August 1, 2011

First Bike Ride of the Year

So a year or two ago while out to dinner Jason and I saw a bunch of bikers riding along Wells who pretty much took over the roads. After doing some research we learned that it was the "Critical Mass" ride which is the last Friday of every month. It's basically a ride that bikers and other non-motorized forms of transportation take over the roads beginning downtown at Daley Plaza and continue throughout the city neighborhoods. I knew if we didn't put it in our calendar, it wouldn't happen so we did and this past Friday was the time to join up with the other riders.

I have no idea how many people were there, but there were a lot. (maybe 2,000?) We rode all through Chicago by Merchandise Mart, then up Milwaukee west on Division up Damen to North then back south on Western then back towatd the city on Roosevelt. After Roosevelt we headed south on Halsted then down Lake to Wacker and the headed back north on Michigan. Once we were on Michigan, I felt like we either lost half the group or somehow just got seperated. Somehow we got off Michigan then back down Division to Clybourn, up Racine, left on Belmont to Lincoln to Ravenswood then right on Sunnyside to cut over on some side road to Wilson and ended at Montrose Beach. What a fun ride!

I was most shocked at how angry drivers got. Of course I expected some really mad people (who wants to be stopped while hundreds of bikers take over the road?!) but I had no idea how mad many people would get! We saw plenty of thrown punches and swearing. At the same time, there were way more smiles and lots of people waving, laughing and picture taking.

By the time we got home from the beach, Jason and I had rode for about 28 miles. Not too bad for our first bike ride of the season! Needless to say, our butts were just a bit sore on Saturday! I'm so glad we did this since I've been wanting to since the day we saw it riding down Wells. Is there really any better way to see the city and many of it's neighborhoods from the roads on a bike? I guess it's the closest I'll get since I never got to run the marathon. :)

We did it!
(I took about 100 pictures but thought I'd share just a few!)

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie, if you have a chance before you leave for Colorado, try the north shore bike path that goes through mostly forest preserves in the North Suburbs. It starts at Caldwell and Devon, about a block away from the Edgewater Metra station. It concludes at the Botanic Gardens - you can enter the Gardens at the south side and ride through there too. I used to ride this path all the time when I lived in Morton Grove years ago. It's really beautiful and shady much of the way so you don't end up with a nasty sunburn.
    If you're really adventurous, you can continue onto to another path that starts up near Ravinia and heads further north. I continued down that path once and ended up at Waukegan and Rockland Road when I decided it might be in the best interest of my tookus to turn around and head back.

    Have fun on the paths!

    Rob Wick