If you're interested
One good way to have a bicycle experience on the Illinois & Michigan Canal path is to participate in the 23rd annual Pumpkin Pie Ride, expected to draw close to 400 riders, according to Dixie DeVry, an event organizer for the sponsoring Starved Rock Cycling Club. "The Burgoo Festival is also going on over in Utica, so we've got that going for us too," DeVry said.
The event is Oct. 7, starting at the YMCA in Ottawa. Participants can pick one of four loops that will be marked, including some on the I&M trail. Info: 815-830-4291, starvedrockcycling.com/pprpage.htm
The Apple Cider Century, in Three Oaks, Mich., is an extremely popular ride with Chicagoans, who have only to go to the far southwestern tip of Michigan to participate. It is Sept. 30.
Info: 888-877-2068, applecidercentury.com
Closer to home, this will be the 10th anniversary for the Blood, Sweat & Tears ride in Highland Park, a Sept. 30 benefit event for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Info: 312-568-7717, il.bike.llsevent.org
Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail: dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/i&m/main.htm
Trails for Illinois: trailsforillinois.tumblr.com
Grand Illinois Trail maps: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreation/greenwaysandtrails/Documents/gitusersguide.pdf
League of Illinois Bicyclists: bikelib.org