but should be fine. There will be patches of danger here and there so keep yer eyes open. The optimum setup would be the hybrid with the tires it came with, likely in the 30's. Your route depends on what you want to see. If you want lake take lake. If you want neighborhoods you can consider a neighborhood route. One problem with that is the side streets which are normally great for cycling become difficult in the winter as they are the last cleared. Main routes are often better this time of year. Perhaps a regular lakefront commuter can update you on conditions there. I know Clark and Lincoln are clear and assume Ravenswood would be as well. These are good north/south streets on the north side. Ann Sather has a restaurant in the 5200 block of Clark. I am assuming that was your destination rather than the one just west of Clark on Belmont. That would be too short of a ride. Don't fill up on the cinnamon rolls and enjoy.
Last Saturday the 14th, the Lakefront Path was mostly clear (very occasional collected snow and ice) from Burnham Harbor to South Shore. Can't speak to the north portion of the path, but would anticipate it would be as good or better. I agree that studded tires would be overkill. If Sunday really does reach 40 degrees, I'd bring a bike with fenders. It will get very wet on the path.
I think I will bring my road bike. I have taken Clark before, and it seemed like a nice ride. But I really do not care which route I take...it will all be fun to me.
Most of the snow from last Thursday's snowstorm has melted, but you might run into icy patches on the road or trails overnight or early in the morning.
And you probably already know this, but we get TONS of salt on the Chicago streets, so bring something with which to clean that bike - and your favorite lube for your chain.
I would love to ride with some "natives". My plan now is to get into town Sunday around 2 Chicago time. I hope to ride shortly after that. As far as Monday and Tuesday, I would have to ride early. I need to attend the AHR show at the McCormick Place. Let me know if any of that works out.
I did not know about the salt, so thanks Tony. We got 5 inches of snow last night, with another 5-6 coming overnight. Looking forward to some clearer roads.
Are things still the same in Chicago? Streets and LFP pretty clear of snow? It this point am still planning on my road bike......
You might want to check the weather. We got a doozy of a storm coming today...and possibly lingering through the weekend.