Youth Program - Shabbona Woods Bike Campout 2019

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Blackstone Bikes

6100 S. Blackstone

Chicago, IL 60637

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Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description


A 2-Day Bike Camping Adventure from Chicago to Camp Shabbona Woods - 159th and Torrence).

*Mandatory Attendance to a Bike Camp Clinic the week before the ride.

**Suggested Attendance to a Where the Wild Things Grow day ride to complete environmental service.


Start: Blackstone Bikes (6100 S. Blackstone)

Meet: 8:00 am Saturday morning

Ride to and Overnight: Camp Shabbona Woods. 15810 S Torrence Ave, South Holland, IL, 60473.

Return to Chicago by Train by 6:00 pm Sunday afternoon

Includes: Guided Tour, Campsites, Camp Gear, All Meals

You Bring: Personal hygeneine, clothes, a bathing suite, your bike, and an adventure spirit

Day 1: 20 Miles | Day 2: 5 miles

Ridership Level: Easy

This ride is open to any and all youth ages 14-18. The youth must attend a mandatory bike camping clinic the week before.


Travel south over bridges, canals, and railroads to a hidden gem among the industrial past of Chicago: Camp Shabbona Woods. At twenty-four miles from downtown, this is an accessible low-stress ride, suitable for beginners and experienced riders. The route is almost entirely on bike paths or bike lanes that include the Lakefront Path, the new South Lake Shore Drive extension bike lanes, Calumet Park, Wolf Creek Park, and the Burnham Greenway.

The facilities at Shabonna Woods are excellent and amenities include the Sand Ridge Nature Center with animals, exhibits, and walking trails, as well as the Green Lake Aquatic Center across the street featuring a pool with a lazy river and a water slide: campers get free admission.


  • One Night/Two Day Tent Campsite Reservation

  • All Camp Gear including tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pad, and a rain jacket

  • Return Train Fair

  • 5 Meals (Saturday Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Sunday Breakfast and Lunch)

  • Interpretative Trail Guides/Ride Leaders

  • Campfire & Camp Snacks

  • Experiencece and Connection with Nature


  • Some personal snacks

  • 2 spare inner tubes, bike lights, & helmets

  • Personal items, changes of clothes and a bathing suit (to swim at the Aquatic Center)


This ride is designated as EASY. That means it’s suitable for first-time bike campers or beginners and open to all. This is our most accessible and low-stress route departing from downtown Chicago. It features a lovely mostly off-street bike path route


See custom map here.

We follow the Lakefront Path, the John Beniac Greenway, and the Burnham Greenway. The distance is about 2o miles from our start at Blackstone Bikes to Camp Shabbona Woods. We will have regular stops for water and bathrooms as well as a lunch stop on the way.

We expect the whole ride to take four to five hours including breaks.


Bike camping offers a total sensory experience, where the journey is as important as the destination. It’s like backpacking by bike; you carry your camping gear with you on your bicycle. With this adventure, we offer families - beginners and experts alike - an opportunity to experience bike camping beyond the city.


These rides usually have a 1:3 guide to participant ratio to ensure a safe and smooth experience. Guides will have a bike tool kit, an air pump, a presta/schrader valve adapter, tire lever, chain breaker, and a crescent wrench (for those older bikes), a multi-toolkit, lights, and an emergency packet. Our guides will help you with any needed repairs. *If you have any of the above items please bring them along at your own convenience.

Our guides work with historians, biologists, forest rangers, and leading people in their fields to deliver a one-of-a-kind story to remember. They have setup multiple break points along the way in all the right places to ensure we get proper breaks and don't push too hard. If this is your first time out on a long ride, you’ll be surprised by how far you can go when you take some breaks.


How much are tickets?

  • $30 for everything. All youth rides are run under cost and funded by our other events and fundraisers.

What’s included in the registration?

  • One night group tent campsite rental, ride marshals, food for all meals from departunre on Saturday morning to Lunch on Sunday. Guided activities, trip planning, firewood, and s’mores.

  • We provide the 2 person tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pad, and rain jacket.

Tell me more about food.

  • The guides will prepare a hearty, tasty camp dinners (veggie options available for vegetarians) and camp snacks like those irresistable s'mores.

How do I get to the start point if I don’t live nearby?

  • It’s up to you to get to the start point however you can. A few options: 1) Get dropped off 2)Take the closest CTA train to get to the start point 3) Ride your bike.

Do I need to bring my own tent and sleeping gear?

  • NO! Check out a sample packing list here for personal gear but standard camp gear - Tent, Sleeping Bag, and Sleeping Pad - will be provided. We’ll cover how to pack the gear on the bike during the mandatory bike camping clinic on the Wednesday night before the ride.

Do you transport the tent and camping gear to the destination?

  • No. There is a support vehicle but only for emergencies and not to lighten our load. Participants transport themselves, plus tent and gear to the campsite on their bike. That’s what makes it bike camping! Please pack lightly and consider that you have to load it all on your bike solidly. During the mandatory bike camp clinic, we will be putting racks and milk crates on all the youth bike to carry the camp gear.

What happens if it rains, is the event cancelled?

  • No. We will make every effort to put the event on and would only cancel in the event of biblical extreme weather or the zombie apocalypse (in which case, we’d all be furiously peddling with the other bike-powered preppers anyway). We strongly suggest you bring rain gear and if it looks like rain, garbage bags double wrapped over your gear with some tape where necessary can good-enough waterproof almost anything.

What kind of bike do I need?

  • Anything that fits you, is in pretty a good mechanical state, and can support a rack.

What happens if my bike breaks?

  • We are here to help and have dedicated ride marshals in the group who will make simple repairs and help you out in any type of breakdown in order to get you rolling again.

  • This is frontcountry camping, which means we’re never that far from a bike shop if things get serious.

  • There will be a support vehicle if bike is beyond on the trail repair.

What happens if I’m too slow ?

  • We never leave a rider left behind! If you can keep pedaling and have a positive attitude, you will make it. Plus, we ride slowly, usually around 8-12 mph.

  • If you just can't complete the ride, opt out options include Metra, CTA, phone a friend, and OOFD support vehicle.

Are there other rides?

  • Yes! For 2019, there will be a longer one to the Indiana Dunes in August

  • Shorter free day rides called Where the Wild Things Grow will occur once a month during the summer

How fun is it riding with other folks?

  • Adventures create memories that last a lifetime so be prepared to have some fun and feel those warm communal vibes along the route and around that campfire.

What's the start point?

  • Blackstone Bikes


Individual/Participant Cancellations: No Refunds. No Transfers. | We are a small organization and due to the small group size of our rides, a ticket cancellation/no show has a real impact into the planning of the tour and as such, we cannot provide any refunds for a participant cancellation. By registering you acknowledge and agree there will not be a refund if you cancel or do not show up for the event. Tickets are non-transferable and can not be resold. Please contact the ride organizer if you are no longer able to attend.

Organizer Cancellation: Full Refund | Nobody wants an event to be cancelled. But in the very rare case the organizer does cancel the event at their discretion due to unforeseen circumstances, then registered participants will receive a full refund. To date this organizer has never cancelled an event.

Weather and Rain: We do not cancel an event for rain or a storm. We ride rain or shine. Understand that Chicago weather is typically passing, if it gets intense we will wait it out in a provided shelter then continue biking. FYI-Some of the best views and greenery are after a rain storm.


We are The Out Our Front Door Organization.

We Immerse and Educate in local History and Nature.

We are a Bike Camping Community For The Lower Lake Michigan Basin.

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Date and Time


Blackstone Bikes

6100 S. Blackstone

Chicago, IL 60637

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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