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Messages - schaser1

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This is a e-mail from Ben Bowman, traveled through the area in late October.  He gave a critque of the route.  I found this vey favorable.  Please read:


Sorry for the delay! I've been meaning to write you, but kept getting distracted.

As it turned out, my plan was a little ambitious, especially for the hilly first day in Indiana. I ended up taking four days, along this route.

I thought 161 was great for cycling. I found it a little hillier than expected, but much better than Indiana, and with much less traffic than 50.

I know there had been some question about how safe it would be to take the state highway 64 bridge into Mt. Carmel, and I agree that for beginner cyclists this would probably be a bad route to take. I didn't have any trouble with it though (around rush hour, even), and I think that anyone doing a bike tour would be experienced enough to feel comfortable crossing at this point.

You asked about what could be done to make cycling in/through this part of Illinois more attractive for cyclists. I would recommend putting together a map that could be used by local and through cyclists. A number of counties in southern Indiana produced "The Bike Route", which I found enormously helpful when plotting my route.

Although I didn't end up camping there, Sam Dale lake seems like a convenient place for cyclists to stop. It would be encouraging if there were one or two other published, convenient places for cyclists to pitch a tent. Oftentimes, cyclists don't need very much at all - just a place to sleep. If any town/city parks or church yards would be open to letting cyclists do this, it would be helpful to identify them on the map.

Another way of making the area more inviting to cyclists would be to encourage local cyclists & others to join Warm Showers, a cyclist hospitality website.

Finally, to really make things encouraging, you could partner with folks in Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky to publish a suggested route all the way from St. Louis to Louisville and/or Cincinnati. Maybe it could even go further west to the Katy Trail and/or Kansas City! A trail of this length would definitely get people's attention.

Hope that helps! I'd love to hear if anything comes of it.


Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors / Re: Southern IL Route
« on: August 23, 2009, 03:09:04 pm »
Would like to receive e-mails from anyone interested in the route at  Also if you go to proposed routed from St.Louis to Louisville there is information in that forum as well.

Would like very much to get in contact with you, Charlie!!  Working hard to try to get something stablished and it seems I'm going nowhere.  Would very much welcome your help and support!!

Kevin Schilt

Routes / Re: Denver to Charleston,Illinois
« on: June 13, 2009, 10:12:00 am »
Would like to know where you plan to come into Illinois? 

I found out today (June 12) that I work with a person that is a traveling bicyclist.  He found out about the the route proposed from St. Louis to Louisville, Ky.  He also shared comments that he feels that taking the route across the Wabash River at Mt. Carmel, IL is not a bad idea, like I thought.  He believes that people who bicycle alot should be OK.  It is a good surprise to hear from someone I work with and anyone else that they are interested and support a Bicycle Route like this.  Always welcome suggestions.

For those that are interested in a unique local history, you may want to visit the only Moravian Church in Illinois established in the 1850's, locted in West Salem, Illinois.  The cemetery is also unique.  It has a German and English section and also the smallest tomstone in the world according to Robert Ripley.  The minister, Terry Weavil welcomes touring bicyclists and will give them tours and a history lesson of the Moravians.  Check out for more information.

If your a bicyclist and plan to come through West Salem, Illinois on this route  on Sat. June 27, 2009 there will be a Freedom Celebration. Also there will be a Yard Sale Day, Parade and one of the biggest Fireworks in Southeastern Illinois.  NO JOKE Between 5,000 and 7,500 show up in this town of 1,100 for it.  If at least 10 bicyclists plan to travel through West Salem on this day please let me know  between 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I might make some Ice Cream, just before the parade.  But I need to know by June 15.  Also if you have a tent and would like to stay I can see what we can do about finding a place for you  to pitch a tent.  If you would like more info on the Ice Cream e-mail at  For more information on the Freedom celebration go to and click on Freedom Celebration.  I would like to show you how our community knows how to welcome traveling Bicyclists.

Another option for the St. Louis to Louisville Route could be to go south from Mt. Carmel on Illinois 1 to Crossville, Illinois .  At Crossville, take Illinois 14 to Historic New Harmony, Indiana, then head east toward Evansville and Louisville.  This would allow a crossing into Indiana.  This a toll bridge but leads into a very scenic and historical area.
Illinois 14 is not traveled because most of the traffic stays on Interstate 64.  Again this might be another option.

Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors / Southern IL Route
« on: April 16, 2009, 07:12:32 pm »
I want to make bicyclists aware of a possible new Route being worked on by the communities of Southern Illinois.  This route would extend from the MetroEast area across from St. Louis and start on Illinois 161 going through the communities of New Baden, Germantown, Hoffman, Centralia  then going across Illinois 37 through the rural area of the villages of Johnsonville, Cisne, Mt. Erie, West Salem and going toward Mt. Carmel.  This route would link up to Louisville, Ky.  There is a state Park on this route.  Also some wineries nearby the route.  We are just starting but need encouragement and feedback.  We would like to welcome bicyclists from all over the U.S.  We would like any ideas.

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