Two Spoke Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,948 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I are planning a trip to Illinois on the 22nd of this month and will be staying in the Galena area. Each year, we fly into Moline, rent a car and drive to my father-in-laws house along Route 84. There is a bike path that extends almost the entire length of Route 84. We see it when we get off the interstate and it looks like a real nice path. This year we are driving and I am taking my bike. I can't really tell because the trail turns off from Route 84, but the trail seems to end just before getting into Fulton. Does anyone know if it continues further north? I am wanting to ride the trail when I go up there and was wondering how far south from Route 20 I have to drive to get to a trail head?

Thanks
 

·
Eocyclist
Joined
·
742 Posts
Hi John,

Heading south from US 20, the off road trail starts in Savanna and goes into Moline. A mile or so between Fulton and Tompson are on residential streets or very lightly traveled roads. (edit: The trail in Savanna is between IL 84 and the river. )

If you're into hills and a little road riding, Galena south to Hanover on Black Jack Road is a challenge with several 15% grades. Another fun ride is from Galena east to Apple River Canyon State park on Stagecoach and Guliford roads. The first 3 or 4 miles out of Galena on Stagecoach has a some traffic until you can get off onto Guliford.

That area is part of the Great River Trail and Grand Illinois Trail. Maps and cue sheets are available from League of Illinois Bicyclists and the Openlands Greenways Project.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,948 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Larry,

Thanks for the reply. My father-in-law actually lives in Elizabeth and didn't know if anyone knew where that's at. Being from Florida, I suck at hills since Tampa is really flat. There are hills, but I have to travel an hour north of here to ride them. There are several steep hills outside Elizabeth and I am going to try and ride those, but thinking of doing the bike path because it looks pretty flat. Are you from around the Galena area. If so, maybe we can get together and do a ride while I'm up there.

BTW, we love going to Manny's in Savannah every time we go up there. We like the new place they built after the old one burned down.
 

·
Eocyclist
Joined
·
742 Posts
Larry,

Thanks for the reply. My father-in-law actually lives in Elizabeth and didn't know if anyone knew where that's at. Being from Florida, I suck at hills since Tampa is really flat. There are hills, but I have to travel an hour north of here to ride them. There are several steep hills outside Elizabeth and I am going to try and ride those, but thinking of doing the bike path because it looks pretty flat. Are you from around the Galena area. If so, maybe we can get together and do a ride while I'm up there.

BTW, we love going to Manny's in Savannah every time we go up there. We like the new place they built after the old one burned down.
John,

I would love to join you, but, unfortunately, live 150 mi across the state - 35 miles south of downtown Chicago and 5 miles west of the IL-IN state line.

I'm more used to riding in the wind than on hills myself. My wife and I enjoyed riding around there about 6 years back. There are some really impressive hills around Elizabeth/Galena. It was quite a workout as we were just getting back into cycling after an extended layoff

Just so you don't get surprised ... In reviewing some notes from our trip I noticed that the trail routes cyclists onto IL 84 for about a mile and a half where it crosses some railroad tracks about 3 miles south of Savanna. You can see the section on page 12 in the Grand Illinois Trail booklet from LIB.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,948 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh well, it was worth a try. I can guarantee you that no one in Elizabeth even owns a road bike, so when I start riding around town in my spandex, I will become the number one topic of the town, especially at the father-in-laws coffee club.

I know the area that you are talking about. On one of our trips to Elizabeth, we did see some cyclist on 84 and figured that the trail had ended at some point. Then we picked it up again and just thought that the cyclist just liked to ride on the highway rather than the trail.
 

·
Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
·
5,366 Posts
John,

I've had good luck using aerial photos to recon potental trails and rides. Microsoft's Bing map engine has aerial (instead of satellite like Google) photos available. In my area, they are somewhat out of date, but still far more useful than satellite shots.

I also use an application called ExpertGPS that pulls much more up-to-date aerial pics and allows you to switch between the aerials and several flavors of 'regular' street map.

While the app will NOT download its maps to my GPS, I've had great luck using it to make waypoints based on actual aerial pics in order to create routes that can be pulled down to my handlebar-mounted GPS. It ends up working out really well for me - might help you get an idea of what you're getting into, and some on-ground navigational assistance, too.

The app can be installed as a time-limited 3-day 'tester' with otherwise-unlimited functionality or purchased for under $100. The site also offers several categories of very comprehensive waypoint lists - mountain peaks, radio towers, municipal offices and so on.

I am not affiliated with ExpertGPS or its programmers in any way save as a customer/user. In that respect, I love it. The aerial photos and ability to export waypoints really adds functionality over and above any regular map I've seen, as you can actually review the trails/roads you'll be riding before you ever hit the saddle.

I hope your trip and the riding is great, either way.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,948 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was actually going to use Google Earth to see what the routes and elevations of the roads are. If we decide to bring just the iPad and not the laptop, I will probably use Bing to map the rides. I just picked up an iPhone today and have to get some apps for it. I will check out the one you use if it's a mobile app.

Having driven several of the roads in that area, I'm sure that the rides will be good ones with some grueling climbing challenges.
 

·
Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
·
5,366 Posts
John,

The 'app' I'm referring to is for a <gasp> PC. I use it pre-ride to look over a new route and make GPS waypoints. These go to my handlebar-mounted GPS, which then guides me on the ride. I like it better than the alternatives because I can easily create waypoints and send them to the GPS based on what I'm actually seeing on-screen. The aerial maps are also more current for my area.

Ultimately, if you're not into using a GPS, the program is not worth the $$. Mine goes with me every ride and I enjoy the ease of navigation I get.

For clarity, the PC does not need to go with you. You use it to send your waypoints to the GPS, which goes on the ride. I like it for navigating in the back and beyond where wireless phone service may or may not exist. I carry a smartphone running the Endomondo app for the National Bike Challenge, too. So far, I've used the GPS to 'save' the mileage of 3 rides the app flubbed. Most of the time it works fine. The phone stays stowed, though, while the GPS rides the bar and provides useful realtime info :)

Can you tell I'm a geek? lol
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,948 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, I'm a computer geek as well. I have been doing software development for over 30 years, alongside other jobs. Last job before my retirement was a software engineer with Coca-Cola.

Actually, after all these years, I finally got an iPhone yesterday so we can have a hotspot for the iPad when the wife and I travel. Never really needed anything more than something to make phone calls with and smart phones were just overkill. The iPad was my wife's idea so we don't have to lug around my laptop when we start traveling around the country. Some of the apps are nice, but the screens on smart phones are just too small for me.

I'll take a look at that PC app and see if it is something that I will use. It may come in handy when we start our traveling as the wife just retired and wants to take some time off first.
 

·
Eocyclist
Joined
·
742 Posts
So, John, how was your trip to Galena? And do any of these views look familiar?

Edit: Approx location of the 4 photos: http://goo.gl/maps/Gsdp
 

Attachments

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,948 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LarryM said:
So, John, how was your trip to Galena? And do any of these views look familiar?

Edit: Approx location of the 4 photos: http://goo.gl/maps/Gsdp
Galena is still the same. Not much change since I was up here in April. Haven't been on the road that the first two photos were taken, but I have been on the road to Scales Mound, although they weren't familiar to me at first.

I did ride the Savanna to Moline trail this morning. I got as far as Thompson and it started raining so I waited it out and went back to Savanna. I'm planning more and longer rides on that path next week, if the weather behaves itself. I posted a photo of the Thompson prison in the Highlights of the Ride thread.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top