Little Egypt and I drove up to Chicago for a convention this late June. I am not a big fan of conventions, especially when it comes to my profession (librarians) because mostly I find the people to be old-school, frumpy techno-phobes; aging white ladies with five cats at home. There's a lot happening in libraries and its in the vein of technology - that excludes about 90 percent of the whole lot of them.
I just wanted to eat Chicago Style, drink beer, and take in the city. I brought the Super Grand Prix, and off went the wife to the conference, and I hopped on the bike and headed straight for the Lake Shore Bike and Running Path!
It was the first sunny warm day Chicago had had in many weeks, mes amis! Thousands of people were out enjoying the sunshine! The beaches were alive with fun and laughter, and the blue water crashed over the Lake Shore in waves!
I rode north, up to about Evanston, or thereabouts - the bike path kind of ran its course, and I was afraid I may not be able to find my way back because streets went one-way. People were friendly and I got directions to get back on the path. People drive very fast and I think you just take you life in your own hands if you bike the streets. Driving our car was crazy too because people sped and weaved in and out of traffic.
Walking to dinner, a lady grabbed me and pulled me back just as I was about to cross the street - a taxi driver ran a red light and was not going to stop for me. I gave that lady a big smile and thanked her; she saved my life. She said to be careful because drivers will run you down and think nothing of it!
I used to know this as the Sears Tower, but I believe its called the Hancock Tower now. So I rode about ten or twelve miles north, and then came back down. I couldn't really ride very fast because there we so many people.
I won't run over children and old people, but I saw the roadies speed through people with total disregard. I found that very annoying. I got a feeling that cyclists, especially roadies, were held in contempt by most Chicago people. They rode, at top speed, through crowds, I suppose they expected people to get out of their way - so when I was polite, and rode next to people and said hello and was friendly - they would right away ask where I was from because they knew I wasn't a local asshole cyclist.
Again, guys used to do this in Tucson on the bike path. Old people walking their dogs, and families with kids - and here comes the roadie ripping through like he owned the place. If you want to ride so fast - go out on the road - have a little respect.
On the Lake Shore Path, people would see me and they would jump in fear, because they were used to almost getting run down by those blokes!
A friendly "Good Morning" and a polite wave and smile goes a long way! People in Chicago were very friendly and helpful, when you're polite. I stopped suits, black kids, Mexican street vendors, etc to ask for directions, and always everyone was happy to help me.
Lake Shore was too crowded, so I took off through the streets of Chicago to go exploring! Now that was a thrill, mes amis! You can go anywhere quickly - and oh the sites!
This was an eerie spot because here in 1915 over 800 people perished when their company chartered ship suddenly capsized just as it was taking off from the landing. It was to be an all employee July picnic with families - an eye-witness account was on a plaque nearby - to see suddenly hundreds of people drown in an instant to me is unthinkable! The ship just rolled over with little warning.
Thanks for stopping by the blog! I want to say thanks to anybody from Chicago that reads my blog - good people. I was impressed and want to go back soon!