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Old 03-06-07, 02:57 PM   #1
knighterrant
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Chicago to Detroit

For some time one of my dreams has been to bike from Chicago to Detroit. Lately I've been sidetracked by training for and running marathons. Now I have a muscle injury which prohibits running, but is okay on the bike, so . . . back to the Chicago to Detroit dream. I am investigating the best route and would appreciate input as to trails and roads which would connect me from the Chicago loop to the Detroit River. I'm willing to go a bit out of my way if I can stay on a limited access trail. Any ideas? Anyone want to join me?
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Old 03-06-07, 11:12 PM   #2
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I suggest avoiding Gary.
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Old 03-07-07, 12:01 AM   #3
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I suggest avoiding Gary.
I think going through Gary is a great idea it would provide plenty of motivation to increase your wattage.
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Old 03-07-07, 04:32 PM   #4
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I think going through Gary is a great idea it would provide plenty of motivation to increase your wattage.
I don't know...there's a fine line between motivation and a gun shot wound.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001
I don't know...there's a fine line between motivation and a gun shot wound.

That is not a nice thing to say about a place. At best it could be a nice place to pratice your fast riding but you can get shot in Valpariso, Ind. or any place else.


Gas, the price of a can of beans.
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Old 03-07-07, 11:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by urban rider
That is not a nice thing to say about a place. At best it could be a nice place to pratice your fast riding but you can get shot in Valpariso, Ind. or any place else.


Gas, the price of a can of beans.
Yeah...true, but I can be run over by an airplane anyplace as well...I just have a greater chance of it happening on a runway.

Found this:http://gary.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm

2004 Gary murder rate = 58 per 100,000 people. National average = 6.9

...the closest I will ever intentionally come to Gary is doing 90mph on I-90
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Old 03-08-07, 10:37 AM   #7
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All right, guys. I got an interesting suggestion and diversionary thread, but little practical help. I need a route (which avoids Gary) from Chicago to Detroit. US Rt. 12 is roughly parallel to I-94 as it runs through southern Michigan. If nothing else, I can get onto Rt. 12 as soon as possible and stay there as long as possible. However, there might be east-west trails and rural routes which are not too far off of the US-12 and I-94 corridor. If you know of a trail in your area, even if it does go the whole way, let me know and I'll try to piece things together. Thanks. And thanks to you guys who are off in the corner debating the safety of riding through Gary -- or the PC of debating it.
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Old 03-08-07, 11:22 AM   #8
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Re: going through Gary...let me pipe in here.

It all depends on what day...and what part of the day you would be going through there.

If its Saturday or Sunday, and in the morning...you should be OK...just be aware of your surroundings. I mean, some people think I'm nuts for taking a route from my house, to the lakefront downtown via 67th street to Lake Shore drive. There is crime everywhere...I don't care where you are. However...during night hours...I would not be on a bike through neither of those areas.

My $0.02.
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Old 03-08-07, 03:33 PM   #9
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US 12/Michigan Avenue goes at least from Indiana Dunes (on the shore of Lake Michigan) to downtown Detroit. It's a fast asphault road across the state of Michigan and your most direct route. You won't always have a paved shoulder but, if you're accustomed to riding on the white line, that's your direct route. Not sure how you'd get from Chicago to Indiana Dunes though.
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Old 03-08-07, 07:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by David McLeod
US 12/Michigan Avenue goes at least from Indiana Dunes (on the shore of Lake Michigan) to downtown Detroit. It's a fast asphault road across the state of Michigan and your most direct route. You won't always have a paved shoulder but, if you're accustomed to riding on the white line, that's your direct route. Not sure how you'd get from Chicago to Indiana Dunes though.
Plus I know of four Starbucks on US-12.
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Old 03-08-07, 07:53 PM   #11
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Here is some Greenway info if you want:
http://www.indianatrails.org/Lakes_area.htm
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Old 03-15-07, 01:33 PM   #12
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Dunes to Chicago

Well, my wife and I have ridden through Gary. It is a fairly nice paved MUP. As mentioned above I wouldn't do it it to early or to late. The weekend is probably your best bet. The most iffy part was at Broadway which doesn't really have any way to cross. That trail runs from Griffith to Hobart. On the other side of Hobart you can pick up a nice paved MUP to Chesterton, which is right next to the dunes. If you can get down to the Burnham Greenway on Chicago's south side, there are connections with little street riding to the trail in Griffith.

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Old 03-15-07, 02:50 PM   #13
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Go North and take the ferry across the lake. There are two now.
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Old 03-15-07, 03:55 PM   #14
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Any particular reason? I understand doing it if you have a reason, but I can think of a whole lot more pleasant 300 mile stretches of riding in the Upper Midwest.
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Old 03-21-07, 02:16 PM   #15
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Does the word "crazy" bring any images to mind?

Yes, I am crazy! A few years ago I took off one day on the bike and road from just outside Detroit to Lansing, staying on the roads. It was hard, but there was something about a ride like that that caught me. I drive fairly regularly between Detroit and Chicago, so began thinking about what it would be like on a bike. I was not able to do it then, and the idea has stayed in my mind like a personal challenge since then. I call it my personal "river to river" ride from the Chicago River to the Detroit River. There is no rational reason for doing this, but until I do, I doubt that I'll get it out of my mind.
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Old 03-21-07, 06:57 PM   #16
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I too have considered doing a similar ride - Ann Arbor to Chicago ride. Nice to know there's other crazy people. I was considering taking US12, but wasn't sure how to commence once I ran out of 12. I'll check out the link above for a possible route. If you figure out a method to get from Chicago to 12, I'd be curious to know what you take. We recently drove US12 to 69 on a trip to Fort Wayne, IN, and it seemed quite suitable between Ann Arbor and 69. Good luck!
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Old 03-24-07, 09:56 AM   #17
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US12 was my first thought

Hey, we must be great minds thinking alike. When I first came up with this idea, my thought was to take US12 all or most of the way. I think it does go west to at least to Illinois. Not sure if I mentioned this in previous posts, but my reasons for starting in Chicago and coming east is to have the prevailing winds at my back. I tried the other direction from Detroit to Lansing and sometimes felt like I had to pedal coming downhill just to overcome the wind in my face.

If you're crazy enought to want to ride Ann Arbor to Chicago, why not come in with me and do the whole distance?
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Old 03-24-07, 09:54 PM   #18
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knighterrant,

US-12 is historic and pretty, but the traffic is heavy and it doesn't have much shoulder. M-60 might be a better route.

I mapped it for you on Bikely.com.

I took you from Niles, MI to Ypsilanti, a distance of 160 miles. The route is M-60 from Niles to Jackson/Back roads (all paved and low traffic) south and east of Jackson, then back on US-12 to Ypsi.

Actually I think it's a nice route. I've driven it many times but never cycled along it.

However the last portion, after Salinas, is industrial and a big trafficky mess. It might be more fun to go south of I-94, then ride up through the downriver suburbs and Delray--ride on Jefferson Ave. along the Detroit River and you get to see Zug Island!!!!

You know that almost every road in southern Michigan runs north-south or east-west? That means that it's pretty easy to go all the way across the state without a map. Just point your bike and go! Stay on the county roads and see the sights that the tourists miss.

Have fun and let us know how the ride went!

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Old 03-26-07, 07:26 AM   #19
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I suggest you ride up to Milwaukee and take the ferry to Muskegon. Here's a link to a well traveled Chicago Milwaukee route: http://www.wgtd.org/trailhome.htm Then, you could take almost any route to get to Detroit. Check out this link for choices: http://www.railtrails.org/index.html More miles than going direct, but if you time it right, you can enjoy one of Milwaukee's ethnic festivals, or take in an evening at Summerfest.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:33 AM   #20
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trail from west side to east side of michigan

knighterrant, supposedly there is a trail that goes toward detroit from like benton harbor and ends up near monroe. i dont have the specifics but if i hear back i can check it out for you. thanks peabob
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Old 03-29-07, 07:43 PM   #21
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knighterrant, supposedly there is a trail that goes toward detroit from like benton harbor and ends up near monroe. i dont have the specifics but if i hear back i can check it out for you. thanks peabob
I live in St. Joseph which is right across the river from Benton Harbor. I know of no such trail. I have biked from here through Chicago , Milwaukee, and on up to Manitowoc WI, taken the ferry across there, then ridden back down the shoreline to St. Joseph. To get to Chicago on that trip I used the combination of trails that start at Michigan City IN and eventually get you over close to the Burnham Greenway. I am looking at maybe a Lake Michigan circle tour this September. If so, I am planning to bike through Gary. I have driven it several times and if you go through at a decent hour you should be fine.
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Old 05-08-09, 02:14 AM   #22
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So. . .what happened?

So. . . what happened?

I'm about to do the reverse - Chicago to Detroit - and I'm wondering if this ride ever went off.
I've mapped out from my place in Chi to the Three Oaks area (it gets a little foggy at the end there) based on the NW Indiana Bike Map. There's lots of miles of trail - and it avoids Gary.

http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-s...24176767973929

Now, for the rest of the trip, there's 12, there's 60, and there doesn't seem to be many other good routes.
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Old 05-08-09, 02:25 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by knighterrant View Post
All right, guys. I got an interesting suggestion and diversionary thread, but little practical help. I need a route (which avoids Gary) from Chicago to Detroit. US Rt. 12 is roughly parallel to I-94 as it runs through southern Michigan. If nothing else, I can get onto Rt. 12 as soon as possible and stay there as long as possible. However, there might be east-west trails and rural routes which are not too far off of the US-12 and I-94 corridor. If you know of a trail in your area, even if it does go the whole way, let me know and I'll try to piece things together. Thanks. And thanks to you guys who are off in the corner debating the safety of riding through Gary -- or the PC of debating it.
Does US 12 have a wide margin. Seems like it does not. ?.. maybe , i'd cut through middle Indiana and come up US 24, through the Defiance, Napoleon corridor through Ohio. ?. ?.. Why not go out of the way, it adds on miles..
.. West Michigan seems very bike friendly. Not so sure about US 12 through southern Michigan. ?.
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Old 05-09-09, 06:57 AM   #24
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Someone recently created a complete route with cue sheets across Michigan's southern border. Contact the www.lmb.org for more information.

On the east end, it would put you in Monroe, Michigan. I've found it to be pretty easy getting from Monroe to Detroit on the weekend.

A Detroit-Chicago ride is on my to-do list too.

I forgot to mention that we are working on a cross Michigan bike route from Muskegon to Detroit as part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System. We haven't begun formalizing that route yet. The route relies on ferry service for it's connection to Wisconsin.
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Old 05-11-09, 02:33 PM   #25
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I forgot to mention that we are working on a cross Michigan bike route from Muskegon to Detroit as part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System. We haven't begun formalizing that route yet. The route relies on ferry service for it's connection to Wisconsin.

Great! I'm planning to head to Muskegon on the way back to Chi and take the ferry to Milwaukee. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. There's a nice trail from west of Grand Rapids to Muskegon that I've ridden before.
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