Greg Borzo

Already the author of a pictorial history of the Chicago el and a look at the city’s “hidden treasures,” Greg Borzo turns his attention to cycling in the useful new guide Where to Bike Chicago. The first U.S. offering in the Where to Bike series—which started in Australia and covers places from Canberra to London—Borzo’s spiral-bound book features 72 rides in and around Chicago, 27 of them geared especially for kids. They range in length from a quarter mile (one turn around the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook) to more than 50 (the Great Western Trail and Illinois Prairie Path, starting in Wheaton), and many connect to other routes, making it easy to build a longer jaunt out of a few short ones. The entries include information on the type of terrain and traffic you’ll encounter, food and drink options along the way, points of interest and side trips, and how to get there by public transit or car. They also feature maps and ride logs with turn-by-turn directions, though it’s still advisable to bring along a good supplemental map since the ones in the book often cover too much ground to be very detailed. Borzo gives a brief overview of each ride along with a few paragraphs on what to expect. Most rides are along dedicated trails, favoring forest preserves, but there are also several urban rambles on bike-friendly city streets. Also between the laminated cardboard covers: Metra and CTA maps, a foreword by J. Harry Wray (author of Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life), a brief but fascinating history of cycling in Chicago, and general tips on riding. He gives a talk at the Book Cellar.  Thu 2/17, 7 PM, the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, 773-293-2665, —Julia Thiel