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This summer a couple friends and I are going to ride from Chicago to Detroit. My original plan was to follow US-12 all the way, but someone advised that would be really busy and not very pleasant. So now the plan is to scoot across the southern border of Michigan and approach Detroit from the south.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a good route to take, either along the Michigan border or some other way. Does anyone where I could look to find a route?

Right now I'm looking at taking IN-2 and then IN-120 for most of the length of the border, and then riding along some country roads into the Detroit area. Does anyone what those roads are like?

Thanks!
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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timfire said:
This summer a couple friends and I are going to ride from Chicago to Detroit. My original plan was to follow US-12 all the way, but someone advised that would be really busy and not very pleasant. So now the plan is to scoot across the southern border of Michigan and approach Detroit from the south.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a good route to take, either along the Michigan border or some other way. Does anyone where I could look to find a route?

Right now I'm looking at taking IN-2 and then IN-120 for most of the length of the border, and then riding along some country roads into the Detroit area. Does anyone what those roads are like?

Thanks!
Though it's not cheap, I would go north (I think you are starting on the north side) to Milwaukee and take the ferry across and then ride back roads. This would avoid the Chicago/NW Indiana mess. - TF
 

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Michigan maps

The Michigan DNR used to publish a set of bicycle maps, rating the quality of nearly every county road for cycling. Google Michigan DNR and give them a shout to see if the maps are still available. With those maps, you could put together a good route.
 

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Master Bike Mechanic
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My dad did the mirror opposite to your ride. I'll ask him about his path. I know he cut as straight a path as he could. He took the Calumet Trail for it's whole length (Only 9.5 miles.) but it beats US 12 which runs parallel. He basically cut down to Niles Mi, (If your there check out Doug Fatics work) then down to Three Oaks and then to the Calumet trail.

Photos <a href="http://homepage.mac.com/mindhammer/PhotoAlbum6.html">here</a>, you might want to start at the end
 

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I can't give you any info on coming through Chicago but if your going to take a major road through NWI through to Michigan I would take US 12 and ride it on the weekend early. US 12 is part industrial highway part scenic byway (atleast as scenic as it gets here). 12 east of Gary has a lot less and slower traffic then 20. On the weekends most of the industrial traffic is gone. You just want to try and get out before all the weekend beach traffic shows up, but that still isn't to bad.

If I were going to do this I would probably cheat and ride the south shore to Odgen Dunes and avoid the mess on the southside. You also have the Calumet trail that parallels 12 for a few miles. Its unpaved, but will provide a break from traffic. The Calumet trail will dump you out on the west side of Michigan City. I don't think you'll have a problem riding riding 12 up through New Buffalo. There will a few places to eat of 12 in New Buffalo.

Stay off of SR 2 a lot of it is 60-70 mph two lane black top.

Good Luck!
 

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As far as getting here (to Detroit), I would guess that Michigan Ave/US 12 would be OK for most of it, but I say that based upon absolutely no information whatsoever.

Once you get closer to the Detroit area, though, you're going to want to get off of Michigan Ave. At some point, you're going to want to go far enough north to go north of Ann Arbor, since as you approach Ann Arbor, Michigan Ave becomes a very very busy road (and a psuedo-expressway for awhile past Ypsilanti). If you go north of Ann Arbor, you can find a way to a town at the fringe of suburbia called Northville. Once there, find Hines Drive, which is a road that leads through a series of parks along the Rouge River. Hines leads all the way into Dearborn, and is an utterly fantastic ride.

You could also consider riding through Ann Arbor, since it is a pretty bike friendly town. From there, you could take Ann Arbor Rd. until you get to Plymouth, then head north on say, Beck Rd. to a mile road, then continue on until you get to Hines.

If you do come that far into the Detroit Area, though, I live a mile away from Hines Drive...

Check out Google Maps, if you haven't already, since you can literally zoom into the road level and keep scrolling the map over just by dragging the mouse.
 

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timfire said:
This summer a couple friends and I are going to ride from Chicago to Detroit.
Drive your car out of Chicago with the bike on the rack. Park out in the country and start touring. I'd suggest touring in MI or WI. Lots of options. Get good maps and find the way less travelled.
 
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