Bicycling adrenaline-junkie crack, with heart. Who would think being a bicycle messenger could be so cool and exciting? 8/10
|Last week, the USA Pro Challenge
bike race passed within 20 feet of our Colorado headquarters. A few
days later, our community is still buzzing from the historic event, and
pro bike racing remains on our minds. |
While safe roads matter to everyone on a bike, professional cyclists spend more time on them than almost anyone. These talented, world-class athletes may seem super-human at times, but they are human like any of us—vulnerable on the open road.
In our new video, Vulnerable on the Open Road, five professional U.S. cyclists reflect on their experiences with bicycle safety. The riders share their visions for better bicycling conditions and lessons for safer motorist-bicyclist interactions.
Even though these riders are the top 1% of bicyclists, their advice—slow down, be aware, don't blow through red lights, build more infrastructure, get more people riding—applies to anyone who likes to enjoy the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
Take a moment to listen to their experiences and, next time you ride (or drive), carry their advice out on the road with you.
The PeopleForBikes.org crew
...Because you can chain them to one in the abscense of a bike rack?
Another Juicy-O breakfast ride, bacon-avocado omelette with tomato & onion, coffee, no toast.
The infamous Beacon Hill looking North (with Coca-Cola truck) and South.
And of course, a bicyclist's view of Juicy-O.
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I had the Connie out on the prairie path with my 2nd-oldest and best friend, Luis.
We rode a mile North on Ardmore to the rail-trail in Villa Park, then West to Wheaton.
At Wheaton, we headed South to Danada Square, the had lunch at Whole Foods.
After lunch, we went South & West through Danada forest preserve to Herrick Lake, then West to Saint James forest preserve.
After St. James, we rode North back to Wheaton, then home.
I'm beat but happy.
I took a ride over to Juicy-O about 1pm thos afternoon for a late breakfast. They close at 3:30pm.
I swear, at almost every driveway and side-street crossing along the way, there were completely oblivious smogger drivers who were turning without looking. Even though these people are crossing a bike path, they just don't look.
Beacon Hill was still a good, solid workout both directions.
I had a spinach and feta cheese omelette with tomato, onion, and avocado, side of fruit, (canteloupe and honey dew) no potatoes, toast, or pancakes, and un-sweetened coffee with half-and-half.
For some reason, it took about 30 minutes for the omelette to get to the table after ordering, which is unusual.
Still, the food was good and healthy, the weather was beautiful, and I feel great after a good, hard ride. Now I'm fresh off the shower and ready for the rest of my vacation day.
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Well, I wear a Nutcase-brand "Airmail" bike helmet, and I love trying to fly my very own Continental...(Continentals were one of the last, largest, and best propeller-driven civilian airliners for you non-airplane buffs)
So anyway, I started my adventure this morning when I went to get the Connie out of our condo building's (VERY FULL) bicycle storage room. (I can't keep her up here, there's three of us in 1,200 square feet.)
Someone bought a brand-new tricycle and decided to park it chained to a building gas line right in front of where I've been parking the Connie for three years now. This has made it so that the only way I can get the Connie out is to hoist it over the three-wheeled behemoth. I also have it on very good authority that the trike owner is in excellent physical condition with no obserbable disabilities. They jusy want and adult trike - and are damn rude about it. The attached pics show the result. The Connie is immediately left of the trike in the photos.
Once I got the Connie out, I decided to see if there was a good bike path from the condo tower where I live to the Oak Brook Center Mall. From now on, I will be calling all such nearly car-free bike routes The Bicycle Way. (And of course bike culture in general) I took off on the Connie determined to search out a new leg of The Bicycle Way that goes to Oak Brook Center, but with a side errand enroute.
I took the cut-through behind the Automobile Trade Association building, (Ah, the delicious irony!) and turned left onto Trans Am Way. I went through the office complex to The Road To Nowhere, and took that to the dirt path to the paved bike path between Ardmore and Butterfield. I then took Ardmore to 16th Street, and rode 16th toward Summit.
Along 16th, there is a sign shop. I stopped in and spoke to Joe at the sign shop. It turns out they can make four copies of the Schwinn Continental decals for around $120.00, and within about two days of me dropping them off. I'm thinking two paychecks out. Hurrah! I can get the Connie painted this Winter!
After talking to Joe, I took 16th to Summit, and then took a right on Summit to my next left. I don't know the name of that road, but suffice it to say that I was able to wind my way through this little subdivision to Hodges Road, which comes out at a stoplight immediately across Highway 83 from Oak Brook Center. Drat the luck, there are no pedestrian signals there. Clearly, my Connie has nowhere near enough weight to trigger the pressure pads under the concrete at the white line at the stoplight, so I'm never going to get a green light to cross Hwy 83 until a car going the same direction I am comes along. Hodges is very lightly traveled, the ligjt is more for the benefit of gas vehicles (Smoggers in my lingo) exiting the mall. I decided to save "how to cross to the mall" for another day or an appeal to Oak Brook Terrace's Park District for pedestrian signals. Highway 83 is four six lanes of 55 MPH sudden-death at that crossing. The exursion for today had been more about extending The Bicycle Way to the mall perimeter, rather than actually going to the mall this morning. At this point, I turned around and started back. It was just then that I spied what had been obscured by weeping willow trees going toward the mall.
There was a small park entrance along the South side of Hodges just before it meets Hwy 83. I turned in and saw a typical Western-Chicago suburban park centered on an industrial park retention pond, with swingsets and the new type of plastic toddlers' fort-slide, with benches and a crushed gravel bike/foot path around the perimeter.
I turned onto the gravel and started pedaling, expecting a scenic diversion around the pond. However, before I made it a third of the way around, I discovered a fork in the path going off to the right between two wood-fenced back yards. I followed the trail along, and it forked again a little ways down. I turned right at this fork also, as it went nore the direction of home.
The second fork went over a wooden footbridge crossing a tiny creek, and became a crushed red gravel path (vs. crushed limestone) ending at a small meditation garden complete with foyntain along Macarthur Drive. (Funny, I was just listening to Donna Summer sing MacArthur Park yesterday morning)
I took Macarthur right, and wound up at a stoplight across Butterfield from a paved bike path that I knew would get me back to The Road To Nowhere. I had successfully extended The Bicycle Way.
Now, if you were confused with my directiins above, I don't blame you. I have an idea to do a drastically better version of bicycle routes. I'll save that for another post, however. It will be titled, of course, "The Bicycle Way". Look for it soon.