Route Options

Choose Your CowaLUNGa Mileage 

When I rode in CowaLUNGa the first year, I fell in love with the organization, the people and the event. This is the most well-run ride I’ve ever participated in, and from start to finish, the route is beautiful.” – Jason P. of Naperville, Illinois

The four CowaLUNGa routes have been expertly designed using safe, scenic roads with limited traffic. You’ll experience just the right combination of flats and hills to challenge the newer rider and keep the experienced cyclist interested. And the view from your saddle is what makes the tour so enjoyable. From farms and lakes to small country towns to the Kettle Moraine State Forest – there is plenty to see. Ride at your own pace, enjoy the tastes of Wisconsin (lunch each day is on your own), and keep an eye out for those cows!

All Cow riders depart as a mass start on Day 1 from the Gurnee Mills parking lot in Gurnee, Illinois, conveniently located just off I-94, approximately 40 miles north of Chicago.

18 Mile Ride

GURNEE, ILLINOIS TO BRISTOL, WISCONSIN

Saturday, August 4, 2018, 9:00 a.m. start – 12:00 p.m. return*

This is the perfect ride option if you want to be part of CowaLUNGa but are looking for a shorter distance. It’s also a great way to get the entire family involved! See our Child Rider Policy for more information.

Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. in the Gurnee Mills parking lot. Restrooms are available and you can register your vehicle for free parking for the duration of your ride. Bring your cheering section – family and friends are welcome. After a short program and sendoff, all riders depart for Wisconsin at 9:00 a.m. as a mass start. Spectators can enjoy shopping at Gurnee Mills following the sendoff.

Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

The 18 Mile Ride includes:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line at the Bristol School in Bristol, Wisconsin
  • Adult and child registration fees and small fundraising requirement
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Snacks and drinks at the finish in Bristol
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Check-in is required at each day’s finish line. We provide the bus ride for you and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee, arriving at approximately 12:00 p.m.

Ready to ride? Sign up for the Cow e-mail list.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration for the 22nd Annual CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour opens in spring 2018.

1 Day Ride - 65 Miles

GURNEE, ILLINOIS TO WILLIAM’S BAY, WISCONSIN

Saturday, August 4, 2018 (tentative), 9:00 a.m. start – 8:00 p.m. return*

Cycle approximately 65 miles from Gurnee Mills through fully-supported rest stops at Bristol and Hebron and into Conference Point Center, located in William’s Bay outside of Lake Geneva.

Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. in Gurnee Mills Parking Lot J. Indoor restrooms are available and you can register your vehicle for free parking for the duration of your ride. Or bring your cheering section – family and friends are welcome! After a short program and sendoff, all riders depart for Wisconsin at 9:00 a.m. as a mass start. Spectators can enjoy shopping at Gurnee Mills following the sendoff.

Lunch is on your own at one of many recommended restaurants. Plan to stop at Bodi’s Bake Shop in Twin Lakes to purchase a Cow cookie. Once you arrive at Conference Point, you can check-in and turn in your bike to be loaded, then hit the showers, grab a snack or visit the on-site Ice Cream Shoppe. Dinner will be available from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and after the Cow Gathering (a short program including the day’s highlights and a medal ceremony), you’ll board the bus to return to Gurnee Mills.

Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

One Day Ride includes:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line at Conference Point Center in William’s Bay, Wisconsin
  • Single day registration fee and fundraising requirement
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Start line snacks, morning and afternoon rest stops with food and beverages, and dinner at Conference Point Center
  • Shower facilities at Conference Point Center
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Bus ride and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee, arriving at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. If you prefer to arrange your own transportation, you can depart as soon as you’ve checked in at Conference Point Center. Personal vehicles are not permitted overnight.

Ready to ride? Sign up for the Cow e-mail list.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration for the 22nd Annual CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour opens in spring 2018.

2 Day Ride - 130 Miles

GURNEE, ILLINOIS TO WHITEWATER, WISCONSIN

Saturday, August 4, 2018, 9:00 a.m. start – Sunday, August 5, 2018, 8:30 p.m. return*

After completing the first day’s ride (see above), dinner is available 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and is followed by the Cow Gathering, a short program with the day’s highlights and a medal ceremony. Before and after, you’ll have time to enjoy a massage, take a swim in William’s Bay, relax with other riders, enjoy board games, or even make the short walk to town if you’d like to enjoy a little night life. You’ll spend the night in Conference Point Center’s cabins.

On your second day, the route opens at 6:45 a.m. and covers approximately 65 miles, featuring a ride through areas of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, rest stops in the town of Lyons and at the LaGrange General Store and an optional Century Loop. Lunch is on your own again and you’ll pedal onto the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s campus to end the day. Check-in is required at each day’s finish line and you must be off the route by dinner time. The Day Two dinner is a highlight, featuring a short program and recognitions.

Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

Two Day Ride includes:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Whitewater, Wisconsin
  • Two day registration fee and fundraising requirement
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Start line snacks, morning and afternoon rest stops with food and beverages, dinner on Saturday and Sunday, breakfast on Sunday
  • Overnight accommodations (choose indoor or outdoor) at Conference Point Center and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Bus ride and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee, arriving at approximately 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening. If you prefer to arrange your own transportation, you can depart as soon as you’ve checked in at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Ready to ride? Sign up for the Cow e-mail list.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration for the 22nd Annual CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour opens in spring 2018.

Century Loop

OPTIONAL ON DAY TWO

Sunday, August 5, 2018, ends at 2:30 p.m.

An additional 35 mile route has been planned so that you can log a 100 mile “century” ride if you choose. You’ll sign up and receive the route instructions at the afternoon rest stop at LaGrange General Store, where the loop starts and ends. Century riders must complete the loop by 2:30 p.m. to ensure coverage by the CowaLUNGa support teams.

Ready to ride? Sign up for the Cow e-mail list.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration for the 22nd Annual CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour opens in spring 2018.

3 Day Ride - 190 Miles

GURNEE, ILLINOIS TO HUBERTUS, WISCONSIN

Saturday, August 4, 2018, 9:00 a.m. start – Monday, August 6, 2018, 7:00 p.m. return*

Read 1 Day and 2 Day route descriptions above. In Whitewater on day two, spend the afternoon at the pool or on a massage table and enjoy a variety of activities after dinner including pool tables, ping pong, and bowling in the air conditioned Rec Center. Share rider stories and enjoy an adult beverage at the late night pizza party. Overnight accommodations are in the university’s dormitories.

The third day’s route opens at 7:15 a.m. on Monday and is approximately 60 miles. In addition to two of the tour’s most challenging hills, you’ll want to stop in to visit a rider favorite, the Wholly Cow Frozen Custard shop in Delafield, and rest stops outside Ottawa and Stone Bank. Lunch is on your own. You’ll complete your successful CowaLUNGa journey riding into Camp Minikani in Hubertus, Wisconsin, where you can take a swim in the pool, shower, relax, buy raffle tickets and Cow souvenir items, cheer on other riders as they cross the finish line, and enjoy the celebration meal before departing for home.

Please note that CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear helmets at all times on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

The Three Day Ride includes:

  • Fully supported route (bike, SAG, medical) from start line in Gurnee to finish line at Camp Minikani at Hubertus, Wisconsin
  • Event shirt
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Start line snacks, morning and afternoon rest stops with food and beverages and dinner all three days; breakfast on Sunday and Monday
  • Overnight accommodations (choose indoor or outdoor) at Conference Point Center on Saturday and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Sunday
  • Shower facilities at Camp Minikani on Monday
  • Free parking at Gurnee Mills
  • Bus ride and transportation for your bike back to Gurnee, arriving at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Monday evening*. If you prefer to arrange your own transportation, you can depart as soon as you’ve checked in at Camp Minikani.

*All return times are approximate.

 

Ready to ride? Sign up for the Cow e-mail list.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration for the 22nd Annual CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour opens in spring 2018.

Still have questions? Visit CowaLUNGa FAQs or contact Gina Schwieger, Senior Director of Special Events, via email at gms@lungchicago.org or call (312) 628-0210.