Warm Sunday mornings usually find Bob Huffman riding his bicycle from his Munster home to the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Merrillville, to meet his wife, Chris, for breakfast.
Chris drives to the location.
The trip is 14 miles each way, along a route Huffman learned in his 40 years experience as a bicyclist in Northwest Indiana, starting when dedicated bike trails were few and far between.
Even now, Huffman must connect the dots between paved trails and on-street routes.
How does he do it?
Starting out from Stewart Park in Munster, Huffman takes local streets, some with dedicated bike lanes, through Munster and Highland to 41st Street, following it east until it connects with the Erie Lackawanna bike trail, a 17-mile paved path between Crown Point and downtown Hammond.
Huffman follows the Erie Lackawanna southeast to Colfax Street in Griffith, and from there, heads to the entrance of the Oak Ridge Prairie Park. A mile ride east through the park gets him to the Oak Savannah Trail, an east-west paved path from Griffith to the Porter County line.
Huffman gets off the Oak Savannah Trail at Broadway in Merrillville, and rides south along Broadway to 61st Avenue. He crosses east on the 61st Avenue bridge over Interstate 65, arriving at the Opportunity Lane entrance to Cracker Barrel.
The ride takes about one hour and 15 minutes.