It’s Summer. Go Ride Yer Bike.

Chicago doesn’t have a lot in the way of outdoor awesomeness, but we do have lots and lots of miles of bike paths. So, that’s something, at least. And riding bikes is super fun. You don’t have to wear Lance spandex (in fact, please don’t). You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it. You just have to remember how nice it is to feel the wind on your face as you pedal away.

The Fox River Trail is one of our very nice trails. Running 36 miles between Elgin and Aurora, it follows the gentle curves of the Fox River, taking cyclists through the adorable historic towns of Geneva, St. Charles, and Batavia.

Land bridge across the river.

Recently I rode from Aurora north to St. Charles, covering the southern half of the trail and all three towns. The ride was about 27 pleasant miles, round trip. Views of wildflowers, lovely riverside homes, and parks dot the mostly shaded path between the three downtown hubs.

Each town has its charms. For instance, Batavia is known as The Windmill City. The place has got a bunch of them, like this one, right on the bike path.

Geneva has festivals about, oh, every other weekend, and a nice little restaurant scene. Time your ride to stop here for lunch and some ice cream at Graham’s Fine Chocolates. (Chocolate peanut butter cookie dough? Yes, please!)

And finally, St. Charles—more shops, more nice houses, more cuteness and restaurants.

The Fox River Trail connects to the Illinois Prairie Path, which runs east all the way to Elmhurst, and the Great Western Trail, so there’s no shortage of miles to ride.