Illinois Relocation, where to ride?

JJmxr

Member
Nov 14, 1999
122
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Looks like I might be transfered to Chicago:( I'm going to miss Seattle (Awesome weather believe it or not). How, and where is the riding around there? I Know the winters suck there, is there any indoor riding? How bout other stuff to do? I'll be without my family for a while so it would be nice to find some stuff to do. Their going to fly me out within the next few weeks to check the area out before I move, and I'd love to go watch a local race or two if anybody could help. Where is the best middle class "burbs" to raise your kids. Any help will be greatly appreciated. I'll gladly buy the beer;)
 

carnage

Member
Mar 16, 2001
73
0
Welcome to Chicago

Surprised no one from around here has responded yet. I'll do my best to answer your questions as I've just got involved in this sport after racing Karts for many years.

Yes, the winters here can really suck but I like snow so it doesn't bother me too much. There isn't any indoor riding to my knowledge. Places to ride, well lets see here:

Joliet - about an hour out of the city, motocross track. Racing on Saturday nights and I believe D17 races there on some Saturday days.

Byron - A little further west and north of Joliet. Motocross track, not sure about trails.

Buffalo Range in Ottawa, probably 2 hrs out from the city. Motocross track, 50cc track and 400 acres of trails.

Red Bud - not too far into Michigan.

I know that there are also places up around Rockford and over the border in Wisconsin. Wardy also has just opened a place not too far from Buffalo Range, been meaning to get out there and check it out. Joliet MX park has Saturday night races coming up on the 8th and 22nd of Sept if your here over one of those weekends.

Best middle class burbs?? Personaly was raised in Crystal Lake but now live in the yuppie community of the world, Naperville. Naperville is about 30-45min due west of the city and it's right close to Joliet and about an hour from Buffalo Range and Wardy's new place. It's been a good place to raise my kids so I can't complain. Hope this is useful and good luck with the move if and when it happens.
 

sspmxc400

Member
Aug 30, 2001
173
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Welcome to Chicago as well! I am in the same boat as yourself. I actually travel 4 hours to Central Illinois to ride with my friends because I have not found the right situation here yet. Actually bought a street bike to try to satisfy the urge to ride more often.

Just started looking at this web site. Regarding riding areas and racing - Byron (just south of Rockford - 90 minutes from western suburbs) has racing on Sunday (they also have their own web site (motobryon??). Actually the state championship is being held there soon (maybe when you are in town?).

Regarding suburbs - I live in Bartlett (20 miles or so north of Naperville up highway 59). Nice community (more of a bedroom community than Naperville - but Naperville is very good as well) to raise kids - I would recommend a look.
 

wardy

2005 Lori Nyland Award Winner
Nov 12, 1999
2,680
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I don't usually do this but

www.megacross.com has all the District 17 race tracks and many other things pertaining to riding in IL.

Megacross is located 1 hour from Naperville and we are running one last race til next season. The site has a lot of that local type information on it.
You can also find all the riding places in WI (D-16) by going to www.up-front.net this the guy that makes the "motorsports in IL/WI books. When it comes to information about things in this area, Okie, AJ, Myself and many others can help out a bunch. We might have to get you used to hard pack, but there are some loam tracks around that may be similiar to what your used to.

have a good trip
 

wardy

2005 Lori Nyland Award Winner
Nov 12, 1999
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Ken

That link has a ton of mistakes on it pertaining to phone numbers and directions. Places not open any longer etc.

I aggree Wapella is cool, Hoopeston is closed or at least there is no track prep since all the equipment is gone. I talked to jim like a month ago. the place is for sale. I will try to contact that site to get the list corrected.

thanks
 

KXKen

Member
Jan 6, 2001
535
0
Sorry about that I wasn't aware of mistakes on that site. I was at Hoopeston about a month ago and posted about it here. It was open but there was no track prep. in fact there was 3ft. of weeds at the starting line. The track it self wasn't to bad, I had a good time but my son and I where the only ones there.
 

JJmxr

Member
Nov 14, 1999
122
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Thanks for all the help you guys can give. It may be the case that I'm there soon enough for dirtweek 01, that would be cool. I wouldn't have my bike, but I'm sure there would still be good times. Hard pack will take some getting used to I guess. Thanks for the Naperville thing I'll need to look at housing when I get there so any suggestions will save me time. No winter AX:scream: We even have a few guys that set up small tracks in horse arenas. Nothing special, but any riding is better than none. We have a larger AX series that travels the Northwest that is pretty cool, but the jumps are serious stuff.
 

wardy

2005 Lori Nyland Award Winner
Nov 12, 1999
2,680
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Just thought of this......

I have a friend that is a real estate broker in Naperville. He rides and used to race with me years ago. In fact I may list my place with him soon. I bet he can help you if you get to that point. If so let me know i can get his e mail addy and or phone.
ken I thought i seen that post actually. I guess that list that has circulated for like 4 years kinda bugs me since I helped MXA put it together only to have them juggle all the track information and screw it up......go figure. Its to bad on Bailey's actually, I wasn't his biggest fan, but for alot of people in that area it was a nice place to ride/race. I think a different set of circumstances it mite have made it, but the way it was it was destine to fail.
 

JJmxr

Member
Nov 14, 1999
122
0
Thanks Wardy, when I get to that point I'll let you know. I was surfing the web and found a town that looked pretty cool its called Glen Ellyn heard of it? Seemed like a nice place.
 

Okiewan

Admin
Dec 31, 1969
29,531
2,215
Texas
Someone called Joliet "motocross"? Well prep'd, great dirt . Uhh... it's outdoor supercross :scream:
That place down there by Wardy? Oh yeah, Buffalo.. used to have a good MX track, great place for trails, some intense stuff there.
 

Porkchop

~SPONSOR~
Apr 27, 2001
341
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JJ,

My wife and I grew up in Glen Ellyn. It's a great place. Good schools. A little closer to the city than Naperville or Bartlett. Other towns like Wheaton and Elmhurst are very nice, also. Worth a look.
 

JJmxr

Member
Nov 14, 1999
122
0
How bad ARE the winters? I've heard things, and the weather sites say that the average snowfall is about 32''! Would love to hear from the real world
 

carnage

Member
Mar 16, 2001
73
0
JJ,

The winters around here these past few years haven't been all that bad, as far as snow goes. Last year we got dumped on in December, alot! But after that practically nothing. A few storms here and there but nothing that really caused any serious accumulation. Keep in mind that I'm talking about the Naperville area. Up north they might have gotten a bit more. The biggest problem is the cold. It can get down right cold around here during the winter. Of course I can remember some winters growing up that you could walk out of your first story window into the snow. But that was a long time ago. We're probably due for another one of those. :scream:

Just got back from Wardy's place yesterday. Nice area with some good trails and a small MX/SX track. He's looking at getting some more land so that will really add to the place. He's planning on keeping it open during the winter so if you don't mind the cold and snow there will be some winter riding around here. Okie is also right about Joliet, more of a SX track than MX. I think I've even heard them call it an outdoor AX track.
 

WoodsRider

Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
2,812
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Originally posted by JJmxr
How bad ARE the winters?
I grew up in Seattle and went to school in Ellensburg. Moved to Texas in '91, got married and moved to Chicago in '98. The three big snowstorms I remember in Seattle were November of '78, November of '85 and December of '90. Those were nothing compared to what Chicago gets. Our first winter there we received 2 feet of snow on January 1st and 2nd of '99. I was semi-prepared, but my wife, the Texan, freaked out. Luckily both vehicles have 4-wheel drive. Our second winter there was very mild with warmer temps. and very little snowfall. Last winter was a doozy. We lived 60 miles south of the city in Bourbonnais. I had to commute into Elk Grove Village when I was in town. If it snowed, It would take at least three hours. I used to count the number of vehicles, stuck on the shoulder or median, on I-57 between exit 315 and I-80, approximately 30 miles. The record was 47 one day last December. We went skiing in Tahoe early in January and there was more snow in my back yard than on the slopes. The best advice I can give you is to buy a snow blower and insulated coveralls.
 

Bob Brooks

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Jan 6, 2001
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In my opinion, WoodsRider is embellishing a bit here. I've lived in northern Illinois all my life and the winters here are not that rough. Last winter, we got a lot of snow in December, and after that we got very few storms. In recent years, we've gotten more rain in the winter than snow, and more days with 40-degree temperatures than single digits and sub-zero. When I was a kid, I remember the winters being much harsher here but for the past ten years or so they've been relatively mild.

The riding here is somewhat dismal in my opinion. Illinois has no riding on public lands. Buffalo Range is probably the best woods riding around, with a little bit of everything. I haven't tried Wardy's property yet but I certainly intend to and from what I understand, the place has great potential. For motocross, Red Bud in southwestern Michigan is probably the best track in the area, although many would dispute my opinion. For woods racing, we do have some enduros and a halfway decent hare scrambles series in District 17. There is riding here and quite a bit of racing, it's just not nirvana. Like anything else, it depends on your attitude and what you make of it.
 

KXKen

Member
Jan 6, 2001
535
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Originally posted by Bob Brooks
Red Bud in southwestern Michigan is probably the best track in the area, although many would dispute my opinion


You won't hear me disputing that opinion I agree 100%. My son and I both feel that way.

The snow sucks but what I think is worse are the temps. Walking outside and feeling the bugers freeze in your nose after a matter of seconds is not very pleasent.
 

JJmxr

Member
Nov 14, 1999
122
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You guys are painting a pretty bleak picture of the winters there:( I spent some time in up state New York when I was a kid, and while I do remember plenty snow I don't remember the temps being too bad. This is all even worse when you consider that I'm in the commercial construction industry,and will be building a 32 story building in downtown Chicago, brrrr... At this point riding is a secondary consideration. It does sound like some Arenacross would go over well there.

I do have a choice on if I take this job or not, and after talking to you guys I can't see why I would choose to live there when things are so nice here.

We get maybe a couple of inches of snow on the average year, but it only lasts a few days as the winters here don't see freezing too often. We do usually get frequent rain, but its so light that many citys in the country get more yearly rain fall than we do. I must say that mid-spring to mid-fall here in the Seattle area is hard to beat.
 

WoodsRider

Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
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Originally posted by Bob Brooks
In my opinion, WoodsRider is embellishing a bit here.
No, just giving the guy my perspective. In Seattle, six-inches of snow will shut down the city. In Chicago, six-inches of snow is considered a light dusting. :scream:

Boogers freezing in your nose is a truly unique experience though.

JJ, there's always ice racing. ;)
 

Bob Brooks

Member
Jan 6, 2001
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JJ, I would think long and hard about the decision. I live here because I'm from here, my wife is from here and we have family, friends, employment, history and etc. But believe me, this area would not be a top place for relocation. The weather is fantastic in the fall, September, October and November...but fairly lousy the rest of the year. The traffic is horrible and the riding is not very good overall. There are good things about the area, but it sounds like you have a better situation where you're at. I stick by my original statement of attitude being everything and that any location is what you make of it. But being a local, I wouldn't choose to move here.

WoodsRider: I understand where you're coming from in regards to Illinois winters. I have a different perspective since I've been here all my life and I'm comparing recent winters to the winters I remember from childhood. To me, we've had very mild winters for the past ten years or so. But again, being a native of this area, my idea of a mild winter and yours are probably two different deals. I don't know how you commuted from Bourbanais to Elk Grove Village everyday either! That commute would've been more than enough to convince me to move.
 

LoriKTM

Super Power AssClown
Oct 4, 1999
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New Mexico
Well, up until last October I had lived my whole life in Illinois. I've now lived through one winter in upstate NY, so I can give a little comparison.

I agree with Bob, winters in IL seemed a lot worse when I was a kid. I remember the blizzard of '79, though. We went sledding on HUGE piles of plowed up snow. :)

I think IL winters are colder, on average, than NY. The reading on our thermometer here never dipped below zero this past winter, on even the coldest mornings. (It can and will drop to below zero, according to the long time locals). Seeing -10 to -15 below was a fairly common occurrence out in the far western 'burbs of Chicago winters.

We did, however, get a severe dumping of 20"+ of snow in March up here. I guess this is pretty common for late winter here in NY. Made for some good late-season skiing, though. :D

All depends on what you like/ don't like. If you are prepared, it makes it that much easier to tolerate.

Side note: Bob, having lived in IL my whole life (family, friends, etc.) it was very difficult to move out of state, but I'm glad I did. Nice knowing there is a world outside N. Illinois. ;)
 
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JJmxr

Member
Nov 14, 1999
122
0
Their flying me out next week for 4 days to check out situation. After talking to you guys I think that it will take on offer of at least 20% a year more before I would even consider moving. Even then they would need to sweeten up the deal considerably. Thanks for all the input, you guys gave me real world input that I never would have gotten from the company.
 

sfc crash

Human Blowtorch
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Jun 26, 2001
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hey..:eek: there's southfork dirtriders outside of kincaid/taylorville ill(lil 3 hr jaunt from chi) racing most sundays hs/mx, mostly mx maybe sx(heck i don't know) the track is always groomed very well and groomed again between morn and afternoon motos.i live next to lake sangchris, lotsa horse trails,but no cycle on pub land, but c'mon now,i'm trying to get some help/advice on building a 4 arce track, that aught rate at least ax, right?:confused:
 

Okiewan

Admin
Dec 31, 1969
29,531
2,215
Texas
Pretty close on all of the winter opinions... sucks.
We do ride from March to November, with the only hot months being July August (for the most part).

It's not a good state for trails, no doubt about it. There are several tracks within driving distance if you MX. Seems I recall hearing that D-17 is the most active MX district in the country? I know two of the tracks here trade off #1 Amateur tracks in the country (Byron and LTM). May be old news though?
 

James980

Member
Dec 29, 1999
282
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(OK...haven't used this site for, like, six months because my computer sucks, but what the hell -- let's see if this works.)

Northern Illinois is a great place for motocross! Want proof? Just check out the District 17 motocross listings in the back of your American Motorcyclist magazine. It's always one of the biggest lists.

Perspective varies, but around Chicago, I consider the following close enough to visit for a day's ride:

* Buffalo Range (MX/trails/sand, races/practice).
* Joliet (SX, races/practice).
* Byron (MX, races/practice).
* Fox Valley Off Road (SX/trails, practice).
* The Badlands, Ind. (SX/trails/sand, practice).
* Red Bud! (MX/SX, races/practice).
* Casey (MX/GP/trails, races/practice).
* Sunset Ridge (MX, races/practice).
* Megacross (SX, races).
* Wapella (MX, races/practice).
* MotoCrazy (yeah, I'd go on a dare).
* I-55 and Pulaski (no ****, look over your right shoulder next time you drive north past here).

James
00CR250
 

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