Youth Program - Indiana Dunes State Park Bike Campout 2019

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Blackstone Bikes

6100 S. Blackstone

Chicago, IL 60637

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Refund Policy

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Event description


A 2-Day Bike Camping Adventure from Chicago to Camp Shabbona Woods - 159th and Torrence).

*Mandatory Attendance to a Bike Camp Clinic the week before the ride.

**Suggested Attendance to a Where the Wild Things Grow day ride to complete environmental service.


Start: Blackstone Bikes

Meet: 7:30 am Saturday morning

Ride to and Overnight: Indiana Dune State Park

Return to Chicago by Train by 6:00 pm Sunday afternoon

Includes: Guided Tour, Campsites, Camp Gear, All Meals

You Bring: Personal hygeneine, clothes, a bathing suite, and your bike and an adventure spirit

Day 1: 50 Miles | Day 2: 2 miles

Ridership Level: Advanced

This ride is open to youth ages 14-19. The youth must attend a mandatory bike camping clinic the week before and must have ridden with Out Our Front Door before and be approved by OOFD to make the ride.


This is a challenging bike ride. An Out Our Front Door guided adventure tour, leaving from Chicago and returning to Chicago. For this ride our guides will give you an in-depth tour of the South Eastern Chicago and Northwestern Indiana region, as we travel from the heart of Chicago to Indiana Dunes State Park and back. We will learn about Steel, Nature, Bridges, Beaches and Dunes.

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 battled and 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 the Earth's geological forces that shaped this land.

We will transport back to 1893's World’s fair as we cruise along Chicago's world class museum campuses, Daniel Burnham, and Jackson Parks, to the beginnings of green spaces in Chicago. And pop in one of the last remaining wood-smoked seafood shacks in Illinois, for a mouth-watering snack.

And most important of all, spend an evening enjoying the Sand Dunes of the Indiana Dunes State Park.


  • One Night/Two Day Tent Campsite Reservation

  • All Camp Gear including tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pad, and a rain jacket

  • A bike rack and milk crate to carry the camping gear

  • Return Train Fair

  • 5 Meals (Saturday Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Sunday Breakfast and Lunch)

  • Interpretative Trail Guides/Ride Leaders

  • Campfire & Camp Snacks


  • Some snacks

  • Spare inner tubes, bike lights, & helmets

  • Personal items, changes of clothes,and a bathing suit


This ride is designated as Intermediate. That means it’s suitable only for youth that have ridden with Out Our Front Door before and that are fairly confident that they can handle a 50 miles ride. That said, they do not need to be Lance Armstrong to ride this. Last year, we had a wide variety of skill levels complete this ride. Good to note that most of this ride is on a lovely mostly off-street bike paths.


Check out the route here (note, we are only pedaling this route one way - the more southern route on this map)

We follow the Lakefront Path, the Burnham Greenway, Erie-Lackawanna Trail, Oak Savannah Trail, and Prairie Duneland Trail. The distance is about 50 miles from our start at Blackstone Bikes to Camp Shabbona Woods. We will have regular stops for water and bathrooms as well as a lunch stop on the way.

We expect the whole ride to take 8 to 10 hours including breaks (every hour to hour and a half).


Bike camping offers a total sensory experience, where the journey is as important as the destination. It’s like backpacking by bike; you carry your camping gear with you on your bicycle. With this adventure, we offer families - beginners and experts alike - an opportunity to experience bike camping beyond the city.


These rides usually have a 1:3 guide to participant ratio to ensure a safe and smooth experience. Guides will have a bike tool kit, an air pump, a presta/schrader valve adapter, tire lever, chain breaker, and a crescent wrench (for those older bikes), a multi-toolkit, lights, and an emergency packet. Our guides will help you with any needed repairs. *If you have any of the above items please bring them along at your own convenience.

Our guides work with historians, biologists, forest rangers, and leading people in their fields to deliver a one-of-a-kind story to remember. They have setup multiple break points along the way in all the right places to ensure we get proper breaks and don't push too hard. If this is your first time out on a long ride, you’ll be surprised by how far you can go when you take some breaks.


How much are tickets?

  • $30 for everything. All youth rides are run under cost and funded by our other events and fundraisers.

What’s included in the registration?

  • One night group tent campsite rental, ride marshals, food for all meals from departunre on Saturday morning to Lunch on Sunday. Guided activities, trip planning, firewood, and s’mores.

  • We provide the 2 person tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pad, and rain jacket.

Tell me more about food.

  • The guides will prepare a hearty, tasty camp dinners (veggie options available for vegetarians) and camp snacks like those irresistable s'mores.

How do I get to the start point if I don’t live nearby?

  • It’s up to you to get to the start point however you can. A few options: 1) Get dropped off 2)Take the closest CTA train to get to the start point 3) Ride your bike.

Do I need to bring my own tent and sleeping gear?

  • NO! Check out a sample packing list here for personal gear but standard camp gear - Tent, Sleeping Bag, and Sleeping Pad - will be provided. We’ll cover how to pack the gear on the bike during the mandatory bike camping clinic on the Wednesday night before the ride.

Do you transport the tent and camping gear to the destination?

  • No. There is a support vehicle but only for emergencies and not to lighten our load. Participants transport themselves, plus tent and gear to the campsite on their bike. That’s what makes it bike camping! Please pack lightly and consider that you have to load it all on your bike solidly.

What happens if it rains, is the event cancelled?

  • No. We will make every effort to put the event on and would only cancel in the event of biblical extreme weather or the zombie apocalypse (in which case, we’d all be furiously peddling with the other bike-powered preppers anyway). We strongly suggest you bring rain gear and if it looks like rain, garbage bags double wrapped over your gear with some tape where necessary can good-enough waterproof almost anything.

What kind of bike do I need?

  • Anything that fits you, is in pretty a good mechanical state, and can support a rack.

What happens if my bike breaks?

  • We are here to help and have dedicated ride marshals in the group who will make simple repairs and help you out in any type of breakdown in order to get you rolling again.

  • This is frontcountry camping, which means we’re never that far from a bike shop if things get serious.

  • There will be a support vehicle if bike is beyond on the trail repair.

What happens if I’m too slow ?

  • We never leave a rider left behind! If you can keep pedaling and have a positive attitude, you will make it. Plus, we ride slowly, usually around 8-12 mph.

  • If you just can't complete the ride, opt out options include Metra, CTA, phone a friend, and OOFD support vehicle.

Are there other rides?

  • Yes! For 2019, there will be a longer one to the Indiana Dunes in August

  • Shorter free day rides called Where the Wild Things Grow will occur once a month during the summer

How fun is it riding with other folks?

  • Adventures create memories that last a lifetime so be prepared to have some fun and feel those warm communal vibes along the route and around that campfire.

What's the start point?

  • Blackstone?


Individual/Participant Cancellations: No Refunds. No Transfers. | We are a small organization and due to the small group size of our rides, a ticket cancellation/no show has a real impact into the planning of the tour and as such, we cannot provide any refunds for a participant cancellation. By registering you acknowledge and agree there will not be a refund if you cancel or do not show up for the event. Tickets are non-transferable and can not be resold. Please contact the ride organizer if you are no longer able to attend.

Organizer Cancellation: Full Refund | Nobody wants an event to be cancelled. But in the very rare case the organizer does cancel the event at their discretion due to unforeseen circumstances, then registered participants will receive a full refund. To date this organizer has never cancelled an event.

Weather and Rain: We do not cancel an event for rain or a storm. We ride rain or shine. Understand that Chicago weather is typically passing, if it gets intense we will wait it out in a provided shelter then continue biking. FYI-Some of the best views and greenery are after a rain storm.


We are The Out Our Front Door Organization.

We Immerse and Educate in local History and Nature.

We are a Bike Camping Community For The Lower Lake Michigan Basin.

See Our Full Schedule Of Events Here

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Blackstone Bikes

6100 S. Blackstone

Chicago, IL 60637

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Refund Policy

No Refunds

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