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EBC ***MEGA-Links*** Page:   Planning Tools & Maps for Biking & Hiking

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last updated:  Nov. 20, 2023    

Weather Services

  •   /  (by the Weather Channel) Nice, hourly forecasts (with temperature, wind and precipitation) from the Weather Channel.  Enter ZIP code or city; click Hour-by-Hour; click Details.
  • Intellicast  / "The Authority in Expert Weather"
  • National Weather Service  /  NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Service


Routing Tools

  • Google Maps  / Map a route, or find a route, using this site.
    • Tip from EBC member Peter T.:  For scoping out and all-road route, I have found the "directions" feature on Google Maps very handy. Enter the (endpoints) of your route in the "from" and "to" fields; get the driving route;  ...and then drag-and-drop points on the route to get the route that you actually intend to take. You can use Google's directions by walking to-be-routed along trails that have been added to Google.
  • RideWithGPS  /  This is a very powerful and easy-to-use mapping tool that generates cue sheets, GPS files, and so forth.  The phone app, on a GPS-enabled phone, will allow you to follow a route with live voice cues. This product is so good that the Elmhurst Bicycle Club has made subscription to this product free with EBC membership.  We even built a page dedicated to its use.  See it here:  EBC Ride w/GPS: How to get a Premium Membership.
  • EBC Cue Sheet Library  / Check out our Cue Sheet Library, provided by members of the Elmhurst Bicycle Club.
  • MapMyRide  /  Map routing.  This tool has the ability to follow roads - that is, you click on key intersections and it traces the road route between the selected intersections automatically.  It will also develop a cue sheet, with turns street names and distances; and an elevation profile.
  • Microsoft Research Maps  / "MSR Maps(formerly Terraserver USA) - The Microsoft Research Maps Web site is one of the world's largest online databases, providing free public access to a vast data store of maps and aerial photographs of the United States..."  /  MSR Maps lets you zoom in close.  It also has a simple download mode that lets you get the whole photo into your computer;  e.g. to assemble larger layouts.
  • BikeMap  / ...has a good method for showing where routes are located.  Most of their routes are in Europe, but there are a few in the U.S.

Personal Locators and Beacons

  • Srava "Beacon" / phone app / "Safer activities for athletes, peace of mind for friends and family."  /  Allows up to contacts to monitor your location whilst on a ride. ~ John R/ Elmhurst BC 
  • Apple "Find My Friends" /  phone app / "With Find My Friends, you can easily locate your friends and family from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, or on" /   I have used this with great success with friends and family who just happen to have an Apple phone ~ John R / Elmhurst BC
  • Maprika   /  "Taking a step outside."  "Locate yourself and your friends on any map.  Track your routes and review them using Maprika Analytics. Drop a pin, share it with friends, and schedule a meeting."  /   The Maprika app shows your position on the maps you typically pick up at the park. Sometimes matching up your position on Google Maps on your phone with the trails on a paper map isn't easy. A lot of maps are already available in the app, but if a particular park/map is not in their system, you can add it by selecting a few corresponding points on the new map and Google maps. Mike C./ Elmhurst BC
  • Club Express Mobile App  "Channels & Meets"  /  "The Club Express mobile app's real strength lies in the special features provided for mobile users. These features are based around “Channels”, which can be defined in many different ways. You can have as many channels as you need and each channel supports the following functions:  Real-time Chat among members of the channel only;  Meets, to meet up with other channel members;
    Channel-based events;  Channel Member Directory;  Polls among members of the channel only."

Bicycling Help & Tips


County & Area

State & National

  • Anyplace America  / We offer topographic maps and photos of over 1.25 million water, land and man-made landmarks in the United States.
  • Ride Illinois  / Ride Illinois is  a nonprofit organization working statewide for better bicycling conditions.  We work for bike-friendly roads, favorable legislation, and education on sharing our roads safely, so you can get out there and Ride Illinois.
  • Illinois Dept. of Trans (IDOT) bicycling  / The IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) bicycling section will allow you to view and download PDF files of county roads tagged with useful information for cyclists.
  • Indiana, Bicycling In  / Bicycling opportunities in Indiana.
  • Iowa Bicycling  / The state of Iowas has a great cycling map that covers the entire state. They will even send you free copies of these maps.
  • Michigan Bicycle Route & Map Resources  / ...from the League of Michigan Bicyclists website.
  • Minnesota State Trails  / ...from the Minnesota DNR (Dept. of Natural Resources) website.
  • Wisconsin, Travel by bike  / The state of Wisconsin has a set of eight cycling maps offered for sale, plus downloadable PDF maps for each county.
  • 511 Wisconsin  /  The state of Wisconsin has a network of highway cameras from which you can select near-real-time camera shots, showing weather conditions.

Advocacy Groups


Local Charity & Bike Recycling


  • Colorado:  Bicycle Colorado
  • Illinois:  Ride Illinois  / Ride Illinois is  a nonprofit organization working statewide for better bicycling conditions.  We work for bike-friendly roads, favorable legislation, and education on sharing our roads safely, so you can get out there and Ride Illinois.
  • Indiana:  Bicycle Indiana
  • Michigan:  League of Michigan Bicyclists
  • Pennsylvania:  Suburban Cyclists Unlimited southeastern Pennsylvania /  Welcome to Suburban Cyclists Unlimited, a group of active recreational cyclists of various riding levels who tour the roads and trails of Montgomery, Bucks, and surrounding counties in southeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Texas:  Bike Texas  Advancing bicycle access, safety, and education since 1991.
  • Wisconsin:  Wisconsin Bike Fed  Let's share in the gifts Wisconsin Bicycling this season.


Bicycle Clubs of the Chicago Area

  • Arlington Heights Bicycle Club  "Arlington Heights Bike Club has the rides you want  ***from leisurely to advanced paces, from trails to roads ***"
  • Athletes by Design  "The Midwest's Premier Cycling Team" 
  • Bicycle Club of Lake County  "Come ride with us!"
  • Bike Psychos Cycling Club
  • Black Girls Do Bike  "Fellowship. Fitness. Freedom."
  • Blackhawk Bicycle & Ski Club  Rockford, IL
  • Chicago Area Tandem Society  "The Chicago Area Tandem Society is a bicycle club of tandem enthusiasts. Most of our members live in Northeastern Illinois, but we also have members in other states."
  • Chicago Cycling Club  "Welcome to the Chicago Cycling Club! We’re a friendly, diverse group including a wide range of ages, ethnicities and professions who find common ground in a love of biking. We organize events and rides throughout the year ranging from weekly fitness and training rides, Chicago history and architecture tours, fine beer tours, relaxed socializing rides, and tours to interesting food destinations (one of our mottoes is “we ride to eat”)."
  • Downers Grove Bike Club  "The Downers Grove Bicycle Club offers many terrific riding and social opportunities throughout the year. Whatever your level of experience, we welcome you to join us. You need not be a member to join a ride. Want to get the latest information on upcoming rides?"
  • Elmhurst Bicycle Club  "Founded in 1977, the Elmhurst Bicycle Club (EBC) continues to live up to the motto, "Riding at the Speed of Fun." Club members, who range from novice to the very experienced, come from all walks of life and live throughout the western suburbs of Chicago and beyond. The EBC is one of the larger, more active bicycle clubs in the area, with over 500 members and a variety of activities throughout the year accommodating all skill levels."
  • Elmhurst Masters Competition Cycling   EMC(squared)  "Road races, criteriums, time trials, cyclocross, track, mountain biking, and other challenge rides"
  • Evanston Bike Club  "Friends riding your pace almost every day"Folks on Spokes Bicycle Club  "Home of the Easter Ride"
  • Fox Valley Bicycle and Ski Club  "...FBSC is centered in the beautiful Fox River Valley region of Northeastern Illinois."
  • Great Lakes Randonneurs  "Long distance cycling in the upper Midwest.  Chicago-Madison-Milwaukee"
  • Joliet Bicycle Club
  • McHenry County Bicycle Club  "Sponsors of the world famous Udder Century Invitational.  Always the first Sunday in June."
  • Naperville Bicycle Club
  • Nordic Fox Ski Club  "The Chicago western suburbs' largest cross country ski club!"
  • Oak Park Cycle Club  "We are a group of recreational riders in Oak Park and neighboring communities.  Riders of all ages and skill levels..."
  • Quad Cities Bike Club  "The Quad Cities is a group of cities, Davenport, Bettendorf in Iowa and Moline, Rock Island in Illinois, straddling the Mississippi River on the Iowa-Illinois border. Mission Statement  It is the mission of the Quad Cities Bicycle Club to promote, encourage, and support the safe participation in bicycle riding of all ages and abilities, as well as to anticipate and address needs and interests of all aspects of bicycling in the Quad Cities area."
  • Schaumburg Bicycle Club  "We are a bicycle group dedicated to riding in Schaumburg and the northwest suburbs of Chicago."
  • Wheeling Wheelmen  "The Wheeling Wheelmen Bicycle Club, founded by Phillis Harmon, had its first meeting on April 26, 1970 with over 100 members in attendance.  Since that time, the club has grown to almost 300 men and women, serving the Northwest Chicagoland area with organized rides, social outings, informative meetings, bicycle advocacy, and a lot of friendship."

Bike Shops

Chicago Area

Mobile Repair & Services


  • Bike Exchange  / The world's biggest bike marketplace... is a venue to allow users who comply with BikeExchange's policies to offer, sell, and buy certain goods or services within a fixed-price format.
  • Montem  / Gear Designed by hikers, for hikers.  

Local Government

EBC Members' Professional Services

Travel - Touring Companies, Aids & Destinations

  • Adventure Cycling /  ...inspires empowers, and connects people to travel by bicycle.
  • Alaska Backcountry Bike Tours  /  The Matanuska Valley's premier headquarters for all things bike & ski; featuring expert sales, service and advice.
  • Bike and the Like  /  Travel with us to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Are you a seasoned cyclist or new to bike touring? Sightseeing by bike brings great enjoyment. Our goal is to provide a memorable adventure with lots of bells and whistles, all at an affordable price. We love customizing group tours and creating new trip itineraries!
  • BikeFlights  /  Bicycle shipping company
  • Diabetes Research Charity Rides /  le Tour de Cure.  Find your area ride.
  • DIGnGO / Gourmet Bike Tours:  Our bike tours offer the perfect opportunity to explore the world on two wheels. Whether you are travelling in France, through Italy, or anywhere else in Europe, biking brings you the enormous satisfaction of discovering the world under your own power. Our bicycle trips include lodging, all breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners, bicycles, snacks, luggage transfers, support vans, 1 trip leader for every 5 guests, Garmin GPS with easy to follow directions, and more.
  • Mesabi Trail  /  Located in northeastern Minnesota, the Mesabi TrailTM is a premier bicycle trail winding through some of the most scenic parts of the state. Currently over 135 miles of trail offers convenient accessibility at numerous entry points.
  • Old Plank Road Trail  /  A 22-mile recreation and nature trail in northeastern Illinois. (Goes through Frankfort, IL.)
  • Portugal Bike Tours|  /  Our mission is to provide you with relaxing and enjoyable cycling holidays in Portugal, complemented with historical points, tasty gastronomy and wonderful views.
  • Timberline Bike & Hike Adventures  /  ...provides fully-supported, multi-day hiking, cycling and multi-sport tours across the U.S. and Canada.
  • Trek Travel    / "Welcome to Trek Travel.  Here, we don't just promise a cycling vacation. We promise to change the very definition of what a cycling vacation should be"
  • VBT Bike, Explore, Connect  /  For active people who love to travel.
  • Wisconsin Bicycle Routes /  Milwaukee to the Fox Valley, including the Kettle Moraine. 

Legal  & Representation for Cyclists


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