Black Jack 100k (63 miles)
-- Cost = $15.00
This route begins in Hanover, Illinois then north along the Blackjack road to Galena, Illinois, west to Dubuque, Iowa, and north to Balltown, Iowa. Lunch in Balltown, Iowa is one of the highlights. The terrain is very hilly with river bluffs up to 500 feet in height. It is beautiful countryside with incredible views of the Mississippi river. We usually camp overnight at Mississippi Palisades State Park the night before the ride.
Canyonlands Ride (26 miles)
-- Cost = $55.00 shuttle + $38.00 bike rental
We did this in 2004. This mountain bike trip began at Island in the Sky at Canyonlands National Park and ended on the banks of the Colorado River. We rode sections of the Shafer Trail, White Rim Trail, and Lathrop Canyon Trail. We rented bikes through Slick Rock Cycles and contracted a White Rim Mountain Bike Shuttle to Island in the Sky, with a later pick-up at the Colorado River by jetboat through Tag-Along Expeditions of Moab. There are long sections of uphill in desert heat, biking along 1,000 foot drops, and incredible scenery. Island in the Sky is where you begin the gorgeous descent down Shafer Trail, a historic cattle trail and 4X4 road. The Shafer Trail is literally cut into the side of the canyon wall with tight switchbacks and awesome views. As we reached the middle level of the Island in the Sky, we passed Musselman Arch and the Walking Rocks area. We biked deep inside Canyonlands National Park where we passed natural bridges and other geologic wonders as we skirted even deeper canyons. They say bighorn sheep make Island in the Sky their home. There are memorable overlooks of the Colorado River and the canyons it cuts through. Itís a day of world-class mountain biking in some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet! After the biking was over, the jetboat took us through 25-miles of breathtaking canyon scenery on the Colorado River enroute back to Moab. We saw Canyonlands National Park literally from top to bottom. Bring along plenty of water; 3 liters/person recommended.
East Coast Iron Man Ride (575 miles)
-- Cost = $350.00
We did this trip in 1999. Our 500 mile route began at Buffalo, New York and ended at the Atlantic Ocean at Portland, Maine. We first bicycled 4 days from Buffalo to Albany, New York. We took some a break spending 2 nights camping in the Adirondacks with a full day of sightseeing in Montreal, Canada. We visited Fort Ticonderoga briefly before returning to our ride. We spent the next 4 days bicycling through Vermont and across the Green Mountains, then across New Hampshire and the White Mountains. The final portion through Maine brought us to Portland where we biked to the Atlantic to dip our wheels in the ocean. We celebrated with a fine meal at Gilbert's Chowder house. We also visited Portland Head Lighthouse. A short visit to Boston allowed us to tour the USS Constitution. We enjoyed sightseeing in New York City where we visited the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Broadway, Times Square, Intrepid Air/Sea/Space Museum, and Coney Island where we rode the legendary Cyclone roller coaster and ate hot dogs at Nathans. It was a great time and a challenging adventure.
Elroy-Sparta Trail; Wisconsin (32 miles)
-- Cost = varies
Visit the Elroy Sparta website here. The trail is 32 miles in length on the abandoned Chicago & North Western Railroad bed and passes through three rock tunnels. The Kendall and Wilton tunnels are ľ mile long and the Norwalk tunnel is ĺ mile long. The trail is covered with limestone screenings and provides a smooth riding surface. The bridges are covered with planks and are guarded with railings. It is a weekend camping from DeKalb. We usually like to camp at Wilton Campground, a community campground in Wilton, Wisconsin. At the campground is a swimming pool, the Lions serve breakfast on Sunday during the summer season, and it's right at the mid-point of the trail. We can bike to Elroy end and return the first day, then to the Sparta end and return on the second day for 64 miles of biking. Trail passes are required for bikers 16 years of age and older. A daily trail pass is $4 and an annual pass is $15. These are good on any Wisconsin State Trails. Bike rentals are available.
Haleakala Volcano Ride; Maui Hawaii (38 miles)
-- Cost = $25.00 to $100.00
We stared into the crater of Mount Haleakala and mounted our bicycles amid 40-mph winds. Speeding down a dormant volcano on mountain bikes, miles of twisting roads beckoning, we looked out upon a span of billowing clouds outstretched beneath us to the horizon. It was the closest thing to flying without leaving the ground.
Haleakala means "House of the Sun" in Hawaiian. If you have the opportunity to be standing on the rim of the crater at sunrise or sunset, you will understand how it got it's name. There is an cottage industry based on guiding bike riders from the crater of Haleakala down 10,000 vertical feet to the ocean. Nine different companies offer guided tours. You can easily spend $100/person. We used Maui Sunriders. The owner Paolo is a great person. We rented the equipment for 24 hours; bikes, helmets, and bike racks and did our own self-guided tour for about $25.00/rider.
Killington Peak; Vermont
-- Cost = $70.00(?)
This is a mountain biking experience at one of Vermont premier ski areas. In summer you can ride the gondola ski lift to the top of the mountain where you can enjoy a view of 5 states and Canada as well as a variety of mountain bike routes down the mountain, ranging from gravel road to single track through woodlands. With 41 miles of mountain terrain for cyclists of all experience levels, killington is a mountain which has a lot to offer. You can buy a pass and rent a bike onsite. Here is a website with information on the various trails on Killington.
Kirkland Ride (40 miles)
-- Cost = Free
This is a 40 mile route from DeKalb to Kirkland and return. The terrain is flat, rural on hard surface roads. We eat lunch in Kirkland.
Lakefront Trail; Chicago, Illinois
-- Cost = Free
Chicago's Lakefront Trail runs about 20 miles along Lake Michigan, with
connections to more trails. Fantastic views of the lake and Chicago skyline.
Besides biking we make stops at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and also Navy Pier for a great lunch stop. The trail also goes past the Field Museum and Shedd
Aquarium, McCormick Place, Soldier Field, and just a few blocks away are Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park and the Art Institute. They sometimes have free concerts in Grant Park. It is a truly beautiful ride.
Going south the trail also goes by the Museum of Science & Industry and ends at the South Shore Country Club. Lakefront Trail
It's good to do this ride early in the season before the beaches open and the trail gets too crowded. The southern portion below McCormick Place is the
least crowded portion of the trail.
If you're coming to Chicago without bikes, you can rent bikes at Navy Pier from "Bike Chicago", and also at some beach locations. They rent by the hour, half day, or full day. Bike Chicago
We bring our own bikes. We run it as a FREE trip and tell the boys to either bring sack lunches or enough money for two meals.
Lake Geneva Ride (80 miles)
-- Cost = Free
This is an 80 mile route from DeKalb to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Our route is mostly flat, rural, on hard surface roads. Some small towns we pass for bathrooms and refreshments include; Kirkland, Garden Prairie, and Capron in Illinois; plus Sharon, Walworth, and Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.
Lake Shabbona Ride (25 miles)
-- Cost = Free
This is an early season ride of 25 miles. The route takes us from DeKalb, Illinois to Lake Shabbona State Park near Shabbona, Illinois. Terrain is flat, rural, hard surface roads.
New Orleans Iron Man Ride (500 miles)- 2006
This ride was done in 2006 and is approximately 500 miles stretching from Memphis, Tennessee to the outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana. Our route took us across Mississippi, from Memphis southeast to Tupelo then southwest along the historic Nachez Trace to Port Gibson, then southeast again toward New Orleans. The trip was a bike-a-thon to raise money for libraries damaged by Hurricane Katrina. A highlight came in New Orleans when our cycling team presented a check for $3,000 to the American Library Association at the opening ceremony of their national convention. Click here to learn more about out ride.
Minnesota Iron Man Ride (230 miles)
-- Cost = $100.00
This ride was done in 1999 and is approximately 230 miles stretching from Aberdeen, South Dakota to the outskirts of the Twin Cities. Our route took us through Aberdeen, Stratford, Conde, Crocker, Bradley, Wallace, Florence, and Watertown, South Dakota; then east to Montevideo, and Long Lake, Minnesota. Sightseeing included the Mall of America. An unexpected highlight came one day when our route coincided with a biker ralley and we shared the road with 300 Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Oregon Century (100 miles)
-- Cost = Free
This is a 100 mile century ride circling from DeKalb to Oregon, Illinois and return. Our route is mostly flat with some hills on the western portion on rural hard surface roads. Small towns passed along the way; Malta, Creston, Rochelle, Flag Center, Daysville, Oregon, Holcomb, Lindenwood, Esmond, Clare, and DeKalb. Some notable landmarks we pass are the Blackhawk Statue at Lowden State Park, and the Byron Nuclear Power Plant. We have lunch in Oregon which is near the mid-point of the ride. Bikers can also recruit sponsor per mile as a fundraiser. This is optional with about 50% of riders raising money
Plano 50k/100k Ride (31 miles/62 miles)
-- Cost = Free
It is 50k one way, 100k round trip, either option is available. Our route is mostly flat, rural, on hard surface roads. Town visited are DeKalb, Hinckley, and Plano. Hinckley is near the mid-point on the route. Just 3 miles south of Plano is Silver Springs State Park on the Fox River. We have lunch in Plano.
Thunder Bay Iron Man 2005 (410 miles)
-- Cost = $300.00
Our route took us biking 410 miles from Hager City, Wisconsin to Thunder Bay, Onatario mostly on hard surface roads. Towns visited included, Hinckley and Duluth, Minnesota, then following the shoreline of Lake Superior, and north across the Canadian Shield to Thunder Bay. This was the northern anchor of our north-south route across America. In 2006 we completed the Memphis-New Orleans section. Click here for more information
Windy 60 Bicyle Tour (63 miles)
-- Cost = $12.00
This route begins in DeKalb, Illinois and circles DeKalb County
with 3 different length rides, 20 miles, 43 miles, or 63 miles. It takes place on Fathers Day weekend and is sponsored by the DeKalb Cycling Club and includes a t-shirt, sag wagon support and snacks. The routes are on flat terrain on hard surface roads with little traffic. Here's the website for the Windy 60