Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dune Acres 2007

Once again, my sister invited her family and her husband's family to a beach house in Dune Acres, IN. (See my reports from last time here and here.) We were in the same house.

For my ride this morning, I headed west on US 12. Not feeling very energetic, I just planned to ride to the first convenience store I found to pick up a Gatorade and then head back.

The first few miles were pretty nice. US 12 in this area is a 2 lane road with no shoulder to speak of. Because the lanes are a little wider than what I find on the local county roads, I felt comfortable riding on the white line without the fear of the unsafe pass. Plus, there was little traffic. My legs weren't feeling it today, but I hoped it would get better after a few minutes.

Unfortunately, the road changed about four miles out as I entered Burns Harbor. Suddenly, it was a four-lane divided highway with plenty of debris in the generous shoulder. Even though there still wasn't much traffic, those that passed seemed to stay in the right lane at least half way. As the road widened, the tree cover disappeared and was replace by the view of steel plants. The aroma also switched from nature to burning coal. The weird thing was that this area was filled with butterflies.

Steel Plant
I Think This is the Mikkal Plant

After a few more miles of nothing but factories, railroads, and power lines, I turned south on the equally imposing SR 249. It was about the same as the previous road, with the added fun of rumble strips in the shoulders - making them unusable. About a mile down this highway, I found a Family Express gas station.

I asked the clerk about another way back, but it was obvious that she had never thought about her town from a cyclist point of view. I ended up traveling back the same way I had come.

Morse Code House, 2007
The Morse Code House is Still There

Miles Ridden: 17.1


Blogger Apertome said...

I almost never ride on the shoulder. We cyclists have the same right to the road as motorists -- so I ride on the road itself. I usually ride about where a car's right tire would go. Cars can pass me when an opportunity arises. If it's unsafe to pass, they can wait until it becomes safe. I usually wave cars past me when appropriate.

Those photos don't make the area seem very appealing, although the Morse Code House is cool in a weird way. Still, I'm glad you got to ride.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I'm with you on the lane position. The roads I normally ride aren't as wide as US12, and the right tire path is my favorite place.

As for the scenery, it is much better to the east.

7:14 PM  

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