By Yasmeen Schuller
I used to ride on farm roads when I lived in Wisconsin for a year. When I read the article (see below) from Bicycling Magazine, I thought I'd add a few tips of my own:
Expect Hills, Sometimes Gravel
Once you get outside of Chicago, farm roads can get hilly. If you love hills, a ride around Geneva Lake will help you get your fix. Farm roads aren't always paved, occasionally riding on limestone or gravel. Make sure you bring a few tubes so you can fix a flat on the fly.
Oh yes, they aren't quite as cute when you ride up one of those farm road hills only to discover a barking security pup asking what you are doing there. If you get in a pinch, you can try to outrun them. If you worry about them nipping or biting you, your water bottle (please only use water) sprayed in the face can deter them. I've outrun them or turned around and rode back from where I came (cursing every extra hill that yapping pup made me climb).
Rear Red Blinking Light
Keep the rear red light blinking during the day so cars can spot you more easily. There can be curves and hills which make you less visible until the last moment so keeping a blinker can really make a difference.
Use with caution. Expect the unexpected because Google's bike routes are not perfect. I've had their bike routes recommendations put me on high speed roads that I most definitely didn't feel awesome about. Be skeptical, ask around, and use Map My Ride or Strava for recommended routes. You can also post on The Chainlink forum and ask others if they have some recommended rides.
Here's the full article from Bicycling Magazine.
Have some farm road advice to add? Feel free to share in the comments!