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Old 08-23-10, 06:59 PM   #1
lexm
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Lakefront bike path during early PM commute: taken in Strida

Long, frustrating day finalizing a syllabus with the help (or was it hindrance?) of the Harvard Business Publishing website. About 4.30p, I don helmet and gloves and wheel the Strida LT out the door, down the hall, into the elevator, and out to the loading dock.

"Where's the other wheel?" asks the plumbing contractor. I slap the left handlebar and quickly snap everything together. "That's really cool! How much they run?" "About six-hundred."

Down the block, left on Lower Wabash, left on Lower Kinzie, right on Lower Michigan, across the river, and right briefly on the sidewalk of Lower Wacker.* I carry the Strida down several steps and onto one of those paths the city, in its infinite wisdom, has designated both a bike path and a pedestrian path - in other words, it might as well be a pedestrian path. But this particular path is on the south bank of the Chicago River and it's a beautiful, 80-degree day (about 26 degrees celsius, if my math's correct), so I can put up with tourists walking seven-abreast and obstructing all else.

[* All these streets are "Lower" because they are below the named streets. It's like a city under a city.]

After a half-mile, pedestrian-paced crawl, the "real" lakefront bike path opens up before me. I head south, past boats and geese on my left and Lake Shore Drive commuters on my right. Lance-in-the-pants lycra jockeys go whizzing by me. I maintain a stately pace , my inner Sir Mix-a-Lot enjoying the high proportion of women walkers and runners who got back. (Being fully in touch with my inner Sir Mix-a-Lot, I married a woman who's got back. But I digress.)

Human perversity (or is it brain damage?) is on display for all to see: A pedestrian path right on the water is invaded by cyclists; the bike path is similarly invaded by pedestrians. These paths are no more than 30 feet from one another. Down the hill, approaching the Shedd Aquarium, a little boy smiles and points, "Look at that guy!" I'm just starting to smile in response when I notice a Toyota Prius coming right at me, taking up both (northbound, southbound) bike lanes. This must be the Parks Dept's idea of a joke: an official automobile running the bikes off the bike path, but it's okay because, after all, it's a Prius and just so environmentally sound - unlike, say, a bike.

Around the Shedd and up a small hill, I approach a small cluster of 12-ish boys on Mongoose bikes. "Wanna trade?" one asks. About to respond, my inner Sir Mix-a-Lot starts repeating "little in the middle but she's got much back" - louder and louder. The source of this diversion is a sista on foot in Under Armour compression shorts. Damn! ("Red beans and rice didn't miss her!")

Maintaining my balance, I make it safely to Soldier Field and begin my return, catching aforesaid sista from the other side. On the way back, I discover that there is fellow feeling between riders of folders and recumbents here in the City of Big Shoulders. In addition to receiving a friendly wave from a guy on a Dahon (riding on the pedestrian path ), two recumbent riders (on the bike path ) are similarly enthused by my presence.

Box score: 6 miles, 2 enthusiastic children, 3 riders-in-solidarity, 3 head-bang-worthy episodes, 1 sista-I-can't-resist-her, blood glucose of 98 upon my return.

Next time, I'll bring a camera and post to the pootling thread.
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Old 08-23-10, 11:15 PM   #2
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Wonderful trip report. You're a good writer.

You no doubt also realized that you can't be a Strida owner and be an introvert. Just wouldn't work.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:03 AM   #3
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Wonderful trip report. You're a good writer.

You no doubt also realized that you can't be a Strida owner and be an introvert. Just wouldn't work.
Thank you, Mr Crunch. That you read my trip report is a high honor - because I want to be you when I grow up, of course.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:59 AM   #4
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Great Stuff! Very modern Hemingway. Hmmm, "For Whom the Strida Trolls"?
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Old 08-24-10, 08:57 AM   #5
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Wow! It's a good thing you weren't wearing Bermuda shorts, .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................
...........You could have disappeared in/on the 'Bermuda Triangle'


Boom Tish! I thank you!

(I know, we fellow 'St-riders' should all 'belt-up'!)
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Old 08-24-10, 09:24 AM   #6
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Astride his Strida
eyeing the chicks
a lone quirky rider
his bike full of tricks!
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Old 08-24-10, 09:28 AM   #7
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Thank you, Mr Crunch. That you read my trip report is a high honor - because I want to be you when I grow up, of course.

You mean you want his precious collection of bikes as opposed to becoming his clone lol? I'm happy to help you steal them as long as I can have his blue & gold creation! Why wait to be older? Let's relieve him of them now!
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Old 08-24-10, 10:17 AM   #8
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You mean you want his precious collection of bikes as opposed to becoming his clone lol? I'm happy to help you steal them as long as I can have his blue & gold creation! Why wait to be older? Let's relieve him of them now!


No, I actually want to emulate Mr Crunch. I like the way he rolls.
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Old 08-24-10, 11:11 AM   #9
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Jolly good show ol' chap! That was a fun read. You just need a few snapshots to round out the narrative.
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Old 08-24-10, 12:46 PM   #10
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Hey lexm, could you also post your stories here?
http://www.stridaforum.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=3

Thanks!
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Old 08-24-10, 12:54 PM   #11
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No, I actually want to emulate Mr Crunch. I like the way he rolls.
Thereby proving the old adage that you can fool some of the people some of the time.

Mr. Mulleady, the Irish limerick extraordinaire, having met me previously, falls into the other camp who can't be as readily deceived.
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Old 08-24-10, 01:09 PM   #12
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Hey lexm, could you also post your stories here?
http://www.stridaforum.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=3

Thanks!
For the man who assured me I could ride a Strida even at 104kg...anything.

Done!
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Old 08-24-10, 01:31 PM   #13
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For the man who assured me I could ride a Strida even at 104kg...anything.

Done!
Thank you very much!
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Old 08-24-10, 02:09 PM   #14
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Tis a very interesting read and yeah I can vouch for any strida owner when you ride downtown alot of people look at you like some kinda of wacked alien or something but some smile and ask where in the world did you get that contraption?! funny stuff though, but very fun to ride cause of the twitchiness. And like sesame said do not own one if you really don't like to talk to people. Heck do not own ANY folding bike cause those in general makes people stare I find! Even something as simple as my wifes dahon jack while waiting for the cars to pass they asked if that thing folds cause they saw the mechanism in the middle of the bike and looked at it quizzically.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chop! View Post
Wow! It's a good thing you weren't wearing Bermuda shorts, .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................
...........You could have disappeared in/on the 'Bermuda Triangle'


Boom Tish! I thank you!

(I know, we fellow 'St-riders' should all 'belt-up'!)
And it is an honor to draw comment from the mad Welshman, from whom I learned so much as a lurker in the days leading up to my Strida purchase.
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