Join us in June for the 14th annual Grand Illinois Trail and Parks (GITAP) Bike Tour. Our 2016 route will cover almost entirely new ground, highlighting some of the best sections and attractions of Illinois’ Route 66 Trail – a.k.a. the “Mother Road” – an international draw for bike tourists. GITAP 2016 will also feature the I&M Canal Trail, the Mackinaw Valley Trail, and more. This unforgettable six-day ride will make a loop starting and ending in Coal City, with stops in Oglesby, Washington, the Bloomington-Normal area (two nights), and Pontiac. Enjoy days filled with bike touring, good food and fellowship, all in support of Ride Illinois.
Registration is limited to 225 riders and is first-come, first-served. (2-5-16: Those wanting to be on a wait-list for our filled motel package, please see the note below in the Motel Option section.)
Register online today!
Our fully supported tour basics:
Single Occupancy Room: $600
Double Occupancy Room: $660 ($330 per person)
Download our paper form and pay with check by mail, and receive a discount on your ride and motel registration. Payments by check help us avoid significant credit card processing fees.
Cancellation and Refund Policy:
Full refund minus a $15 cancellation fee before April 15
Half refund before May 15
No refunds after May 15
Ride fees may be discounted or waived for those able to help at least part-time during the ride – see Volunteers info below.
The tour begins and ends in Coal City, with free parking for the week, and stops in Oglesby, Washington, Bloomington-Normal area (two night layover), and Pontiac.
Each day’s ride offers a basic route (43-63 miles, average 50) and a longer option (up to 70-80 miles). You will ride at your own pace on quiet rural roads and some trails. Lunch, snacks, drinks, and bathrooms along the route are on your own, with rest stops provided on long stretches lacking these essentials. There will be plenty of time each day to explore and enjoy the small towns and attractions along the route and in our overnight host towns. The fourth day will be a layover day, during which riders may ride the Constitution Trail and the Route 66 Trail, explore Bloomington-Normal, or just rest.
Basic Route Mileage
Day 1: Coal City to Oglesby – 52 miles
Day 2: Oglesby to Washington – 63 miles
Day 3: Washington to Normal – 47 miles
Day 4: Layover day in Normal – rest or optional routes available
Day 5: Normal to Pontiac – 44 miles
Day 6: Pontiac to Coal City – 43 miles
Designated group camping sites will be at Oglesby’s Lehigh Park, Washington High School, Comlara County Park north of Bloomington-Normal, and Chatauqua Park in Pontiac.
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) through Events Bike Ride Services.
Most riders camp, but a motel option is available for an additional cost. A limited number of rooms (55) are available on a first come basis. Both single and double occupancy options are offered. Motel fees are listed under Registration Fees 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. Registration for the motel package is done with the ride registration online or by mail.
(Note 2-5-16: The motel package is filled. However, we usually have cancellations, especially in April, May and early June. Completed registrations with payments will be wait-listed on a first-come, first-served basis. If your motel slot does not become available, we will send you a refund (minus credit card fees, if you pay by credit card instead of check).
Night 1: Days Inn and Best Western, Oglesby
Night 2: Sleep Inn, Washington
Night 3: Country Inn, Normal
Night 4: Country Inn, Normal
Night 5: Best Western and Quality Inn, Pontiac
A shuttle bus will transport motel stayers to the campground for all dinners except the second night in Normal (day 4). Because all motels will provide breakfast, there will be no shuttle service to the campground in the morning.
Bikes will be kept in the your motel room and not at the campground. One 40 pound bag per registrant will be accepted.
We do not provide a roommate service, but if you are interested in the motel option and have no one to room with, we can put out the word to other riders.
Do you know someone — perhaps a significant other — who would like to be a part of GITAP, but not participate in the biking? Perhaps you’re with a group of riders that want to take turns riding your bikes and driving a vehicle. We are looking 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.