Ride 1: Hellacious Hills of Hanover
Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides
Hanover, IL         August 4, 2005
I wanted to start Biking Illinois out with a bang, and this ride achieved that. My original plan was to start a couple of rides in Galena. An hour of driving around reminded me what I do not like about that town: too many tourists, too much traffic, and too little parking. While Hanover lacks the tourist attractions of Galena, it is  a more relaxed place to start a ride. As I mentioned in the book, park on a side street because there is a two-hour parking limit on Illinois 84.
I knew  Black Jack Road from riding the Grand Illinois Trail. My efforts to find another route closer to the river were stymied by  gravel roads, but I had better luck to the  east. Irish Hollow Road in particular made a good loop out of this route. If you want to explore beyond the mapped ride, check out Rocky Hill Road. You can also go north instead of south on Black Jack Road to ride to Galena.
This steel and wood bridge crosses this  creek on Rodden Road.
Buzzard Gulch looks like it was once an Old West-style tourist attraction.
This is probably an abandoned mine, but the curious are discouraged from trespassing.
There aren't many 15% grades on Illinois roads, but I managed to find one for this book!
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