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NW Side 'Cultural Gems' Targeted For Final North Branch Trail Ride Of 2017

By Alex Nitkin | September 25, 2017 5:46am | Updated on September 26, 2017 11:42am
 Sunday's free tour will include a live presentation from the Neighborhood Connection Project, which over five years turned an Edgebrook viaduct into the largest outdoor mural on the Northwest Side.
Sunday's free tour will include a live presentation from the Neighborhood Connection Project, which over five years turned an Edgebrook viaduct into the largest outdoor mural on the Northwest Side.
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Jan Kupiec

CHICAGO — The North Branch Trail Alliance of Greater Chicago will tour cyclists through Northwest Side artistic and architectural landmarks for its fourth and final public ride of the year Sunday, organizers announced.

The "cultural gems" ride kicks off at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Samuel Gompers statue at the intersection of Foster Avenue and Pulaski Road. Riders will make for Mayfair, where they'll hear a presentation on historic bungalows from Jim O'Reilly, president of the North Mayfair Improvement Association.

They'll then head to Edgebrook to hear an insider's history of the Neighborhood Connection Project at Lehigh and Kinzue avenues, a sweeping mosaic project that turned a crumbling viaduct into the largest outdoor mural on the Northwest Side.

Riders will continue to suburban Niles for a tour of Native American road landmarks, and they'll end with pizza and beer at Barnaby's restaurant around 5:30 p.m., organizers said.

The alliance was founded earlier this year as a grassroots effort to connect neighbors with businesses along the North Branch Trail in the city and suburbs, organizer Jac Charlier said.

"Our statement of purpose is to show the cultural, dining and shopping opportunities that are, in many cases, just a ¼-mile or ½-mile off the trail," Charlier said.

Just as with previous rides touring breweries and farmers markets, riders should "bring money and be prepared to spend it" Sunday, Charlier said.