Biking Around the Fox River 
Geneva Cycle
Ellis Giannini and his business manager Susan Rosenstein of Geneva, assist Rebekah Tokarz of Wheaton and he mother Susan Tokarz of Cary in finding the perfect bike for Rebekah.

Both women say they have easy-access to the Fox River trail system.
 
Trail Maps
Kane & Northern Kendall Counties BikeTrails Map Brochure pdf - large file
Kane County Bike Trail Map
pdf  Trails indicated in purple
Great Western Trail  St. Charles to DeKalb
Illinois Prairie Path   Batavia Spur   Elgin Branch
 
Resources & Links
Bicyclesafe.com
Adventure Cycling Association
Fox River Trail - Algonquin to Aurora
Fox River Trail North
Fox River Trail article   northern section
Fox River Trail article   southern section
Fox Valley Park Dist. Bicycle Trails
Great Bicycle Trails - Fox River Trail
Kane Co. Forest Preserve - Fox River Trail
Rails to Trails Article - Fox River Trail
TrailLink.com
 
Bike Sales, Rentals, and/or Service
Antioch Schwinn Cyclery
890 Main St., Antioch, IL   847-395-6500

B & G Cyclery
11 E. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Beach  847-740-0007

Bicycle Garage
11 Jackson St., East Dundee, IL  847-428-2600

Bicycle Heaven
124 W. State St., Geneva  630-444-7450

Bikes Plus
203 W. Northwest Hwy, Barrington  847-382-9200

The Bike Rack
2930 Campton Hills Rd., St. Charles 800-711-2453

Crystal Lake Ski & Bike
905 A Pyott Rd., Crystal Lake  815-455-5450

Geneva Cycle Shop
12 E. State St., Geneva  630-232-4883

K & D Bicycle Repair
3202 Debra Dr., Island Lake  847-845-1719

Lucky Brake
470 W. Virginia, Crystal Lake   815-459-1833

Main Street Bicycles
39 E. Main St., Carpentersville  847-783-0362

Mill Race Cyclery
11 E. State St., Geneva  630-232-2833

Mission Bay Multisport
1110 South St., Elgin   847-888-3340

Mudslingers
420 W. Rt. 34, Unit 1, Plano   630-552-7433

Oswego Cycling & Running
26 Main St., Oswego  630-551-2300

Paddle and Trail of Aurora
107 Spruce St., Aurora    630-506-5706

Pedal & Spoke
157 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora   630-892-1010

Prairie Path Cycle & Fitness
122 W. Wilson St., Batavia   630-406-9749

Prairie Trail Bike Shop
315 Railroad St., Algonquin   847-658-1154

Village CycleSport
203 W. Northwest Hwy., Barrington  847-382-9200

The Village Pedaler
1954 Gyorr Ave., Elgin    847-741-5938

Wally's Bike Haven
2908 W. Route 120, McHenry  815-385-4642

Wonder Lake Bicycle
4308 East Drive, Wonder Lake  815-653-9904
 
The Fox River watershed includes miles and miles of excellent bike trails and biking opportunities.
Family Cycling
Below is an article from The Guide about the Fox River trails.
Riding the Fox River Trail System:  30 years of scenic biking
If you give people a good place to ride, they’ll buy a bike.

So says Ellis Giannini, the owner of the Geneva Cycle Shop at 12 E. State St., Geneva.  Giannini is happy that Geneva, and the other municipalities and park and forest preserve districts along the Fox River from Algonquin to Oswego, have invested in bike/pedestrian trails that give local and out of the area bicyclers a lot of  “good places to ride.”

“The network of paths in Kane County have made this area one of the most bicycle friendly places in the country,” he says.  “Putting in the bike trails is one of the best things ever done here.  My God, we’d be riding on the roads otherwise.  The trails bring a lot of people and money to Geneva.”

A former MIT student who planned to become an engineer, Giannini first began selling motocycles in the 1970s, and then bicycles as a hobby in 1983, soon after the trails started making their appearance along the Fox River.  A life-long Geneva resident, he grew up in a home on the east side of Rt. 25, just across the street from his current place of business, which is located adjacent to the east bank of the Fox River and on the trail system.  He remembers when the Kane County Forest Preserve District first put the trails in.

“Many of the trails they put in were on abandoned inner urban lines,” he explained.  “Streetcar lines.  The Aurora, Elgin and Fox Railroad, West Chicago spur, went from here up to Elgin.  On some of these paths, you can still see piled up railroad ties and other remnants of the railroads.”

Besides being historic, the trails give people more than a physical workout, says Giannini.

“I’ve had so many people say it’s good for their mood – riding through the woods, the tranquility of it.”

He estimates he himself rides about 50 miles a week on the trails despite knee replacement surgeries.  He said he’s gone as far south as Aurora and as far north as Algonquin.  From Geneva to Algonquin is 22 miles, so a round trip is 44 miles.

“That’s a pretty good ride,” he said.

His favorite section of the trail is between Batavia and St. Charles;  north of St. Charles, he said, gets too crowded.  According to Giannini, the most scenic part of the Fox River Trail is between St. Charles and Algonquin.

“There’s a section between South Elgin and Elgin that they call the Rollercoaster.  It has 30 to 40-foot  hills. You’re continuously going up and down. Very much fun if you like to do that kind of thing.,” Giannini said.  “North of Elgin, there’s some swamp and grassland, and then there’s some residential areas.”

He estimates he sells about 250 to 300 bikes during the warmer months when his store is open.  The good thing about getting into biking, he says, is that it’s a one-time expense.

“Unlike some of these other sports, like skiing, you buy a bike, pay for it once, and that’s it.”

Just like there is no “best car brand,” Giannini says there is no one perfect bike, but he did admit that he has found the hybrid – a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike, best suited for most people.  It comes in many different categories, he says, is more lightweight than a mountain bike, and sells the best.

Most of his customers, he estimates 70%, come from the tri-cities area and many are people he knows and has done business with previously, either selling them a bike or doing maintenance for them.  The others, he says, come from DeKalb County, Aurora and farther away.

After more than 30 years selling and maintaining bikes, Giannini says he may sell his current building and move to another location just up the hill from his present store, but he’s not ready to retire.

“I’ll be here as long as I can do the job physically,” he says.
 
Fox River Trail in Kane County Story of how it was created
 
 
A Citizen's Guide to Preserving the Fox River
in Illinois