South / Southwest Bicycle Route Scouting Trip

Major Taylor Trail Mural at 111th Street

The day began with a trip into the City of Chicago to visit the South Shore Cultural Center. This is the old South Shore Country Club and still hosts a golf course on the grounds.

Inside the building has undergone a few years of rehab and still looks pretty good. There are large dining rooms along the first floor for guests and events. Upstairs dance classes are among the activities held in the building. A group of dancers were out on the circular driveway today preparing for an upcoming event, resplendent in their costumes.

This is a usual stop for us when riding the Lakefront Trail. The washrooms are clean and bright and it is always nice to see the newest bit of rehab that the building has undergone. Most of the riders who use the Lakefront Trail make this a stop. Lots of “roadies” pull in and use the bathroom facilities or simply stretch out the kinks in their legs before hopping back on their bikes to head back towards their homes on the north side of the city or before heading southward towards communities like Beverly or Hegewisch.

We were aiming to head south to scout out the route being used by the Le Tour De Shore group. They rode down on Friday and were due to come back along this route on Saturday. We had special interest in discovering their land route into Highland, IN where the southern portion of the Erie-Lackawanna Trail continues.

We got as far as downtown Hammond before heading back home to do other things.

On the way back we stopped and captured a few images of a mural that I have often seen in photos but never in person. It highlights the exploits of an African-American cyclist by the name of Major Taylor. There is a trail named in his honor that runs through the south side of Chicago. There is even a cycling club named in his honor that serves a largely black membership as well.

Eric Geoffrey Vann – Copyright © 2011