SSkibum_18

I recently moved from the great state of Wisconsin to the land of terrible drivers known as Illinois.  The forest preserve trails around my house are nice, but weaving through suburban backyards leaves something to be desired.  It's taken some time, a brief scroll through the Regions tab on the ridinggravel forums got me nowhere (Illinois is a side note on an underwhelming thread), a lot of time on google maps, and finally I came across some Illinois State biking maps.  They are free though the Illinois DOT and are worth more folds than are found on each of the 10 maps they sent to my front door.  

The maps revealed a wealth of gravel and rural roads in north western Illinois and google maps revealed a similar terrain to that found in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.  Gravel roads and hills sounded like an epic combination, so I invited some Wisconsinites to go exploring with me.  And the results were far beyond our measly expectations.  Every rotation of my 40mm wheels revealed a new found respect for this place.  Side note: most drivers avoid gravel roads, so we rarely had to deal with the inevitable, incompetent Illinois driver.

1.JPG  a good ride always starts with getting lost

2.JPG  some shady Illinois cows (almost as happy as Wisconsin cows)

3.JPG  Granny gear your way up Gamble Hill Rd.

4.JPG  We hit some solid ground after lunch at Charlie's Place in Hanover, Il

5.JPG  Make sure nothing's loose befor the decent down Diggin Hill Rd

6.JPG  sometimes you gotta ditch your friends to get the good shots

8.JPG  Riding the gravel line between river plain and driftless bluff

9.JPG  The storms we had been expecting finally caught up to us... 

10.JPG  parting shot


Here's our route if interested - https://goo.gl/maps/2fYeexf1Xu72

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jhueber1
Nice ride, Diggin Hill is on of my favorite roads, never gone down it though always climb up. 
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Marinerecon
Looks like an awesome trip and so very similar to the terrain here in SW Wisconsin. Saving this route as I'd love to ride it...thanks for the info..
Nick
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SSkibum_18

jhueber1 wrote:
Nice ride, Diggin Hill is on of my favorite roads, never gone down it though always climb up. 


Whoa, ride UP Diggin Hill? That's a serious climb. Going to have to try that next time i'm in the area.  Not sure that'll be as fun as descending it though.... 

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Fikeman
Old post but just moved to Chicago "Buckland area" and have been searching for unpaved roads. Thanks for sharing pics and mapping info!
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