Strava is a popular fitness app that has very good route creation abilities for running, hiking, kayaking, and cycling. You can follow existing routes or create your own, and that’s what I plan to do for some new cycling adventures in Illinois.

What I hope to do is create routes that have minimal backtracking. Sometimes it isn’t possible to create a one way loop, but I hope to create easy-to-follow routes that include the best scenery and highlights of an area. If I can also include a stop for ice cream or a drink, that’s a bonus!

Creating a bike route in Strava

Illinois may not be known for its spectacular scenery, but there’s much to appreciate about its gentle landscape. While most of the landscape is dominated by corn and soybeans, you can find wildflowers, wildlife, and heavily forested areas that make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.

The state is also blessed with many rural roads that are lightly traveled and link up to quaint small towns, state parks, and other places of interest.

So, it’s my intention to create fun, safe, and adventurous bike routes, instead of just riding back and forth on a bike trail. I will be testing these routes before sharing them here and on Strava, letting you know how well they worked out, and what changes I would make.

While Strava and Google Maps provides a lot of information about elevation changes and nearby landmarks, until you actually follow the route, you’re not going to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. The conditions of a trail and/or road can change, and traffic on a rural or neighborhood road could turn out to be a nightmare! I want to create the safest routes that I can.

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So, while I recover from shoulder surgery this summer, I’ve been busy creating several loops that I hope will be fun to explore. One loop that I’ve created takes you on a 20-mile ride through Monticello, along the Sangamon River Trail, and then through Allerton Park to enjoy its magnificent gardens and natural areas.

Another follows the scenic Effingham TREC trail and neighborhood streets to create a nearly 10-mile loop, with a stop to get ice cream! These are just a couple examples.

I’ll be riding these soon, and sharing my experience on YouTube, and here. I can’t wait!

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Last Update: June 23, 2024