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Old 06-01-05, 11:43 AM   #1
billwatson58
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Chicago's Bike The Drive - a few observations

This past Sunday morning was Bike The Drive in Chicago for 18,000 cyclists where Lake Shore Drive is closed to cagers. It was a great weather for a ride along the lakefront. Here are some observations... I was working at a repair station and not riding.

A wonderful array of cyclists and bikes....all shapes and sizes. Road bikes, mountain bikes, comfort bikes, bents, tandems, tandem bents, new bikes, old bikes, Rat Patrol bikes, tall bikes, bikes with kid trailers.

Lots of mountain bikes, yet no mountains. I know these are comfortable bikes for the masses, but I really believe people would do better with a road bike on a ride like this.

Lots of people showing up with 20lbs of pressure in their tires who said "I think I need a little air". 40lbs or more later and they were happy and sent on their way.

People who had 40-50lbs and needed more who said "I think I have enough, but can you check it?" They were using the squeeze method in determining they thought they had enough air.

A really sad case was a couple who had just bought a couple of bikes from SprawlMart - the brakes and shifting were out of adjustment and the wheels were rubbing against the breaks - what a pile of +$%# !! I felt bad for them. We were able to get them rideable, but they planned to return them after I talked them about getting decent bikes, and that you get what you pay for.

And the topper....as I was leaving and riding through downtown, I saw several groups of suburban roofrackers who were walking their bikes on the sidewalk back to their cars. As an urban cyclist, this really blew me away. They desperately need to take Chicago Bike Fed course on how to ride in traffic. Maybe some of them had sore bums, but I think most of them were afraid to ride on the streets.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:51 PM   #2
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Only 18,000. tsk tsk

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Old 06-09-05, 07:15 PM   #3
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My 7 year old and I rode back to our car ... albeit on the sidewalk ... for her benefit (and safety). I was shocked at the numbers of bikers on the sidewalks who did not have kids in their groups! I also was surprised at the high numbers of knobby-tred MTBs there on that beautiful asphalt ride. I rode my commuter with 26" wheels (strikes a slower pace), but the tread was pretty smooth in honor of the day.

But my biggest shock of the day was the comfort bike crowd ... and I mean crowd. There were tons of people on some version of a comfort bike or another. My definition is really "sitting bolt upright" and riding with only barely (at best) full leg extension. Wow, there were swarms of such riders. Many on xmart MTBs, if they can be called MTBs ... some on hybrids that have more street potential ... but all set up in that "anyone's butt is going to get very sore" complete upright posture. I didn't know all those riders existed here.

Hey ... wasn't the weather perfect?!!!! And it was just awesome to be on that road with just the smooth sounds of bike drivetrains. Very neat. It also reminded how easy it is to ride far on really nice pavement with almost no stops.

Come along next year and bring a friend.
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Old 06-21-05, 09:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billwatson58
A wonderful array of cyclists and bikes....all shapes and sizes. Road bikes, mountain bikes, comfort bikes, bents, tandems, tandem bents, new bikes, old bikes, Rat Patrol bikes, tall bikes, bikes with kid trailers.
--- Thanks for a great post. Seems to me that a wide diversity of bicycles on the road will help encourage non-cyclists to take up the wheel. It sends the message that anybody and everybody who can ride safely is welcome.
They won't think they have to be just one certain type of person.
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Old 06-22-05, 12:11 PM   #5
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Aside from the issue of whether anyone would want to ride it or not - is Lake Shore Drive normally legally open to cyclists or not?
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Old 06-22-05, 03:16 PM   #6
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I guess you can't haul ass on that ride. Dang.
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Old 06-22-05, 03:38 PM   #7
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Aside from the issue of whether anyone would want to ride it or not - is Lake Shore Drive normally legally open to cyclists or not?
Nope. No cyclists allowed on LSD, and it's enforced.

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