Trails equal health for Illinois’ boomers and seniors: 55% trail users in Making Trails Count in Illinois were 46-65 yrs old, 16% older than 65 yrs, most of them cycling or walking for 1-2 hrs/visit.
They know where they’ll find a higher quality of life: out on Illinois trails.
Download the report here, or contact us for bound copies.
Photo by Thomas’ Photographic Services.
Fox Valley Bicycle & Ski Club is counting on trails—literally! FVBSC president Ed Foster and member Tony Pacione surveyed trail users for the 7-10 AM shift this beautiful morning…and had a ball. “Lots of Fermi Lab people commuting to work,” said Ed when I checked in on him around 8:30 AM.
The highlight - the gentleman above riding the single speed Western Flyer to Montana.
Ed said 17 trail users filled out the survey trailside, with many more taking it home with a mail-back envelope or grabbing the URL card to complete it on-line.
There’s lots of room for you to be part of this experience on the Fox River Trail, the Old Plank Road Trail, the Hennepin Canal Trail, the Rock Island Trail, the Goshen Trail, and Tunnel Hill Trail. Volunteering is easy, the shifts are simple and short, and you get to meet other trail users trailside, when they’re enjoying life. Click to volunteer!
Volunteering to survey trail users is fun and rewarding, and most importantly you’ll really help us out to build and connect more multi-use trails in Illinois. We thank all the groups helping so far: Friends of the Hennepin Canal, Friends of the Rock Island Trail, Madison County Transit, the south suburbs’ Al Sturges and southern Illinois’ Jon Voelz.
If you see our survey station while you’re out on the trail, thank the volunteers for their great work! And…send us a photo!
Families. I knew we had a lot of families coming for GITy Up! from the registration list. But I didn’t really put together what that would look like.
Like the 3 year old who rode her tiny tag-along nearly the entire 25 miles to St. Charles. It was 96 degrees out.
Like the half-dozen cargo bikes and another half-dozen of trailers full of tots, pedaled by parents.
Like the 20+ GITy Uppers! splashing around in Batavia’s quarry.
Like the six pounds of Hershey’s chocolate and 8 bags of marshmallows that just disappeared Saturday night.
Like the Fox Valley Astronomical Society guys staying out at the campsite until past 11 PM just to satisfy all the little eyes that wanted a peek at Saturn.
Like the Hooks, who posted here a couple days ago: “It was our first ride more than a couple miles together as a family.”
Like Bobbie Mitchell, introducing 13 year old grandson Josh to overnight bicycle touring.
Diane Banta of the National Park Service - Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program fired her cannon of a Canon in all the right directions to get amazing shots.
The response from GITy Uppers! has been overwhelmingly gracious and positive. It was too hot a day for me to have slacked on route signing—too many folks got turned around, and the way finding on the Illinois Prairie Path and the Fox River Trail is too poor to be a reliable backup. To feel lost in that heat with an impatient kid…aye! The big improvement to look forward to next year—AWESOME route marking.
As for next year: the original plan for GITy Up! was to move it around the state year to year, to explore all of the state’s available opportunities for overnight, trail-based bike touring. I think we’re going to capitalize on our lurch up the learning curve, though, and return to the western suburban triangle in 2013. I’m so thankful for the riders who eagerly asked me to add them to the GITy Up! 2013 planning team.
Thank you everyone for an amazing experience!
Reason to ride GITy Up! #2: Giant windmill!
Fabyan Forest Preserve’s giant windmill puts the farm back in wind farm, its massive, hand hewn 150-year old maple gears still capable of grinding grain for bread or feeding pet bears. It was built in present day Lombard mid-19th century; Colonel George Fabyan bought and moved the windmill to his Riverbank estate in 1914. The windmill has been open for tours since a major renovation in 2005. Wow, we love Wikipedia!
Our favorite part: the entire dome turns like R2D2’s head to face the sails into the wind. Shut up, Obi Wan—this is definitely the windmill you’re looking for!
The windmill looms across the Fox River from the rest of the fabulous Fabyan estate that includes the historic Fabyan house remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright, open for public tours, and a beautifully landscaped Japanese garden. Just south of Geneva, the Fabyan estate is only a few miles from Saturday night’s campsite in St. Charles, so you can relax and soak it in and still make dinner on time. Giant windmill!
Tomorrow we’ll share our #1 awesome reason to ride GITy Up!. Check in tomorrow to get the final darn compelling reason to click that big red button below.
Reason to ride GITy Up! #4: You can go quarry swimming
Despite—or maybe because of—Breaking Away (“Gonna wind up a bum…an Italian bum!”), you were warned about swimming in the quarries. On GITy Up!, we’re encouraging you to jump in. Batavia Park District’s Harold Hall Quarry Beach is the first opportunity GITy Up! riders will have to jump in the cool of a pool, this one hewn from solid rock. The second opportunity is just blocks from the campsite, at St. Charles Park District’s enormous Swanson Pool. Each is just a few bucks for temperature dousing relief.
We’re delivering daily an awesome reason to ride GITy Up! this week through Friday. Check in tomorrow to get another darn compelling reason to click that big red button below.