Bike Michiana

resources, news, observations and ideas about bicycling in the Michiana area

Archive for the ‘Routes’ Category

Have tips for safely biking to destinations in South Bend and surrounding areas? Please post them here and feel free to ask for advice as well.

Michiana gears up for Bike Month

Posted by Paul Taylor on April 30, 2010

May is Bike Month, and cyclists are being encouraged with more than just fair weather to increase their miles and activity levels. Months of planning will culminate in two major cycling events. Publicity is being rolled out for Bike the Bend and Bike to Work Week.

Bike the Bend is an inaugural bike ride for Michiana. It is modeled after Bike the Drive in Chicago and organized rides in other cities where streets become car-free for a few hours: cyclists own the streets. This event, which is ideal family fun, takes place on Sunday, May 23.

Bike to Work Week is an annual event that has grown each year in Michiana. Riders are invited to join teams, usually organized around their workplaces, and enjoy friendly competition with other teams. The week features two special events where cyclist gather in downtown South Bend to enjoy camaraderie and some good eats. Bike to Work Week  takes place from Monday, May 24 through Friday, May 28.

Biking infrastructure is improving too, as South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke has announced over 10 miles of new city bike routes in 2010. And the Bike Michiana Coalition has purchased new portable bike parking racks to be set up for special Michiana biking events.

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Posted in Advocacy, Events, Facilities, Group Rides: Special, Infrastructure, News, Routes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Riverwalk Extention – Public Input Session

Posted by Paul Taylor on March 12, 2010

Meeting will be on Wednesday, March 24, 7:00 p.m. at the Nuner Primary Center, 2716 Pleasant Street

South Bend has started a study for extending the existing riverwalk system to the east (21st street to Logan Street) connecting with the Mishawaka trail system.  This extension would expand the riverwalk to nearly 12 miles giving a comprehensive cyclist and pedestrian route for South Bend located along or adjacent to the St. Joseph River, from Darden Road to Logan Street. 

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Posted in Events, Infrastructure, News, Routes | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Google Maps now includes Bike Routes

Posted by Paul Taylor on March 10, 2010

Google has just launched a new feature on their maps website: Bicycling. According to Google this has been the most requested addition to Google Maps.

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Posted in News, Routes | Leave a Comment »

They’re known for pizzas, and they refill your water bottle for free.

Posted by Paul Taylor on September 27, 2009

Joe Dits, the popular South Bend Tribune columnist, has unearthed another cyclist’s and walker’s gem: the Nickle Plate Trail. This 13-mile rail-trail extends from Peru (about 65 miles south of South Bend, Ind. and 68 miles north of Indianapolis) to Cassville, a dot on the map just north of Kokomo. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Facilities, Routes | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Bike Michiana for Hospice organizers breath sigh of relief

Posted by Paul Taylor on September 4, 2009

Collapsed Riverside Trail Wall

Collapsed Riverside Trail Wall

Organizers had feared South Bend’s new Riverside Trail would not be completed in time for the event due to a collapsed retaining wall. However the wall is currently being rebuilt, and pavement is expected to be ready for the upcoming September 13 ride.

The wall at the intersection of Riverside and Oakwood has been jinxed since it was built. A motorist ran off the road and damaged it earlier this summer; when repairs were made, they were done incorrectly and it collapsed a second time in late July.

The trail will be the centerpiece for the ‘family ride’, and Bill Lee, who was lead planner on the Hospice family route has been concerned that children would need to be diverted onto the street due to the wall collapse. Pictured, is the wall and trail before repairs were started.

Read more details in The South Bend Tribune.

Posted in Infrastructure, News, Routes | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

North Mishiwaka Parking Lots

Posted by Adam Bee on August 8, 2009

It’s less difficult than you might expect to get around the most auto-dependent sections of Michiana, as long as you’re willing to cut through a few parking lots.

I’d imagine that the practice is officially illegal, potentially dangerous, and probably not LAB-approved, but those are true of a lot of well-established, practical cycling techniques.  The hard fact is that currently if you want to ride to Wal-Mart and you’re not prepared to take arterial traffic sewers, parking lot skipping is the only way to go.

When you start looking at infrastructure that way, you really start to notice details about the landscape, like the lack of any bridge over Juday Creek under 4 lanes.  Or which parking lots link together, which require off-road curb hopping, and which are unfortunately impassible.  Or which parking lot entrances are directly opposite each other and which require the dreaded right-to-left.  (I myself cut through two lots every commute to round off an ugly right-to-left!)

This all ties into a greater facet of bike infrastructure that I think is perhaps obscured from recreational cyclists and other would-be advocates:  Often the greatest benefits to utility cyclists come from careful planning and tiny changes to stuff that will be built anyway.

What do you think?  Do you ride through parking lots?  Which ones are your favorites?  Which are the most heartbreaking non-connecting lots?

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary, Facilities, Infrastructure, Routes | 2 Comments »

New Michiana Bike Route Map Published

Posted by Jeff Nixa on May 30, 2009

Update: an 11 MB PDF of the map is now available for download.

The first-ever comprehensive St. Joseph/Elkhart Counties bike map is now available.  A joint effort of the Bike Michiana Coalition, local government, business and university, the folding map will first be distributed to cyclists who attend the South Bend Bike to Work Week events, June 1-5.  Afterwards, the map will be available throughout Michiana in local bike shops and other locations yet to be determined.  A free copy of the map ($5 value) will also be provided every person signing up for an annual membership in the Bike Michiana Coalition.

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Posted in Advocacy, Facilities, Infrastructure, News, Routes | 3 Comments »

Ride from ND to Goshen Ride of Silence

Posted by Adam Bee on May 20, 2009

Since there is a Ride of Silence in Goshen but not South Bend tonight, I plan to ride from ND to Lincoln Avenue Cycle.  The route is 30 miles, so I plan to leave at 4:45 sharp to make it there by 6:45.  If you’d like to ride along, show up at the Main Circle of Notre Dame before 4:45.  Make sure your bike has lights; I plan to return by 9:15 or 9:30, so we might be racing the sunset a bit on the way back.

Here is the route I plan to take (LINK).  I’ve never ridden most of those easterly roads, so I can’t guarantee their safety or comfort.  Let me know if you have suggestions on a better route!

Posted in Group Rides: Special, Routes | 3 Comments »

Passed: Underpass Project Approved

Posted by Phil G-E on May 6, 2009

Many, many thanks to everyone who showed up and spoke in support of the Maple City Greenway trail underpass at Plymouth Rd in Goshen. A close call, the Council was split evenly 3 for and 3 against (1 supporting member absent) until Mayor Kauffman voted for the proposal. Read more about it at in this eTruth article. Many thanks, too, to all who helped organize the response by spreading the word and communicating with their city council members. This will be an excellent addition to the path and make it all the more accessible and useful to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

See below for a Google Map of the trail:

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Posted in Advocacy, Infrastructure, News, Routes | 1 Comment »

Zigs vs. Zags

Posted by Adam Bee on April 22, 2009

Have you ever noticed that right-to-left turns are much more difficult than left-to-rights?

That is, if you’re crossing some large ugly six-lane traffic sewer to get from one lovely back road to another, it seems much easier to me if you have to go LTR instead of RTL.

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Posted in Commentary, Facilities, Routes | 2 Comments »