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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:27 AM
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Chicago to RACINE, WI by Bicycle

This past weekend, I had this grand idea to bike up Milwaukee from Chicago. It's about 90 miles each way on a trail that runs, for the most part, all the way there. Some friends decided to join me part of the way.

I took these pictures on my phone....and that's all I was carrying along with my wallet.

Unfortunately the weather didn't turn out as promised. It just got cloudier and colder and remained in the low 40's. I got up slightly past Racine to make it 80 miles, then 15 miles back to Kenosha, then rode around town to make it an even 100 miles. I then boarded a MetraRail train back to Chicago.

These photos show the way there + Racine. Kenosha will be the next thread.

On the way up near the North Channel Trail in Chicago we saw this house being moved


Breakfast in Highland Park....18 Miles North of downtown Chicago


At about 25% of the way to Milwaukee the trail switches to concrete near the Naval Station at Great Lakes




Just South of Waukegan


Through Waukegan and Zion it's a miserable stretch of crushed limestone. It's okay to ride a road bike on it....just annoying after awhile. After passing Zion it starts to get rural


Here's the un-ceremonious border crossing between Illinois and Wisconsin. Just a humble pedestrian bridge. The trail becomes asphalt pavement rest of the way


Kenosha, but I'll save more for a later thread




Finally I reach Racine. About 75 miles from home. Cold, tired, and miserable But I forced myself to take pictures.




















Now before you ask "Where's the people????" It was miserable out. And I probably looked like a fool pedaling about the wrong way on streets taking cell phone pictures of buildings.






























































Hey look, a blue thing


FLW


Worn, but interesting neighborhood commercial district I saw on the way out










Back on the road


Stay tuned for Kenosha
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 9:03 AM
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Great set!
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 1:17 PM
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Thanks for taking us along for the ride!
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 1:37 PM
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Beautiful tour, Hayward! Thanks for the pictures!

Racine looks very nice, and Kenosha too.

Very nice idea to bike up from Chicago to Milwaukee.

Congratulations and greetings from Madrid, Spain!
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 1:52 PM
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Bike Racine is fun.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 2:45 PM
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Good stuff. I think youre a little crazy in love with your bike to ride this far but glad you stopped to take some photos. Reminds me of when I went to visit my brother in Waukegan. Nice little town. You probably passed right by his old house. It was about one block up and two blocks down from the train stop they have there.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:44 PM
montréaliste montréaliste is offline
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Hey Hayward, you forgot to mention the SC Johnson Wax company headquarters building by Frank LLoyd Wright. It is one of the great industrial/office buildings of the thirties.

Great looking town, I hope the sun hits it soon...
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 6:11 PM
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theres more going on in RayRayTown then I thought.

Time to bring Metra out there!
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 8:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Segun View Post
theres more going on in RayRayTown then I thought.

Time to bring Metra out there!
Fourteen daily (seven each way) Amtrak Hiawatha trains between Chicago and Milwaukee serve Sturtevant, which is on the edge of Racine. I don't know how frequent the transit service is between the station and downtown.

I was in Racine several years ago for a convention and tour of the J.I. Case foundry and tractor factory, and didn't get a chance to inspect much of the town because I was dependent on friends for local transportation. The city has some impressive buildings, and in the photos the downtown looks much healthier than I anticipated.
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Last edited by Robert Pence; Apr 4, 2012 at 11:31 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 1:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Segun View Post
theres more going on in RayRayTown then I thought.

Time to bring Metra out there!
^ Nope, there's less.

I applaud Racine for preserving the downtown.

But like most towns, the vast majority of people are at Walmart and Best Buy, and eating dinner at Olive Garden and Applebee's (none of which are pictured, and none of which you will want to see)

Regarding Metra, Racine has the Sturtevant Amtrak station, which is even better to the Metra. With Amtrak you glide on the Hiawatha and reach the Loop in one hour. With Metra, you make 4,875 stops and eventually reach Chicago in 2 hours.

Racine does have a couple of good restaurants, though. The Summit is nice and Corner House has nationally recognized prime rib (a well deserved reputation!)
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 3:07 PM
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Good photos. I want to ride from DC to Pittsburgh and take Amtrak back some time. My friend volunteered me to do a century next weekend.

This photo made me a bit sick to my stomach
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2012, 1:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ Nope, there's less.

I applaud Racine for preserving the downtown.

But like most towns, the vast majority of people are at Walmart and Best Buy, and eating dinner at Olive Garden and Applebee's (none of which are pictured, and none of which you will want to see)

Regarding Metra, Racine has the Sturtevant Amtrak station, which is even better to the Metra. With Amtrak you glide on the Hiawatha and reach the Loop in one hour. With Metra, you make 4,875 stops and eventually reach Chicago in 2 hours.

Racine does have a couple of good restaurants, though. The Summit is nice and Corner House has nationally recognized prime rib (a well deserved reputation!)
Do you still live up there, or have you moved on?
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2012, 1:26 AM
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Still live here
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 2:13 AM
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Your pussy ass could only make it to Racine? Weak. Lemme know when you go for a real bike ride.
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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 9:10 PM
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Some places are just untouched by time. One great tour!
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 3:20 AM
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I don't know why it is, but practically all of Wisconsin's downtowns look spectacular compared to those of most other states. Part of the reason is because just about every town (small or large) seems to have a lot of revitalized public infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, streetlamps, buried power lines, etc). This is usually coupled with restored private historical buildings. Perhaps the state of Wisconsin has some very aggressive historical restoration programs. Or perhaps the citizens here take greater pride in their downtowns. Whatever the reason is, most towns in the state are a joy to visit as their downtowns have all been restored and preserved very well. Racine is no exception.

Great tour!
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2012, 5:00 AM
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^ Small towns in Wisconsin do tend to look healthier than their Illinois counterparts... I'm guessing this is a cultural thing more than an economic one. Midwestern frugality led Wisconsinites to keep their old business districts in good shape instead of wastefully duplicating everything on the strip outside of town.

Racine's health is dependent on SC Johnson, and has been for over a century. SC Johnson displayed an unusual commitment to Racine, keeping its headquarters there even as other companies moved to the big city or the Sunbelt. I'm guessing it's because they're still "a family company", as they boast in their ads, and they don't have to follow corporate trends to please shareholders. Even their manufacturing is still just outside Racine at Waxdale.

Hayward, I'm surprised you don't have any pictures of the art museum in Racine. It's a seriously cool project, especially for a small Midwestern city. I guess you can kind of see it in the back of the town square.

I have family in Racine and Kenosha, so I get up there relatively often.
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 1:04 AM
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Great photos of a town that's not often showcased here.

I'm trying to figure out which you love more: biking or Corner Bakery. Be honest now...
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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 7:21 PM
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I've done the ride to and from Kenosha and have ridden from Kenosha (hometown) to Milwaukee back in the day. . . looks like the weather would be a bit too cold for my taste. . . at least you could hop on Metra in K-town. . . nice pics. . .

. . . .
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 8:03 PM
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The Wisconsin Bikeway between Kenosha and La Crosse includes the Sparta - Elroy trail, one of the early rail-trails the Midwest. In 1973 I took my bike with me on Amtrak's North Coast Hiawatha (discontinued in 1979) to Tomah and then rode some very hilly roads and part of the rail-trail from there to Elroy. At Elroy I met up with a group that had ridden from La Crosse to celebrate La Crosse's Oktoberfest. I overnighted with them in a middle school gym at Elroy, and the next day I accompanied them back to La Crosse. I slept on a bench in the depot at La Crosse that night, and the following day I rode the Empire Builder back to Chicago, and the Broadway Limited home to Fort Wayne.
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