Day Trips

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The North Shore Century   www.evanstonbikeclub.org

Enjoy the beauty of a late summer ride! Held annually on the second or third Sunday in September, this ride usually has over 1,500 riders. Four or five different route options are available from a 25 mile ride up to a 100 mile ride. There is no fixed starting time, but riders are required to finish by 6:00 p.m. Road markings on the pavement help guide riders in addition to printed directions. The 100 mile route from Evanston to Kenosha and back includes five rest stops along the way with a variety of snacks. Rest stops are also staffed with bike shop personnel who can make minor repairs, and volunteers along the route can also provide assistance. Parts of the routes follow the Lake Michigan Shoreline. The ride is organized by the Evanston Bicycle Club to promote bicycling. Each year a significant amount of the money raised from this ride helps support local organizations that promote bicycling. The ride also showcases favorite bike routes that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

  • Don in his colorful RAGBRAI Jersey
  • Aaron, Dan, Frank, and George at the Moraine Park Rest stop

National 24–Hour Challenge   www.n24hc.org

If you want to see how far you can ride in 24 hours, this is the ride for you! It is one of the largest 24 hour rides in the world. The event is held on Father’s Day weekend in Middleville, Michigan, just over 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids. Typically over 300 riders from over 20 states and Canada participate. The ride begins at 8:00 am on Saturday with a mass start and a police escort for about the first five miles, and ends at 8:00 am on Sunday. The ride is based at the Thornapple Kellogg Middle School with facilities for camping, locker rooms, and a cafeteria. The current course record holders are Chris Ragsdale (502.6 miles) and Karen McKee (440.2 miles). After the ride ends, riders gather in the cafeteria for breakfast, door prizes, and awards. In addition to mileage awards by age groups, there are seven classes of family mileage awards: families, siblings, spouses, father-son/daughter, and mother-son/daughter.

  • Diane and her husband Skip started the event, and continued to organize it for 25 years until stepping down after the 2007 event. In 2007, Diane presented jackets to three riders who accumulated 5,000 miles over the years. (George is on the right.)
  • Cyclists line up for Oh Canada and other national anthems just before the start. When a rider from France entered, we heard La Marseillaise! On the far right, Jim is wearing his Route 66 PacTour Jersey.

Seattle to Portland   www.cascade.org/ride-major-rides/group-health-stp

I enjoyed the 30th annual Seattle to Portland (STP) ride in July 2009. This is a huge ride with 10,000 participants. I started with the first group just before 5:00 a.m. The route was very well marked and other riders were almost always in sight. As the sun came up, temperatures gradually warmed up from the low 60’s to the upper 70’s. The wind was from the north. It was a perfect day for a long ride! I saw a lot of beautiful scenery while riding through valleys, forests and farmlands in western Washington. Crossing the Columbia River at Longview on the bridge to Oregon was my favorite part of the ride. I arrived at the finish line in Portland’s Holladay Park on Saturday afternoon at 5:30. Most riders do this 202 mile ride in two days, but I chose the one day option since I was flying home the next day.

  • Riders at the finish line
  • George after the finish

Five Borough Bike Tour   www.bikenewyork.org/rides/fbbt

I rode the Five Borough bike tour back in 1981. At the time, I was working on an audit job in Seacaucus, NJ. Another auditor and I found out about the ride the day before it started. We took a bus into Manhattan and rented three speed bicycles near Central Park. Since we missed the start of the ride in lower Manhattan, we simply rode over to Central Park and looked for several thousand bike riders. They were easy to find. This is a great way to see New York! It’s held on the first Sunday in May each year.

  • Some people did not know how to shift gears so they walked up bridge approaches.
  • George Riding a 3 Speed Bike
  • One of the bridges