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Friday, June 29, 2012

Chicago Critical Mass June 2012

I initially wasn't sure if I would be making it to this months critical mass ride due to some dodgy weather in the area. But the radar played in my favor this time. So I loaded up the bike into the car for a nice ride right past the train station and to a nice parking place a couple of miles from downtown.
Pedestrian in Kinzie Avenue dedicated bike lane.
Kinzie Avenue dedicated bike lane.
Cyclists gathering at Daley Plaza.
More cyclist gathering.
Talked to this guy briefly at the end of the ride. This was his first critical mass ride.
Cyclists milling about.
Guy messing with his air horn.
A recumbent in the background.
More cyclist gathering.
The plaza is starting to fill up.
Cyclists resting around the sculpture.
More cyclists.
An interesting recumbent. This guy calls it Peters Gyrator.
Guy with a Brompton folding bike. Nice compact bike!
When are we gonna start?
Everyone on the road!
The plaza emptying out.
Not many bikes left in the plaza.
This guy looking at the camera and pointing to his right is pointing to a car that the driver abandoned right where it got stuck in the midst of us! Haha!
Another bridge...MAKE SOME NOISE!
Caught the light just right.
Next to the river.
A better shot of the bridge.
The Mass is turning onto the bridge.
Inevitably someone always loses an innertube going over this bridge. And today was no exception. I heard the hiss of someones tired innertube just as we were reaching the far side of the bridge. This bridge is NOT very bicycle friendly. I was certain that MY bike would spring a leak as we meandered over the bridge.
Is that the drinking tube for a  dromedary bag that I see?
At the end of the ride nearing Roosevelt and Halsted.
The ride was pretty good at the beginning. But only once did I see the head of the group stop to mass up. And somewhere in the middle of the ride I found the pack thinning out and I was increasingly coming closer to getting cut off from the rest of the pack that was racing ahead. When space opens up between the riders eventually the traffic will start to inch into the intersection and then the mass has been effectively split. I found myself having to pedal like hell so that i didn't get left behind and before I knew it I was in a small pack of riders for the rest of the ride. The majority of the group of thousands of bikers had been left behind. So after we reached Roosevelt and Halsted, I turned North as the small group turned South. The ride back to the car was uneventful. Overall it was a good ride. But I couldn't help but wonder what happened to the rest of the mass ride and where they ended up going.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bike commute

I didn't get any bike mileage in over the weekend due to other obligations. But on Friday I DID get in my first bike commute to work for this year. It is 20.1 miles one way. I get the pleasure of taking the FRT and IPP trails for about ninety percent of the commute.
No bike to work today due to sixty percent chance of rain. Not sure how two hundred miles a week is going to work out. I am thinking that something more like 2-3 bike commutes a week will be a bit more realistic. Starting to sprinkle on me now right as I blog. Until later on.....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To Crystal Lake and back

I got an early start biking after my commute home. I managed to get in 21 miles between Carpentersville and Crystal Lake on the FRT. Here is a few pictures I took from the bridge over the Fox River.
I deeply egret not having gotten closer to take this picture.
At this distance on my Iphone camera, a Blue Heron
becomes a hue blur on my screen.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Okay. So I have been dragging my feet a bit and have not imported my Bike The Drive pictures to my computer yet. That's kinda why I haven't blogged this last week at all. So I decided to just do some other blogging until I get those loaded to the computer. I decided to look for a new pair of folding pedals this year. Last year on my Grand Illinois Trail trip, I got all of about 200 miles on the last set of folding pedals I had. Then the bearing surfaces got filled with trail grit and the pedals would randomly start turning with the chain and crank arm. Extremely annoying! Especially when you are trying to climb a hill!
I got the pedals in order to make my Montague folding bike a bit thinner when it is stuffed into the bike bag. So I have learned my lesson about going with the el cheapo model.
      I bought these new pedals for $55 at Main Street Bicycles in Carpentersville, Ill.
MKS folding pedals box.
MKS folding pedals.
I will attach these pedals to my bike this week sometime and start testing them then.I have also recently purchased a Schwinn soft medium saddle with the junk protector slot in the middle of the seat. I attached that before todays ride. I seemed to work well. More to follow in the future on that. Below are some pictures I took with my Iphone camera. Each picture has an American Bald Eagle in the frame somewhere. Sure wish I had taken my digital camera with.
American Bald Eagle.
Bike riders on Fox River Trail stopped and staring at Bald Eagle.
Bald Eagle has moved to other side of Fox River on top of dead tree.
American Bald Eagle on branch in middle of Fox River.
The Bald Eagle started out on a limb of a tree in the center of the river. He eventually got unnerved by the presence of so many humans and their starting at him, that he finally got up from his perch and swooped by us to get a closer look and then went to this dead tree on the other side of the River. After he landed on the top of the dead tree local small birds started to harrass him as he sat there.
     I managed to get in 30 miles on the bike today. I will add a map of my workout route from Map My Ride a little bit later.