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Bike The NW Side In North Branch Trail Alliance's 'Inaugural Ride' May 20

By Alex Nitkin | May 12, 2017 6:08am
 Riders celebrate the opening of the first phase of the North Branch Trail extension in September 2016
Riders celebrate the opening of the first phase of the North Branch Trail extension in September 2016
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

CHICAGO — The newly-formed North Branch Trail Alliance of Greater Chicago is calling cyclists of all stripes to join its Inaugural Ride, a five-mile jaunt through one of the city's newest forested bike trails, on May 20.

The ride marks the first official event for the alliance, which has developed over the past year under the guidance of Northwest Side community organizer Jac Charlier. Just since March, the group has unveiled a fresh logo, taken to social media and settled on a clear mission: to spur commercial and cultural life along every mile of the North Branch Trail, from Mayfair to Glencoe.

The coordinated bike ride will kick off at 10:30 a.m. from the entrance to the Forest Glen Woods, 5400 N. Forest Glen Ave., and the first leg will cover the 1.8-mile extension to the North Branch Trail, which opened last year. (A further extension promises to stretch the trail to the intersection of Foster and Kostner Avenues in Mayfair later this year.)

Cyclists will be encouraged to "bring some spending money" and stop at businesses all along the ride, including at Destination Devon, a street festival being planned by the business group Everyday Edgebrook to coincide with the ride.

The trek will end at Howard Street Inn in suburban Niles around 4 p.m., where organizers will host a "mini-history pop-up" centered on the golf course there, Charlier said.

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help guide riders along the route, Charlier said. Anyone who is interested in helping, or has questions about the event, is asked to email him at jac.charlier@gmail.com.