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The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts.

Get dirty this summer

A guest post by Chicago-area dirtbagging advocates, The Bonebell:

Mountain bike racing in Chicago?  Of course!  If you live in the Chicago metro area and would like to give racing on dirt trails a try (yes, including hills!), look no further than your own backyard.  In fact there’s scores of riders doing just that, who'd love to show you the where, how, what and when (we all know why)!

There are some mighty fine trails to be tasted anywhere from 10 to 90 miles from downtown Chicago. Of course, you'll miss the 40-minute climbs up switchbacks cutting into oxygen-depleted air, leading to shear cliffs overlooking majestic mesas filled with suguaro cacti to the horizon, but you will be amazed at how close these sweet these trail systems and race series are to a day's drive.

Here’s a few resources that will have your chain smoking and knobbies shredding in no time!

The (aforementioned) Bonebell – the four that make up this group will bend over backwards to get you riding/racing on the dirt. Give them a holler anytime via the website

CAMBR – Chicago Area Mountain BikeRsThis mountain biking club is the backbone of lobbying for and maintaining the most delicious trails in the area. They also put on a top-notch local race, the infamous Palos Meltdown.

WORS – Wisconsin Off Road Series; the nation’s largest attended mountain bike race series. Top notch.

WEMBS – These guys want you to go long. Endurance cross country. 3-, 6-, and 12-hour race options.

Chicago Cross Cup

– don't let the end of summer spoil your fun…fall means cyclocross!  Check back with these guys early and often.