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  1. #1
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    Raceway Woods - Carpentersville, Illinois

    The first phase of official singletrack at Raceway Woods has finally been completed. A big "THANK YOU!" to everyone involved in getting this project off the ground! Now hopefully (with a little bit of luck), the second phase of trailwork could begin as early as next Spring, so we'll keep ya posted!

    Video 1: Raceway Woods - Carpentersville, Illinois - YouTube

    Video 2: Raceway Woods - Carpentersville, Illinois - YouTube
    Last edited by DDDonny; 10-10-2012 at 01:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice! Wish we could something like in the northern lake county! The trail developing guy won't even return my emails! I guess to busy putting in multimillion dollar tunnels all over the place.
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    All I can say is just be patient. Raceway took at least a couple of years before the project was finally given the greenlight, and we've only just completed Phase One. Keep your fingers crossed, though. From what I'm hearing, many of the counties (hopefully Lake included) had reps present at the IMBA/CAMBr Trail Building Class held two weekends ago. People are starting to realize that there are more positives to mountain bikers, than the preconceived notion that we're all just a bunch of Red Bull guzzling thrill-seekers...

    Now, where's my Red Bull??? LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosted Flakes View Post
    Nice! Wish we could something like in the northern lake county! The trail developing guy won't even return my emails! I guess to busy putting in multimillion dollar tunnels all over the place.
    The people in charge of Lake County believe that their negative opinion of MntBking is reflective of the populace's opinion when in fact it is only their opinion. They are very close minded when it comes to ANY singletrack trails on their property, not the peoples property. They will bulldoze a 35 foot wide path thru the woods and say singletrack is damaging to the ecosystem.

    By the way big props for the work you've done at Raceway DDDonny I'm looking forward to riding out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDDonny View Post
    All I can say is just be patient. Raceway took at least a couple of years before the project was finally given the greenlight, and we've only just completed Phase One. Keep your fingers crossed, though. From what I'm hearing, many of the counties (hopefully Lake included) had reps present at the IMBA/CAMBr Trail Building Class held two weekends ago. People are starting to realize that there are more positives to mountain bikers, than the preconceived notion that we're all just a bunch of Red Bull guzzling thrill-seekers...

    Now, where's my Red Bull??? LOL!
    I believe one of the guys from Zion Cyclery attended the trail building class. I know he's been trying to get stuff going with Beulah Park.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatguybiking View Post
    I believe one of the guys from Zion Cyclery attended the trail building class. I know he's been trying to get stuff going with Beulah Park.
    Yup! Chris Daisy from Zion Cyclery was in attendance at the Saturday class - I met him, cool dude! Anyway, one thing I can tell you for certain is if and when things get the green-light up there (at Beulah or wherever), I'll be there to help move some dirt!

    Beulah Park - Zion, IL | Trail Advocacy, Restoration, and Conservation | CAMBr - Chicago Area Mountain Bikers
    Last edited by DDDonny; 10-12-2012 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickeydoo View Post
    The people in charge of Lake County believe that their negative opinion of MntBking is reflective of the populace's opinion when in fact it is only their opinion. They are very close minded when it comes to ANY singletrack trails on their property, not the peoples property. They will bulldoze a 35 foot wide path thru the woods and say singletrack is damaging to the ecosystem.

    By the way big props for the work you've done at Raceway DDDonny I'm looking forward to riding out there.
    Lake County(as well as most of the surrounding countys) had a representative(s) attend the Friday 9/28 IMBA Land Managers Seminar. The responses were very positve. I believe the Lake Co. rep. visited a trail system that was the same type of area that would possibly become available for trails. This is very early in exploring possibilties. Remember this can take time. CAMBr will continue to advocate and educate for more trails.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickeydoo View Post
    By the way big props for the work you've done at Raceway DDDonny I'm looking forward to riding out there.

    Thanks, buddy! But I'm just one person (out of countless others) who helped move dirt! Bigger kudos to the KCFPD, the Village of Carpentersville, and the higher-ups at CAMBr -who work all their behind the scene magic to make trails like this a reality...!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lml427 View Post
    Lake County(as well as most of the surrounding countys) had a representative(s) attend the Friday 9/28 IMBA Land Managers Seminar. The responses were very positve. I believe the Lake Co. rep. visited a trail system that was the same type of area that would possibly become available for trails. This is very early in exploring possibilties. Remember this can take time. CAMBr will continue to advocate and educate for more trails.
    Sorry for being Debbie Downer here, but I've lived in Lake Cnty for 22 years and the land managers have always had a very neg outlook on MTBKing. Its surprising that they may have had a change of heart.

    There has been talk of trails before this that they have shot down. One example is an area that would be perfect for significant miles of hilly single track, but their opinion was it would be to damaging to the ecosystem. They then bulldozed miles of 35 ft wide trails through these same woods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickeydoo View Post
    Sorry for being Debbie Downer here, but I've lived in Lake Cnty for 22 years and the land managers have always had a very neg outlook on MTBKing. Its surprising that they may have had a change of heart.

    There has been talk of trails before this that they have shot down. One example is an area that would be perfect for significant miles of hilly single track, but their opinion was it would be to damaging to the ecosystem. They then bulldozed miles of 35 ft wide trails through these same woods.
    I have only lived in DuPage, Kane and Will counties and have been advocating mountian biking since 1987. None of these counties were interested in multi use natural surface trails(singletrack) until recently. I understand your frustration. I used to ride a nice trail that kids also built a park like area. Signs were posted that it was "damaging the eco system" and they kicked everyone out. Months later the bulldozer came through and built a road, not a trail.

    At the Land Managers seminar you could see a lot of the attendees get the "Ah ha, I get it. Now I see how and why its done this way" The ice has been broken and interest is high. We need to continue to educate and work the process.

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    Here's what fries my butt, WE PAY FOR THESE PEOPLE TO WORK FOR US!!!!!! Why is there so much butt kissing to land managers. Why is there so much red tape, bureaucracy, and hyming and haying about. Whats nice about a single track, if it doesn't get used, the woods take care of it and its gone in a matter of years. Why is there such strife?! Why are they so against it?! How does it destroy the ecosystem, when up here they can spend millions on stupid tunnels and bridges that you can drive a tank over! Bring in heavy excavators and all the dump trucks! Heaven forbid, you ride off the gravel trail! I don't get it, its such a waste!

    Off my soap box, back to regular programming
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickeydoo View Post
    There has been talk of trails before this that they have shot down. One example is an area that would be perfect for significant miles of hilly single track, but their opinion was it would be to damaging to the ecosystem. They then bulldozed miles of 35 ft wide trails through these same woods.
    Where was this at? Are talking about the preserve off of Rt 176?
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    Forgot Double D, great job in Carpentersville! When I get bored of the Wisconsin trails, maybe I'll head down that a way to try it out and maybe Palos to.
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    When you say "WE" and "US" you must include the other stake holders who also pay and have a say. The conservationist, restorationist, equestrian, bird, butterfly, snake, tree, fauna person etc. etc... The Land Manager has to balance out what is acceptable or not that's in agreement with their Mission Satement. Our job is to educate to all that we also want to preserve things in their most natural state but with a sustainable natural surface trail through the forest that everyone can enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lml427 View Post
    When you say "WE" and "US" you must include the other stake holders who also pay and have a say. The conservationist, restorationist, equestrian, bird, butterfly, snake, tree, fauna person etc. etc... The Land Manager has to balance out what is acceptable or not that's in agreement with their Mission Satement. Our job is to educate to all that we also want to preserve things in their most natural state but with a sustainable natural surface trail through the forest that everyone can enjoy.
    I agree there are a few different user groups in play here, some having a louder voice than others. But the reasoning and justification of saying no to a single track trail but allowing a wide swath to be bulldozed through forest seems to be more of a self serving plan of how they think it should be. Seems like catering to some user groups and ignoring MTBRs.

    Possibly their concern is once they let a trail be built riders would start creating rogue trails everywhere creating a silly maze of trails.
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    Even it do get some rogue trails, those trails can and would benefit all the other users also. Just like the bird watchers, butterfly group, and hikers. Those singletracks give a those people access to other parts of the preserve that otherwise not have been there.

    By no means am I saying that the land managers just let us go nuts and do whatever we want, but have some leanancy on letting the "the people" who own the land use it. I understand there needs to be balance, but when you don't even get a repsonse from the trail director after 5 emails, thats a problem! I don't expect a long lengthy in depth response, just respond!

    Like I said, here in northern lake county, its all about building tunnels and bridges people can't even use because the construction will take another year or two. Also there bulldozing an area off Rollins and rt 45 where the snowmobilers couldn't use for the last 3 years because of a certain type of snow bird! Give me a break, we couldn't ride our sleds there, but they can bulldoze and dig the hell out of the same area. The land managers put snowmobilers at risk by detouring us about a mile out of the way to cross Rollins. Now we had to ride along rt 45 going in the wrong direction of traffic to get that crossing, just brillant!

    I'm not here to start a war amoung users of the forest preserve, but enough is enough of being disregarded and kicked to the curb because of someone prejudices or don't give a dam about other groups using the preserve.
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    Here is what I have learned from being a member of CAMBr.org and now serve on the CAMBr board. I used to have the same thoughts as you guys about why they wont allow trail. All the trails that these land manager have seen are poorly built trails that where illegally created not using proper trail building techniques. So all the land managers sees is the signs of damage that most of these trails cause.

    What CAMBr and IMBA is doing is showing these land managers that mnt bike trails can be built that will not disrupt the environment. Kane and Cook counties are good examples.

  18. #18
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    Gotfish, kudos to you and all that support CAMBR, but I've seen first hand how the land managers work up here because of my job. This becomes very frustrating because they don't want to do anything unless their forced to or the feds throw them a boat load of money to spend. I'm glad that your on the front line, because I've had it with our forest board.

    As far as illegal trails, I can see why the locals started building their own, because of the trail managers are sitting on their hands. But I do agree that the illegal trails don't help our cause because they aren't built to a sustainable standard. I personally watched the US Forestry trail building video and honestly never realized that there is a science to building sustainable trails.

    If you CAMBR can get Lake County off their hands or out of their pockets, I will be the first on site and last one to leave on any work Day! I want nice and fun mtb trails up Here!
    Last edited by Frosted Flakes; 10-17-2012 at 07:13 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Here's an article from our friends at CAMBA (Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Assoc.)

    Parks Paradigm Shift | How We Did It | Front Page | Parks & Recreation Magazine

    Frosty, I understand all your frustration and agree that it sucks that there's so much politics involved with getting legal trails built. As had already been mentioned, all we can do as a community is continue to educate and promote the positives in the building of sustainable trails. Judging by those who were in attendance at the IMBA/CAMBr - Land Managers Seminar, it seems that there is more of an open-mindedness towards mountain biking gaining a foothold in northern Illinois. Have your shovels ready...

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    I don't mean to hijack, but this seems to fit. Up here in Kenosha County they are having a public information meeting on the Kenosha County Comprehensive Bike Plan. I have to work and won't be able to make it, but just wanted to sent this out there in case anyone was interested in going or sending an email suggesting the building of MTB trails.


    Kreuser seeks public input on county’s future bike plans
    Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser is inviting people to attend a public information meeting
    on the Kenosha County Comprehensive Bike Plan. The open house-style meeting will be held from
    4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18th, in the Public Hearing Room at the Kenosha County Center,
    19600 75th St., Bristol. WI

    Ann Freiwald, an associate with Alta Planning + Design, Madison, and Sarah Gaskell, planning
    manager with the Wisconsin Bike Fed, which are both leading the comprehensive bike planning
    process for the county, will be on hand to answer questions and listen to feedback from the
    public about the project.

    “We are looking to develop a blueprint that we can follow as resources become available to
    improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities across the county,” Kreuser said. “It is critical to hear
    from the public about how they would like to see the plans progress.”

    A Comprehensive Bike Plan Committee, made up of representatives from most of the
    municipalities, and of avid bike riders, has also been meeting to help guide the planning process.

    You may also share thoughts and comments about changes or improvements to bike and
    pedestrian facilities county-wide via email to County.Executive@KenoshaCounty.org.

    For more information about the open house, call 262-653-2600.
    Last edited by fatguybiking; 10-16-2012 at 01:26 AM.
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    DD! Thanks for the article, it does show that things are possible, especially in densely populated areas. But does lake county get it, they have vast tracks of land that can be developed and enjoyed by all the locals and surrounding communities and not mention it would be easier to vote for a referendum that gives them more tax dollars if they include everyone.
    I know right now their head is stuck in the sand about all the tunnels and bridges being built, is there serious conversations about building sustainable single tracks up Here?

    Also, who do I need to talk to about getting into the CAMBR north Club?

    Fatguybiking, I want to go to that meeting, but not sure if a fib would be welcomed. I love Petrifying Springs trails up by you. Its one of the only true mtb trails I can ride without going to Kettle. If Kenosha doesn't mind fib help, I will be there anyway I can to support or help.

    And would you hurry up and get that new bike Already! How's this Saturday morning for a ride, let me know?
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    FatGuyBiking,

    Thanks, I remember receiving an email regarding the Kenosha County Meeting, but regardless, I'm going to post your message on the CAMBr.org website for any of our members that may live closer to the Illinois/Wisconsin border.


    Frosty,

    here you go, buddy.

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    Frosted Go here Become A Member | CAMBr - Chicago Area Mountain Bikers and you can join. The more support we have the more CAMBr can do

    http://www.facebook.com/cambrnorth

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotfish8 View Post
    Frosted Go here Become A Member | CAMBr - Chicago Area Mountain Bikers and you can join. The more support we have the more CAMBr can do

    http://www.facebook.com/cambrnorth
    I'm all over it brother! Just having trouble signing into my account over on CAMBR. Will be joining up!

    Whatever happened over by round lakes park district Area? Were you talking about the space in country walk behind Kohls?
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    The Lake County Board is also the Lake County Forest Preserve Board. If you want to get their attention now would be a great time to say something since half the members are running for re-election. I think the fact that they are elected officials gives us a unique opportunity to persuade them over someone who is simply appointed. I also have worked with board members on other projects before and know that a lot of them are open to hearing what their constituents have to say. I think that once raceway is up and running it would be beneficial perhaps to set up a trip down there for them to see how it turns out. I think that their idea of natural surface trails is some how skewed by assumptions. The only way to change those assumptions is to give them concrete examples of projects that work. I ride a lot of trails in northern lake county and there are some areas that would be awesome for single track only problem is now they have a huge limestone path running through them. I cant help but wonder if everyone would enjoy them more if it was a bit more natural to hike and bike.

    Finally I have to say that there is a lot to be said about actually showing up to a board meeting and being an advocate for change. If you live in lake county it may be beneficial to join a group like CAMBR even though they dont manage any trails up north yet. If we could show them that their is an active interest perhaps it would give our argument more credibility.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigE610 View Post
    The Lake County Board is also the Lake County Forest Preserve Board. If you want to get their attention now would be a great time to say something since half the members are running for re-election. I think the fact that they are elected officials gives us a unique opportunity to persuade them over someone who is simply appointed. I also have worked with board members on other projects before and know that a lot of them are open to hearing what their constituents have to say. I think that once raceway is up and running it would be beneficial perhaps to set up a trip down there for them to see how it turns out. I think that their idea of natural surface trails is some how skewed by assumptions. The only way to change those assumptions is to give them concrete examples of projects that work. I ride a lot of trails in northern lake county and there are some areas that would be awesome for single track only problem is now they have a huge limestone path running through them. I cant help but wonder if everyone would enjoy them more if it was a bit more natural to hike and bike.

    Finally I have to say that there is a lot to be said about actually showing up to a board meeting and being an advocate for change. If you live in lake county it may be beneficial to join a group like CAMBR even though they dont manage any trails up north yet. If we could show them that their is an active interest perhaps it would give our argument more credibility.
    Well said, BigE!

  27. #27
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    Where's the park?

    I go to school in Naperville and this is the first year in the last 3 that I have brought my mountain bike up (I only rode when I returned home on breaks and long weekends etc which really put my skills progress on hold). After riding pretty much all of the trails within a half hour or so I realized why I was hesitant to bring it up, the trails around here blow. Anyway, after watching these videos I'm pretty impressed and interested in making the trip out to Carpentersville to try these. This being said what are the trails like as far as mileage and what is an address to use to find this place?

  28. #28
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    Gimpy, shoot over to CAMBR, they have a whole topic devoted to Raceway woods. There pictures of where to park and where to start.

    BigE, very well said, and your right, I, we all need to start showing up to board meeting and make our wants known. My problem is I need to keep my comments to myself and support the good of the cause and not blow it.

    When I find out the meeting schedule, I will post it here and on CAMBR.

    I do believe here in Lake County, there is gold mine of possibilities, we just need to get our foot in the door!
    Last edited by Frosted Flakes; 10-19-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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    Gimpy, have you ridden Palos? If so, have you ridden it with someone that knows their way around? It's a great trail system and we are fortunate to have it near by. Carpentersville is just getting started and will have two great systems when built out. Get on CAMBr.org and check it out, join up, come out to a workday. We'll show you around.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy407 View Post
    After riding pretty much all of the trails within a half hour or so I realized why I was hesitant to bring it up, the trails around here blow.
    Gimpy

    So, is it pretty safe to assume that you haven't ridden at Palos? If not, I have to agree with Larry and you need to check it out! Some might think it lacks in elevation, but you'll find a few leg-burning climbs in this hidden gem of the Chicagoland area! It does though, have great, flowing singletrack with enough natural features to keep you focused and have a great ride and work-out! Btw, CAMBr is having its Annual Meeting & Pig Roast this Saturday (10/20):

    2012 Annual Meeting and Pig Roast | CAMBr News | CAMBr - Chicago Area Mountain Bikers

    Why not come on out and join in on one of the many group rides? You'll meet a bunch of good people, ride some good trails, and maybe even have some good grub to chow...!

    Now regarding Raceway: The trail is still in its infancy and the loop we've completed is just under 1.5 miles. It can be ridden either way (clockwise/counter-clockwise), but until we get the go-ahead to start Phase 2, Raceway might not satisfy those who are looking to put lots of miles on...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Raceway Woods - Carpentersville, Illinois-rw.jpg  

    Last edited by DDDonny; 10-19-2012 at 08:37 AM.

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    Double D, in that picture, is that just phase 1? If so, where is phase 2 going to go? How many more miles will be cut in and will it be more difficult, the same as phase 1, or be the technical monster we all want it to be!
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    Yes, that's a picture of Phase 1, which is within the area circled in red! The area within the amber colored square is all in consideration for Phase 2 of Raceway! All trail-design details have yet to be determined.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Raceway Woods - Carpentersville, Illinois-rwpf.jpg  


  33. #33
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    Btw, there's a possibility that there'll be a trail workday at Raceway this Sunday (10/21)! If you haven't done so already, "Like" CAMBr-North's facebook page for any and all updates:

    http://www.facebook.com/cambrnorth

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    Double D, what is the elevation difference between phase 1 and phase 2?

    Also is the woods not as thick as it is to the north? That is also a pretty area to get creative in. I see skinnies and drops all over the place!
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    Is there anything there now? Looks like the pavement left over from the race track.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosted Flakes View Post
    Double D, what is the elevation difference between phase 1 and phase 2?

    Also is the woods not as thick as it is to the north? That is also a pretty area to get creative in. I see skinnies and drops all over the place!
    Quote Originally Posted by Frosted Flakes View Post
    Is there anything there now? Looks like the pavement left over from the race track.

    I'm not in charge of the trail design, so honestly can't tell you about elevation differences. The surrounding wooded area is all pretty much the same in density, and yes, there is some remnants left over from the old racetrack.

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    Thanks everyone for the advice, I guess I should have done a little research on this internet thing instead of just going by word of mouth. Palos looks great, I'm from downstate so I don't see much elevation change anyway. I'll have to check it out before things get snowy.

    Props to everyone involved in Raceway, it's ridiculous how much work blazing a trail is. And even if there isn't much distance I don't think there are rules on how many times a trail can be ridden in a day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy407 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the advice, I guess I should have done a little research on this internet thing instead of just going by word of mouth. Palos looks great, I'm from downstate so I don't see much elevation change anyway. I'll have to check it out before things get snowy.

    Props to everyone involved in Raceway, it's ridiculous how much work blazing a trail is. And even if there isn't much distance I don't think there are rules on how many times a trail can be ridden in a day.
    Gimpy if you are in Naperville you need to check out SWK ( Saw Wee Kee) in Oswego. It it close and while it might not have as many miles as Palos it is far more challenging if that is what you are looking for.

    .
    Saw Wee Kee Park - Oswego, IL | Northern Illinois Trail Guides | CAMBr - Chicago Area Mountain Bikers

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    I live in Edgewater, would Raceway be worth the hour-long drive to go ride on? Palos is 40 minutes away. Last weekend I went to Chipilly Woods which was about 40 minutes away, taking the Metra then biking the last 3 miles.

  40. #40
    CAMBr Trail Crew
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    Not if you're looking to put on lots of mileage. As it stands now, the trail we just completed is 1.1 miles. For all the time I put into help getting Raceway built, I've only ridden the trail 3 times (2x clockwise and 1x counter). Is it worthwhile for me to drive 40 miles just to ride 3? Not really! Is it worthwhile for me to drive 40 miles to help build a trail system and expand riding areas in the Chicagoland area??? Hell yeah! I'm really looking forward to starting the next phase of trail building at Raceway, which should garner the number of miles to justify the drive and also make it a viable alternative to Palos.

    Btw, I live in Peterson Park, so you're only about 3.5 miles to the east of me...

  41. #41
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    Thanks for the advice. When are work sessions on Raceway--I'm guessing there won't be any during the winter--I'd definitely be interested in getting some trail building experience if I can make it fit into my schedule (i barely have time to ride) and the Chicago area is, to my dismay, pretty lacking in trails. Will part 2 be happening anytime soon?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexzhu1 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. When are work sessions on Raceway--I'm guessing there won't be any during the winter--I'd definitely be interested in getting some trail building experience if I can make it fit into my schedule (i barely have time to ride) and the Chicago area is, to my dismay, pretty lacking in trails. Will part 2 be happening anytime soon?
    This Sunday, Oct 28th, CAMBr will be doing trail work at Raceway from 8:45 to noon. All tools will be provided, just bring gloves. Eye protection is optional, but recommended. After the trail work has ended, CAMBr will be providing lunch for all the volunteers. Btw, there's also a CAMBr trail workday going on at Palos on Saturday, just thought I'd throw it out there. Anyway, flagging for Phase 2 should begin sometime before the end of the year. Then as soon as approval is given, trail building should begin hopefully before Spring...

    You're right though, about the Chicago area lacking in trails -that's the thing we're working on changing..!

    For updates on CAMBr events and workday schedules:

    - CAMBr - Chicago Area Mountain Bikers
    - https://www.facebook.com/cambrnorth
    - Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (Chicago, IL) - Meetup
    Last edited by DDDonny; 10-25-2012 at 12:01 PM.

  43. #43
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    awesome, I live pretty close to raceway, can't wait to check it out!

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