hills near chicago?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by wnowak06, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. wnowak06

    wnowak06 New Member

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    hey everyone

    does anyone know of some decent hills within 30 miles of chicago? if so where? im in evanston and would be willing to ride 30 miles out, do some hills and then 30 miles back..

    any to reccommend?

    thanks
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's probably NOT as much of a climb as you are looking for, but if you go NORTH on Sheridan Road ... past the north end of the Northwestern campus, after the roadway turns LEFT and goes up for about 50 yards (?) to meet up with Ridge ... turn right & continue to follow Sheridan Road.

    Sheridan Road curves around the B'hai Temple ... then, a couple of miles of FLAT roadway until you get to the rise just before TOWER Road ... keep going NORTH.

    After are just past Tower Road, there will be a quick, right hand turn & DROP and which is followed by a LEFT HAND turn & then what must be about a quarter mile climb ... maybe it's shorter ... I don't remember ... it may only be a (couple of?) hundred yards long ...

    You could repeat THAT climb, incessantly ... just go back up to TOWER Road when heading SOUTH to do your turn-around ...

    Worth riding at least ONCE. Traffic used to be "light" on Sunday mornings after you get past the B'hai Temple ...

    Consider going all the way NORTH along Sheridan Road to Waukegan to get a sense of the lay of the land ... overall, it will be downhill going back SOUTH.
     
  3. RACING RANDY

    RACING RANDY New Member

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    I am currently training slightly north of Chicago and there is a hill that I have been using since June that is a challenge for just about anyone. It's in Lake Bluff. Leads down to a private beach, it's paved and the climb is pretty impressive (about 7-9%). Off limits to cars when the beach is closed, you can easily access the hill by going through the gate. Joggers and sometimes other cyclists keep going up and down the hill for training.

    Locate downtown Lake Bluff and follow the main street directly towards Lake Michigan. Can't miss it!
     
  4. marknovack

    marknovack New Member

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    Probably a little too far, but there are some decent hills out in St. Charles, Burr Hill Road and Campton Hills Road, several loops that can be ridden in the area that are used by numerous cyclists, especially on the weekends. 5-7% grades, 1/4-1/2 miles in distance depending on the hill and road. Burr Hill Road has a series of rolling steep hills and Campton Hills Road has a least one longer distance grade. The Bike Rack in St. Charles probably can give out routes used by local cyclists and you can park at the Great Western Trail parking lot off of Dean St. in St. Charles. I have ridden sveral different 20-40 mile loops in the area out west and back.

     
  5. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    LOL - sounds like a bump in the road to me. I suppose I'm spoilt here in Japan with more than 70% of the country covered in mountains. Travlling from my house I climb a few little bumps as you mentioned above then BANG, straight into a 15% climb and after that mountain after mountain. You can climb all day without going up the same mountain twice. There's a 20% narrow climb which goes on for several kilometres, but I haven't attempted that yet. (Only in the car and the car was struggling)

    So if it's not too far from Chicago, come on over.:D TYSON
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a good option ...

    There should be a similar, shorter roadway down to the beach at Tower Road ...

    The caveat (especially now that you are in the off-season) is that there most probably will be SOME sand near the bottom where you will be making a sharp right hand turn ... so, your speed should be greatly reduced BEFORE you reach the bottom of the descent.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it isn't much of a climb [someone who still rides along Sheridan Road through the Northshore will have to report back as to how long/short that climb is ...], particularly when compared with what I am currently subjected to (uh, make that get-to-enjoy! in the East Mountains near Albuquerque) ... generally, starting at 6500 feet & ending at 9000 feet over ~10 miles.

    BTW. Others around here (i.e., New Mexico) regularly ride to a HIGHER ending point (on a different roadway) ...

    FWIW. My vague recollection is that it took well under a minute to make that "climb" along Sheridan Road ... it did NOT prepare me for what I used to refer to as the "10-minute Hill" (who knows how long it actually took!) from Arroyo Hondo up to the Taos Mesa since I only had a 13-19 5-speed block (to give you an idea of how long ago it was) & a 52/42 crank [the legacy from my days in the Chicago area] to help me make the climb.

    I've got REALLY WUSSY gearing, now ...
     
  8. JJakucyk

    JJakucyk New Member

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    Sheridan Road through Glencoe, Highland Park, and Lake Forest is probably your best bet, as has already been mentioned. For a little variety, in Highland Park, there's Lake Cook Road and Clavey Road, to the west of Green Bay Road that have a bit of a climb. A neat loop in Highland Park would be to take Park Avenue east from downtown to the lake (and the boat ramp and water pumping station), then at the bottom turn left and go up Egandale to Vine to Linden and back to Park. Repeat as necessary. It's about a 75' change in elevation at rougly 6% and a mile loop. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=493602
     
  9. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    It may be kind of far for wnowak06, but others may benefit.

    I measured some hills in Lemont at about 8-10% grade, but they are kind of short; the steep part lasts a quarter mile or less. Some of the streets in the riverfront neighborhood are even steeper but ease off at the top, and you have to pause for traffic. Try Timberline road or Bluff road. They're pretty steep for Illinois but not very long.

    I don't know what you serious race buffs consider a good, long climb. I can just manage main street southbound on a 46X18, standing up, and expecting to be completely winded at the top.

    In general, the Des Plaines river valley has some of the steeper hills I've seen around here but it's steepest and highest by Lemont.
     
  10. vascdoc

    vascdoc New Member

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    I lived in Glencoe, moved to Boston and currently live in Cleveland. To mention hills and Chicago or Glencoe in the same sentence is an oxymoron. Come visit the Cleveland area - I will show you some hills. Otherwise get a computrainer and ride simulated hills. There are no real hills or significant grades in Chicago.
     
  11. vega2614

    vega2614 New Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering about hills in the north Chicago area as well. Granted there aren't very many long hills around these parts, but I definitely can attest to the Tower Road Beach entrance road being a steep one. I ride it when training for rides in hilly central Wisconsin. "Tower" as we call it is about 0.15 miles long, and a max grade of nearly 30% according to veloroutes.org. It's pretty steep for one very small stretch and then tapers off. I just continually go up and down it a number of times (6-20 depending on time available). I see other cyclist doing it too. Yes, you might get some sand on your bike unfortunately, but I think it's worth it. You can turn around before there's sand and you'll be fine. I've definitely improved my LT doing that hill.

    I've heard there's a hill near Ft. Sheridan further north that is ridiculously steep. I'll have to check it out.
     
  12. geezerjock

    geezerjock New Member

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    Get out into Western Lake and Eastern McHenry county. Cuba Rd, Long Grove Rd, Miller Rd, River Rd. Blawkhawk Trail. Rawson Bridge Rd.
    You can do the Honey Do Ride with the Wheeling Wheelmen on Saturday mornings and there will be some hills; and not the dinky ones along Sheridan Rd. Oh, and isn't Sheridan Rd. north of Tower Rd. closed to cyclists through the ravines?! I can also suggest a loop route beginning in Long Grove.
     
  13. vega2614

    vega2614 New Member

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    Yeah, there's a small stretch along Sheridan just north of Tower Rd. that is closed to cyclist. To get further north on Sheridan Rd. from Tower, I'll head west and hit up the Green Bay Trail, then head east until you hit Sheridan again. I saw a bunch of serious riders doing those stretches on Sheridan.
     
    I'll have to check out the places you mention.
     
    I did eventually go to the Ft. Sheridan hill, at the east end of Walker Ave. Here's the veloroutes link: http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=58903. It's very steep. I can't see there being many paved roads in the entire US that are that steep. I was mashing a 34-25 at like a cadence of 40 to get up it. Note that this is a private road (essentially a driveway). I did it when there was a guy doing stuff at the base, and he didn't say anything.
     
  14. geezerjock

    geezerjock New Member

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    Another idea is to head up to Wisconsin. Southern WI has some nice hills and west of Madison are some really challenging hills (for the Midwest) The road into Blue Mound State Park is a workout.
     
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