Ride IllinoisRide Illinois
06/10/2018 06/15/2018

Grand Illinois Bike Tour

Save the Date for GIBT 2019! Our June 9-14, 2019 loop will tour through beautiful Amish country and east central Illinois.  We’ll start and stop in Tuscola, with overnights in Mattoon (1 night), Effingham and Charleston (2 nights each). Join us and invite your cycling friends (non-riding volunteers needed too).  Early bird registration opens November 1 – visit the 2019 GIBT page for more information.

Thank you to everyone that made our 2018 GIBT a success!

Information on our 2019 GIBT can be found here.

Join us June 10-15 for the 16th annual Grand Illinois Bike Tour. The 2018 route will feature central Illinois with a special focus on Abraham Lincoln history. We’ll enjoy great bicycling on quiet country roads and visit charming towns and places from Lincoln’s life in Springfield, Decatur, New Salem, and his days as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit.

Our unforgettable six-day ride will make a loop starting and ending in Clinton, with overnight stops in Lincoln, Springfield (2 nights), and Decatur (2 nights). Choose among our daily mileage options for a total ranging from 200 to 370 miles. Pick between our camping and motel options, and enjoy evenings filled with good food and fellowship with riders hailing from around the country. Proceeds benefit Ride Illinois and support our mission to make Illinois a better, safer, and more enjoyable place to ride.

Our fully supported tour basics:

  • Basic daily route distances between towns range from 44 to 52 miles. Longer route and layover day options are available. Routes are marked and cue sheets are provided.
  • Campers will tent in parks and the State Fair’s campgrounds, with showering facilities provided. All breakfasts and dinners (10 meals in total) are included.
  • The motel option, available for an additional fee, accommodates approximately 100 riders and sells out early. 8 meals (all breakfasts and 3 dinners) and evening receptions are included.
  • Luggage transportation is provided in separate vehicles for campers and hotelers.
  • Emergency SAG, refreshment stops, and t-shirt are included. Expert bike repair, as well as professional massage, are also available every day to hotelers and campers, at the campsites.
  • Nightly meetings include ride information, awards, and more.
  • Velosophie, an optional reading discussion group, meets before dinner each day. This year’s readings will focus mostly on Abraham Lincoln.

The 2018 ride has concluded. We hope you will join us in 2019!

More details are available below the video.

Registration Rates

2018 Early Bird Rates (by Nov 30)
Non-member $485
Member $450  Join here or email us to confirm status
17 and under $350 (must be accompanied by an adult rider)

2018 Regular Rates (after Dec 1)
Non-member $500
Member $465 Join here or email us to confirm status
17 and under $350 (must be accompanied by an adult rider)

2018 Optional Motel Package  (in addition to the registration fee)
Single Occupancy $660
Double Occupancy $395 per person

Questions? Email info@rideillinois.org.

Please read our cancellation and refund policy below.

The 2018 ride has concluded. We hope you will join us in 2019!

Route & Mileage

The tour begins and ends at Clinton High School, with free parking for the week, and stops in Lincoln, Springfield (two nights), and Decatur (two nights).

Each day’s ride offers a basic route of 44-52 miles with options for an extra 20 miles or so.  Ride at your own pace on quiet, rural, mostly flat roads and enjoy plenty of time each day to explore the small towns and attractions along the route and in our overnight host towns.

The third and fifth days will be layover days, during which you can explore Abe Lincoln historical sites and other local attractions, ride trails and rural roads around Springfield and Decatur, or just enjoy the days however you wish.

2018 Preliminary Route Mileages (subject to change)
Day 1: Clinton to Lincoln
44-46 miles basic (+605 ft of climbs, -773 ft of descents)
or 66-68 miles long option

Day 2: Lincoln to Springfield
51-52 miles basic (+723 ft, -705 ft)
or 71-72 miles long option

Day 3: Layover day in Springfield
48-50 miles loop to/from New Salem (+1371 ft)
and/or short routes in town to history sites, trails

Day 4: Springfield to Decatur
48-51 miles basic (+852 ft, -802 ft)
or 69-72 miles long option

Day 5: Layover day in Decatur
20 mile (+534 ft) and 37 mile (+670 ft) rural loops
and/or short routes in town to sites of interest

Day 6: Decatur to Clinton
44 miles basic route (+713ft, -596 ft)
or 55 mile or 62 mile long options


Designated group camping sites, for 2018, will be at Lincoln’s Memorial Park, Springfield’s State Fair Campground (not on State Fair week!), and Decatur’s Scovill Golf Course (de-commissioned). Those camping before the tour on Saturday night are encouraged to book reservations at nearby Weldon Springs State Park.

All breakfasts and dinners (10 meals in total) and luggage transportation are included for campers. All camping sites have showering facilities.

Most riders provide their own tents and camping gear, but you can also consider using our Sherpa service (tent, towel, chair rental, as well as tent set up and taken down).  Contact Events Bike Ride Services.

After your day on a bike, join the fun at campsite evening singalongs.  Two returning campers plan to bring a guitar and banjo – let us know if you’d like to bring an instrument, too.

Motel Option

Over the years, our motel option has grown in popularity. This year, 100 spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The motel option fills up quickly, so we encourage early registration. Both single and double occupancy options are offered. Motel fees are listed under Registration Rates above and include transportation of your luggage from motel to motel each day, a welcome wine and beer reception on the first evening, and a farewell gathering on the final night.

2018 Motels
Night 1: Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn, Lincoln
Night 2: Wyndham Springfield City Centre, Springfield
Night 3: Wyndham Springfield City Centre, Springfield
Night 4: Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, Decatur
Night 5: Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, Decatur

All dinners will be at the campgrounds except for the second and third nights in Springfield where motelers will be on their own for dinner and have many restaurants to choose from. Bus shuttling to the Lincoln campground for dinner will be provided. Decatur’s hotel is walking distance from the campground and dinner. Because all motels will provide breakfast, there will be no shuttle service to the campground in the morning.

Bikes will be kept in motel rooms and not at the campground. One 40 pound bag per registrant will be accepted.

Each year, a few riders want to sign up for double occupancy without already having a roommate in mind.  Please email us and we can put you into contact with others in this situation, to find a roommate.

Ride & Fundraise for Better Biking in Illinois

The Grand Illinois Bike Tour is the only multi-day ride in Illinois that specifically raises money to support the goal of a more bike-friendly Illinois. Proceeds benefit Ride Illinois, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to make bicycling better in Illinois.

We are asking all participants to fundraise a minimum of $100 on top of the registration fee to better support the costs of the ride and help propel Ride Illinois’ mission to make biking safer and more enjoyable statewide. 

All registered riders will have the opportunity to create a personal online fundraising page to use in the months leading up to the tour. We’ll provide helpful tips on how to reach out to friends and family for their support as you prepare to pedal over 200 miles in 6 days for better bicycling in Illinois. Top individual fundraisers will be recognized and have the chance to win great prizes and tour perks.

The fundraising program is optional but is encouraged. Riders can also make a donation in lieu of fundraising here. More information and instructions will be provided once registration is received. Contact info@rideillinois.org with any questions.

Ride Illinois is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations supporting a rider are tax deductible. Registration fees paid by participants are partially tax deductible. All donations from personal fundraising will be distributed to Ride Illinois and are nonrefundable.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Please review our revised Cancellation and Refund Policy.

If needed, riders may transfer their registration to another rider at any time, for any reason, at no cost. However, after May 25, we cannot guarantee the correct t-shirt size for the substitute rider.

Until February 1, a cancellation refund will be issued for any reason, minus a $30 fee and any nonrefundable credit card fees.  The same is true between February 2 and June 1 – IF the ride (or hotel package, for hotelers) is not full.

However, after February 1, if the ride is full and registration has been closed, no refund will be issued unless a rider on the waiting list – or someone else you know – can fill your spot. 

Similarly, after February 1, if the hotel option is full (even if the ride is not), no refund will be issued for either the hotel option or ride registration unless your spot can be filled.  

Sorry, but to protect us from both unused expenses and lost income (from potential riders who could not sign up earlier and then made other plans), we cannot offer exceptions for any reason, including medical or other emergencies. Third-party trip insurance is highly recommended for these unexpected situations.  Silent Sports is one provider option  – for example, a rider aged 60-69 would pay $48 if camping, $59 if double-occupancy motel.

We will email registrants if/when the ride (or motel option) is full.

Finally, no refund will be given for:

  • Participant’s late arrival
  • If a participant chooses to leave the tour for any reason after the trip start date
  • Food, lodging, side trips or other services for which a participant paid but did not use

Would you like to participate in the tour but not ride every day?  Or, do you know someone — perhaps a significant other — who wants to come along but not bike? Maybe you’re with a group of riders that want to ferry a vehicle around for the week. We are offering discounted or free registration for volunteer drivers and extra vehicles to help with SAG ride support and to give us a hand in case of emergencies. Please contact us at info@rideillinois.org if you might be interested.