Its May Let the Rides Begin!
We are so pumped to have our first overnight camping tour of the year this month! To the Dunes. 2 days. 120 miles. Camp and explore the dunes. Learn about the unique nature as well as the incredible history of SE Chicago and NW Indiana, from rampant industrialization to the rise of our nation’s conservationist movement. Only 4 slots left on this ride!
And though the overnight rides have yet to begin, we have had a tremendous year so far. We launched our Where the Wild Things Grow program in which we organize volunteer events to give back to the trails we ride on and the parks we ride to. On Earth Day, we brought 15 folks to clean-up the South Side’s Major Taylor Bike Trail. Also, 5 of us spent a soggy afternoon in the woods of Indiana Dunes cutting out invasive species! We will be organizing a few more of these bike to volunteer opportunities this year, so keep your eyes open for them.
To top it all off, we had our first mini-fundraiser which met its goal of raising half of the funds we need to file for non-profit status which we will be doing at the end of this month. So much thanks to those who came out and contributed! And the cherry on top: Our Illinois Beach State Park tour has sold out and the ride isn't until the end of June! And, we are on course to sell out all six of our tours this year.
-Vice President Glenn Schneider
> May 18th 2017 Thursday Night
BFF Bikes Movie Night: Indiana Dunes Documentary and Campout
On Thursday May 18th stop in BFF Bikes for a one of kind movie night. You will have the chance to watch the documentary about the Indiana Dunes and get inspired to go discover the beauts first hand by bike. Our To the Dunes tour is 2 days after the screening so you can join us on the tour or go on your own. The film is a locally produced documentary showcasing the historical journey of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and how it all came to be — Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability. Details and film preview down below! #shiftingsands #BikeTheBlueBasin #BFFBikes...LEARN MORE>>
> May 21st and 22nd Sat. & Sun.
To The Dunes: A Bike Ride and Campout | May 21st and 22nd Sat. & Sun.
The Lake Michigan shoreline of Southern Chicago and Northwestern Indiana reveal the marks of a century-long conflict over land use in the region. Sand dunes, steel mills, power lines, marsh land, and a commercial harbor share a ten-mile stretch along the lakeshore. These blimp in time squabbles may pale in comparison to what laid here tens of thousands of years ago... We'll learn the struggle for a National Park and discover the birthplace of ecology, the rise of Steel, and pop in one of the last remaining wood-smoked seafood shacks in Illinois, for a mouth-watering snack.
We Are Launching a New Program!
Where The Wild Things Grow
We are in the beginning phases of the program and we are about to launch soon. Down below you will get a little taste of what we have been up too. Stay tuned for the launch this month!!
Service day at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Our first ever Where the Wild Things Grow event took place on Earth Day just a few weeks ago! It was a full day of fun including a guided ride from Buckingham Fountain about 15 miles south to the neighborhoods of Morgan Park and Beverly. We rolled in with a crew of 13 and joined the already 20 or so folks doing service on the Major Taylor Bike Trail between 111th and 115th Street (near Racine). We cleared out about 50 bags worth of garbage as well as cut brush that was starting to take over the north-bound lane of the trail and cleared out the many invasive species. It was truly a transformative day, and The Friends of the Major Taylor Trail said it was their largest single productive service event ever!
We followed the service with a leisurely cruise to the new Wild Blossom Meadery where we imbibed on some fresh local mead and got a private tour of the production facility by the owner, as well as some interesting history nuggets about mead itself. Then, about 15 of us hopped on the bikes and rolled around North Beverly to take in incredible iconic architecture. We closed the day out with some fresh pints and our mini-fundraiser at the Horse Thief Hollow Brewery. What a day!
The Full program is coming soon!!
OOFD Visits McHenry County Cycling Club.
Andrew St. Paul, The Founder & Director of "The Out Our Front Door Organization", was the guest speaker at the McHenry County Bicycle Club's General Meeting on April 26th. He gave a 40 minute talk followed by Q&A to a very welcoming and seasoned set of cyclists
The McHenry County Bicycle Club (MCBC) was established in 1981. Their focus is on cycling although they have evolved into an organization that enjoys seasonal outdoor activities year-round. They are the founders of the incredible Udder Century Bike Ride held in Wisconsin, and are a joy to ride with if you ever find yourself in the rolling hills of McHenery County.
MCBC are supporters of The League of American Bicyclists, Active Transportation Alliance, Rails to Trails Conservancy, League of Illinois Bicyclists, Illinois Trails Conservancy, McHenry County Bicycle Advocates, and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin
They welcome all riders, from beginners to experienced touring cyclists.
Find Your Camp!
Find Your Camp Submission by: Glenn Schneider
One of the most spectacular places in the Midwest! 500 foot-high quartzite bluffs! A 360 acre lake! It is the biggest state park in Wisconsin totaling 9,217 acres. It was formed by one of the last ice-sheets of the Wisconsin drift about 12,000 years ago with the surrounding Baraboo hills estimated to be about 1.6 billion years old.... Learn More>>
Meet The Team!
Field Guide | Outreach
The Out Our Front Door Organization
Eric joined the OOFD team after experiencing a one-of-a-kind adventure on the inaugural tour! Prior to that eventful weekend, his cycling experience comprised of commuting either through heat, rain, or snow on the daily in Chicago. Now he brings that same attitude into the basin. Eric envisions spreading the OOFD mission as far & wide as possible –everyone deserves to experience what’s waiting for them right outside their own front door! Professionally, Eric brings customer support, marketing skills, and brain teasers to the table as he currently encourages people to travel farther on their steeds.
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"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"