The Chainlink

I'm riding solo to Michigan City tomorrow.   This is my first time past Hammond and I'm following the cue sheet I found on the Le Tour de Shore website (http://www.letourdeshore.com/).

Any tips on things to check out, places to eat, things to avoid?

I'll be staying overnight in Pines, IN and then I'll see where the day takes me on Saturday; maybe a brief trip to New Buffalo and then back home.

Thanks and have a great Fourth!

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Jeff, I'll be riding to Kalamazoo (Through New Buffalo) at the end of the month. Would love to know your thoughts once you get back.
Will do Julie. I'm considering this a test run for an eventual circle tour of Chi to Muskegon, ferry over to Milwaukee, back down to Chi. That'll take at least 5 days. I was thinking of using this long weekend for that, but I didn't plan ahead enough.

Julie Hochstadter said:
Jeff, I'll be riding to Kalamazoo (Through New Buffalo) at the end of the month. Would love to know your thoughts once you get back.
stop50 wood-fired pizzeria is pretty great. It seems odd perhaps to get pizza outside of NYC, New Haven or Chicago (or of course Italy), but Stop 50 is pretty great pie - and the staff is really nice and best of all, their prices do not seem to suffer from that annoying resort town inflation that often plague places further up into Michigan.
Thanks Tony. Looks like a good stop for dinner. Any suggestions for lunch on my way to Mich City, or breakfast in Pines or Mich City?

Tony Adams said:
stop50 wood-fired pizzeria is pretty great. It seems odd perhaps to get pizza outside of NYC, New Haven or Chicago (or of course Italy), but Stop 50 is pretty great pie - and the staff is really nice and best of all, their prices do not seem to suffer from that annoying resort town inflation that often plague places further up into Michigan.
Just rode through there two weeks ago on my way to the US Social Forum. I didn't take the Tour de Shore route, though past New Buffalo I ended up riding with a group of TdS'ers for a while.

Personally I'd recommend riding through Whiting and Gary, check out Marktown, boo and hiss at the BP refinery, and stop at Whiting Pierogi & Tamale for snacks for the road (which I never have, and I have no idea why). If you ride through Gary you can always stop in Miller Beach for a snack, lunch, or a beer (or all three), there are a few cafes/bakeries/restaurants, or at Dustie's Buffet on 5th Avenue downtown if you need an offensively enormous amount of soul food.

And when in Michigan City you may want to stop by the Shoreline Brewery, if you are someone who enjoys drinking beer. Lots of good riding fuel in beer.

I took a route into Whiting that bypasses having to ride on Indianapolis Blvd right by the Horseshoe Casino (which I find terrifying), and it turned out to be difficult to explain, but very, very easy to find and follow. If anyone needs it, give a shout, and I can try to explain it.

And avoid the unpaved bike path that follows the train tracks through Beverly Shores, if there has been any rain recently, unless you enjoy riding through a foot of mysterious dirty water.
This http://reallyboring.net/?p=49 explains how to get to Whiting following the tracks for a short while. Not sure if this is the route the above poster is referring to.
Alex, do you have those Whiting bypass instructions you mentioned? I looked at the map at http://reallyboring.net/?p=49 that Jared posted, but its not all that clear. This is what I could work out on my own; let me know if I'm close:
- from Calumet Park, get on S. Ave G
- That turns into S. Access Rd
- before the end of that, veer right along the RR tracks (there is no street on the map)
- ride along the area in-between several sets of tracks to the east and a single set of tracks to the west
- eventually cross the tracks and ride alongside (on?) Casino Center Dr (past Lakefront Park)
- go to the end of Casino Ctr Dr and then ride between the lake and RR tracks
- eventually pick up Park Rd
- to Front St (Whiting Park)
- to 119th St
- then to ?

I'm a pierogi fan. Is it worth the detour? What spot do you recommend and where in Whiting is it located?

Thanks

Alex said:
Just rode through there two weeks ago on my way to the US Social Forum. I didn't take the Tour de Shore route, though past New Buffalo I ended up riding with a group of TdS'ers for a while.

Personally I'd recommend riding through Whiting and Gary, check out Marktown, boo and hiss at the BP refinery, and stop at Whiting Pierogi & Tamale for snacks for the road (which I never have, and I have no idea why). If you ride through Gary you can always stop in Miller Beach for a snack, lunch, or a beer (or all three), there are a few cafes/bakeries/restaurants, or at Dustie's Buffet on 5th Avenue downtown if you need an offensively enormous amount of soul food.

And when in Michigan City you may want to stop by the Shoreline Brewery, if you are someone who enjoys drinking beer. Lots of good riding fuel in beer.

I took a route into Whiting that bypasses having to ride on Indianapolis Blvd right by the Horseshoe Casino (which I find terrifying), and it turned out to be difficult to explain, but very, very easy to find and follow. If anyone needs it, give a shout, and I can try to explain it.

And avoid the unpaved bike path that follows the train tracks through Beverly Shores, if there has been any rain recently, unless you enjoy riding through a foot of mysterious dirty water.
Very close. The access road ends at the entrance to the power plant and train tracks, you cross one set of tracks and just ride the gravel south. It will spit you out at a parking lot for the casino, just ride through the parking lot and keep going past the casino, you end up going through the parking area for a bird sanctuary and the Hammond Marina, and a little beachfront. Keep going down through the lots and adjacent service drives and you'll get to Whiting Park, from there the easiest thing is to check out the NW Indiana Bike Map which you can download somewhere here: http://www.nirpc.org/transportation/nonmotorized.htm and pick your way through Whiting. I do suggest if you do this route that you ride through Marktown, an old neighborhood of euro-style workers' housing. I mean, it's there, so why not? It's off of Dickey Road in the middle of BP/ArcelorMittal madness, on the way into East Chicago. Then you can pick your way through side streets, make your way to US-12 (which can be annoying for a couple miles w/ trucks and narrow shoulders, but should be pretty clear on the weekend), and I think once you get past the airport it's a pretty decent ride.

If you look at it on Google Maps satellite view, you can see the darker strip of gravel between the tracks; that's what you ride coming off of the access road. Once you're there it's all actually really obvious.

I've never stopped at Whiting Pierogi and Tamales, but I've passed it (it's on Indianapolis Blvd somewhere, maybe by 119th St?) and actually now that I think about it maybe I should go there this weekend. I read somewhere online that they have 40+ kinds of pierogi. That's a lot of pierogi. There are other places, Whiting is home of the Pierogi Festival after all, can't think of any specific ones but maybe someone else knows.
All right. I think I'm set. I'm looking forward to some pierogis now. Should make a good lunch break. Thanks to everyone for your help!

Happy Independence Day!
Jeff let me know when you have more firm plans for the five day trip would love to join in.
second.

David Cummings said:
Jeff let me know when you have more firm plans for the five day trip would love to join in.
Well I made it. Great trip and definitely worth doing. Maybe I'd pick a less hot weekend.

Rode to Pines on Friday. I think it was 83 miles to my motel, another 7 riding to dinner (Bartlett's in Pines is highly recommended) and to the lake for some night-swimming. Skipped my side trip to Whiting just because I got such an early start that it was way too early for lunch by the time I reached that point. Ended up lunching at a great find called Tate's Place in Portage; right alongside the Prairie Duneland Trail.

Got an early start on Saturday, so I headed to New Buffalo just to make it a 3 state trip. Stopped for a great breakfast at the Retro Cafe (also called Kite's) on Hwy 12; one of those very happy accidents. That side trip added enough miles to make Saturday an unplanned century; 108 miles.

The biggest frustration of the trip was the lack of road signs at intersections with the trails. The directions I got from the Le Tour de Shore site were great, but it was hard to turn left at such-and-such when I had no idea which road I was approaching.

Glad I had: a Camelbak,Nuun electrolyte tablets, Northwest Indiana bike map, post-ride recovery day.

Right now I'm considering Labor Day for the circle tour (Chicago-Muskegon-ferry-Milwaukee-Chicago, or the reverse). But I'd take a much easier pace just to have time to linger and explore.

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