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  1. #1
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    New member from NW suburban Chicago

    Hi all,

    I've been lurking (and learning) here for a while, and figured it was about time to finally register.

    I guess I've basically been riding my whole life, generally to get from here to there, while just occasionally riding for the sake of riding. But it was only relatively recently (two years ago, when I began commuting to work) that I really discovered that biking was still a "strange" enough thing for communities and support groups like this to be formed around it.

    I just got a new (well, 2001) Cannondale T800 a couple weeks ago. I intend to use it as my summer commuter, as well as a long distance tourer. I'm planning on riding to Atlanta and back in September, so now I'm busy collecting all the "stuff" I'll need for it (it'll be my first attempt at a trip like that).

    My other bike is a Specialized Crossroads hybrid (several years old, before they turned that into their comfort/cruiser line). It's currently in a million pieces as I'm doing a complete overhaul to make up for a total lack of care and overabundance of abuse given to it while communting through two salty winters.

    I remember when I first starting reading these forums, I saw that a lot of people owned more than one bike, and that was a concept I'd never even considered. Why would anyone ever need more than one bike?!? Well, I've reached the point where I have more than one (and worse, it now seems perfectly normal!), so that's probably why I finally went ahead and registered....now I'm just as much of a dork as everyone else here!

    Neil

  2. #2
    Senior Member Repp5's Avatar
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    Hi Neil-

    Question about Chicago- do you commute year round?

    I'm looking at grad school next year either in Chicago or Seattle, and ithe biking is a consideration. I'm used to cold and snow (from Buffalo, NY) but what I don't know is how well they move the snow out of the way in Chicago.

    Repp

  3. #3
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    NW Suburban Chicago meaning ??

    Used to live in Mundelein

  4. #4
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Repp5
    Hi Neil-

    Question about Chicago- do you commute year round?
    Yep, I basically ride through the winter, although I generally wimp out and take the car for a day or two during/after a major snowfall.

    I'm way out in the suburbs though, so snow removal here has nothing to do with snow removal in the city proper. However, it seems to be very good in both places. My brother lives in the city and commuted through this winter (to grad school as well), and I don't believe he ever had major problems with the snow. I think ever since the Chicago mayoral election was partially decided on the issue of snow removal in '79, it's been a pretty big priority for the city.

    Chicago is known to be a very bike-friendly city (the mayor is an avid biker), so provided you're prepared for the general issues of winter commuting, I'm sure you'd have no trouble in Chicago.

    Chicago Snow and Ice Control

  5. #5
    Senior Member Neil G.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by DnvrFox
    NW Suburban Chicago meaning ??

    Used to live in Mundelein
    Meaning Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates, so a lot less North and slightly more West. I guess maybe I should have said "NW Cook County", since as you point out, there are still quite a few suburbs farther north and west of where I am!

    I rode from Schaumburg to Milwaukee last summer, and that route took me right through Mundelein. Seemed like a nice area.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Repp5's Avatar
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    How far (in miles and minutes) is if from Lincoln Park to Univ. of Chicago?

  7. #7
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    University of Chicago is at 59th Street (5900 South) and Lincoln Park generally starts about 1600 North and goes as far north as about 3400 North or so. Your answer-

    It depends on where you are in Lincoln Park!

    If I were riding south to University of Chicago, I could take State Street pretty far south, then maybe jump onto Dorchester- it's not that hard to figure out how to get there. Figure that Chicago has 8 blocks to a mile, and if you know what hundred north and what hundred west you are, and you have your address, you can figure out the mileage, and since you know how fast of a rider you are, you can pretty accurately guess how long it will take to get there.

    With an accurate address in Lincoln Park, you can just enter the addresses in at mapquest and get the accurate mileage.

    By the way, I rode all winter long- I took the train about 2 times, and both times were at night when the wind chill was so cold I couldn't safely ride in that kind of cold without suffering some kind of health problem. I just chucked my bike on the train (not allowed M- Fri during rush hours- check www.yourcta.com for the times) and rode the train back downtown, then rode my bike home. One of those times, I could have ridden, but someone stole one of my warmth layers, and I just couldn't make the ride home- it was something like 7 miles in stop and go traffic, and I wasn't feeling like it was worth it to try. Chicago is very good when it comes to snow. 98% of the time, when it snows, the snow trucks are out that night removing the snow off the sidewalks and streets, and by morning, it looks like it's never snowed! BUT the downside is that the good service they give the rich folks and yuppies north of 12th Street is a bit slower when you start heading over to the southside of Chicago. Poorer neighborhoods are often last on the list, and side streets are often overlooked until the major streets are cleaned off. Stick to the main streets and you should be ok.

    I will continue to ride in the winters. At the end of the day, it toughened me up pretty good and gave me a unique experience that I enjoyed.

    Welcome to the forum! Glad you came out of hiding!

    Koffee

  8. #8
    Senior Member Repp5's Avatar
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    Thanks for the informative post Koffee! Sorry to 'jack your thread Neil.

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