Date: January 1, 2015
Distance: 30 miles
Weather: Very sunny, low 30's
Beautiful destination offering sweeping lake views, and a rarely-seen (for north-siders) perspective of the Chicago Skyline. Northerly Island (formerly the site of Meigs Field airport) is supposed to be an excellent birding area, but we did not see any birds more interesting than gulls and mallards.
Highlights of the ride: In my 38 years in Chicago, I have never been to Northerly Island. I imagine it gets more crowded in warm weather, but I loved the seclusion and the quiet of it. It was a sneaky escape past the usual hustle and bustle of the Museum Campus. Once we crossed Solidarity Drive, it actually felt a little like we were riding off beyond the sanctioned trail. (There are, of course, designated trails, but on a cold NYD, our small group was the only one using them).
Our ride was ideally timed to avoid crowds. We set off from Cosmic Bikes at bout 8:30 am, taking Milwaukee to Montrose, to Elston (enjoying the new separated bike path at the newly redesigned crossing with Fullerton), to Cortland/Armitage, and then through Lincoln Park to the Lakefront Path. For the traffic-averse, early morning is definitely the best time to get through the city. The Lakefront gets quite crowded in season, but a clear & mild winter day let us enjoy the full glory on this wonderful path.