"Lakefront Brewing is just north of downtown (though not on the lakefrontm rather they're right on the river). Best beer tour I've been on and they're generous with the samples (though the tours cost money)."
"I rode to Milwaukee twice. Its about 90 miles or so depending on where you start. Its doable but if the last train back is 730 then not really much time to see anything in Milwaukee once you get there."
"Cable locks seem to be the norm in suburban areas and apparently are sufficient enough that thats what gets used. I used a cable lock for a decade and never had any trouble until it was parked outside UIC. "
"Another good trip is Metra to Crystal Lake then south via the Fox River Trail to Aurora, though Metra is also available in Elgin and Geneva. One of the more scenic long distance trails in the area with many diversions along the way."
"Take sides streets to Oak Park Avenue, Wrightwood is a good choice, pick it up my the Logan Square monument, then take Oak Park Ave south through Oak Park into Berwyn, take it to Riverside Dr which goes into Riverside, follow Longcommon Rd to…"