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  1. #1
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    NEW INFO AND UPDATES AS THEY HAPPEN AT THE WEBSITE AS WELL AS THIS THREAD:

    http://bffg.absenter.org

    As some of you may know, there's another thread going in which some of us called out, perhaps half-jokingly, half-seriously to have a BF FG Meat N' Greet. In return, I suggested that we do it in Chicago -- central to most of the coasts and for some a long haul of a drive away and for others a hop on a plane and fly on down.

    So, I'm calling to make this serious and the DCC (Dirty Chicago Crew) has rallied to organize as much as we can and help people get into town so we can have a little face time with each other and ride in person with some fellow members.

    So let's try to do this annually even, with a different city hosting each year. We're throwing down this year with some riding, tracking, alleycat-ing, pub-crawlin', vegan/veggie/meat-eatin' and general fixed gear ridin'.

    When: the second weekend of November, 11-13 (Fri-Sun) 2005
    Where: Chicago, city of big shoulders, Illinois
    What: fixed gear city ridin', velo ridin', alleycat racin', fine beverage drinkin' and fine dinin', sleepin', laughin' and more.


    Tentative Itinerary:

    Fri/Sat morn: peeps arrive.

    Saturday:

    Breakfast and gathering of people. Meet n' greet, hugs, firm handshakes and a slap on the back. Or in 165's case a face punch if he's feeling nice. Come collect!

    Checkpoint alleycat (to be organized by the DCC and announced) / velo racin'. To be determined, decided.

    Congregation and relaxation. Dinner, and a pub/bar crawl around the city. More ridin'.

    Sleep.


    Sunday:

    Brunch, gathering, ridin' and more eatin' and drinkin'. Keep it lowkey, keep it fun. Savour the last moments before those that have to go, go.

    ---

    Some of you might want to come in a day early (Fri) and/or stay a day late (leave Monday). I'm sure we can work it out.

    -------------------

    Please respond to this post in whether you can make it, or if you're down or such. It'd be great to ride with fellow forum members in person and put our differences aside and just hang out.

    We can also finally put the IRO vs. Pista vs. Langster argument into a full-on all forum bar room brawl or we can get all emo and cry together. Your call.

    -------------------

    As for accomodations: post if you'd like to have a space or really need one or such. It'll probably be a little disorganized as we work out logistics but we'll try to be as accomodating as we can.

    -------------------

    I'll keep updating this thread with info and responses to questions and so on and so forth as time goes by. Hopefully we can make this work. Even if only 5 people show up, it'd be hella fun.



    And now, on to some resources --


    How to get here:

    Plane, train or automobile. For those closer to Chicago or willing to drive up a longer way, rent, borrow or drive your car down with a fellow member(s) and pool your resources. I imagine, some crews might come together from the same city/area and some will come in solo.

    If you're driving in:
    90/94 or 55 will bring you here.

    If you're flying in:
    Chicago is serviced by two airports, one bigger than the other.

    O' Hare (ORD) is the major and international one. Most of the bigger airlines fly in here. Some of you will probably use up your frequent flyer miles here. It's north and west of the city. 40 minutes by train (the el or the CTA as we call it) will take you all the way downtown. It's the Blue Line (the start/end of the Blue Line north) and it'll take you into the Loop, downtown-downtown as I call it and some of the western neighbourhoods (like Wicker Park: hipster fixie riding population - millions... ). It runs 24/7.

    Midway Airport (MDW) is the smaller and domestic flights airport. Southwest and the like. Usually cheaper flying in and out of here it seems. Situated south of the city or downtown area, it's also serviced by a the Orange Line, part of the el transit system we have. Also about 40 minutes. Though, unlike the Blue Line, it doesn't run 24/7. It starts up at dawn and closes up a little after midnight.

    If you're Greyhound/Amtrak:
    You'll be coming into Union Station (CHI) - which is right in the heart of downtown. Easy. You'll have immediate access to the el and getting around the city.


    Accomodations:

    Some of the DCC and myself have offered up floor space. This'll be quite limited but we're trying to accomodate as much as we can. This'll be a tough one to organize, but it might be simple to get different crews into the same places. It looks like dolface will crash at mine so it might make sense to house anymore peeps from SF/OAK/CA at mine if they're travelling together. So, something like that... something, not.

    But again, accomodations might be limited depending on interest and who wants to come down. We'll do our best.

    On to paying for accomodations and cheaply --

    There is one major hostel in Chicago: Hosteling International Chicago. It's a brand new facility that's huge and is right downtown. http://www.hichicago.org/
    Book early it would seem.

    Hotels and motels: there are a lot. An old trick in the book: get some people together and book a room -- I recommend, 3 to 4 a room and split the cost. You could stay somewhere downtown that way, even in a real nice location for $30+/- each a night. About what you'd pay for the hostel a night. On the budget end there are Best Westerns and Days Inn's downtown on Michicagn Ave (aka the Mag Mile) that are actually semi-affordable.

    A tip: Priceline.com is your friend. My friend and his wife regularly book the Inter-Continental, a 3/4-star hotel right on Michigan Ave for $100 bucks a night. That hotel is usually about $200 a night. Use priceline.


    Getting around:

    By bike of course! However, Chicago's el train allows bikes on trains. So you can bring 'em on if you have to. The city's pretty easy to navigate as it's a grid system. Free citywide bike maps are available are bike shops around the city (a lot of 'em).


    Update: 09/19/2005
    --------------------------
    If you're crashing at someone's please try to bring some sort of bedding/sleeping bag. There probably isn't going to be enough to go round.

    Also, please bring your own towel. If not, one can be easily purchased cheap from a variety of stores.
    Last edited by absntr; 10-11-05 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
    psn
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    Well I checked out USAir, and it looks like I can do the trip on frequent flyer miles, so getting there would cost me exactly $0. Awesome. However, what are people's experiences with sending your bike on the plane? It seems like I'd probably have to cough up some money for that ****, not to mention roll around on the T and then mass transit in Chitown with this big ass box. Maybe I can pester someone (*cough* jrowe *cough*...oh crap, do you even have a car?) into doing a marathon f-ing road trip. It's only 1000 miles...

    I wouldn't mind staying with someone if they have space. I'm a grad student, and like a true junkie, I spend all my extra $ on my bike(s), so I ain't got a whole lot of money to burn. Rest assured, I'm very clean, well-mannered, and even get along with pets (so long as they aren't cats, to which I'm allergic...and well, cats suck anyway). But if it's an issue, I have no problem doing the hostel/motel thing.

    Oh, and I'd probably come (if flying) during the day on Friday, as I have Veteran's Day off. Would leave on Sunday for sure.

    [edit: So taking the bike on the plane would cost $80 each way...I think it'd be better to just ship my bike out to one of yall by FedEx or something beforehand. Which one of you could I actually trust though?]
    Last edited by psn; 09-18-05 at 10:06 PM.

  3. #3
    . monkey's Avatar
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    In, of course. I can house some people too. Just don't ask me to hold anyone's keys.

  4. #4
    J.A.M Jamtastic's Avatar
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    my birthday is the 12th yayyyy. im trying to figure a way to be there. i might have to drive from Oklahoma. hmmmmm.

  5. #5
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Mmmmmmmm Meat.....
    i like meat

  6. #6
    Iguana Subsystem dolface's Avatar
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    it looks like flights from oakland on southwest are running about $250 right now, if you leave on friday and return on sunday.
    ugh. just called southwest and they charge $50 each way for a bike. i'm pretty sure that fedex ground only costs about $30 each way, but it takes god-knows how long.

    anyone got any clever ideas how to get around this, or do we just suck it up?

  7. #7
    Radio Bemba 00.0 EnLaCalle's Avatar
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    I might be/will probably be in Guatemala this weekend (haven't gotten a ticket yet, but the lady has), but if not, I will be there and might be able to rally up some additional free housing options (i.e. apt. floor space or possibly couch) for some, provided that I can make it. The gf was talking about changing her ticket anyway, so I might push for a different week altogether so that we can go to Chicago for this (cuz i think it'll be hella fun and I miss my former city... on a random late night side note, if you used to live in Chicago and then move somewhere else and then watch I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, you will surely cry and want to move back there).

    So that's that I guess. Hope I can come. Will post about this again when I know what's up. Regardless, I think it's great that the DCC is attempting to organize this. I hope it works out! And if I can't make it to this event, I will definitely be in Chicago sometime in the relatively near future.

  8. #8
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    G - I looked at flights from there going back and forward a few weeks - they're all about the same or more. So you may have to suck that part up unfortunately.

    Chimblysweep posted a thread about two weeks ago about flying her bike out to SF and avoiding charges - my cable is acting up (or rather BF is loading real slow for me otherwise I'd look it up). Check it out.

  9. #9
    psn
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    Mmm, looks like FedEx 2 Day would be about $50 each way for me. On the other hand, I do have two (soon three?) bikes, so parting ways with one for a few days before and after wouldn't really be a problem.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gmcaptain's Avatar
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    this was paosted a few days ago. obvious YMMV...

    I'm really surprised how cheap the priceline deals are that I'm getting from FL. I might actually be able to afford this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Alright, round-trip tickets from Boston to MDW are $218. I'm in. Sorry, psn, no car. Oh yeah, if anybody's got a small spot I could sleep in, that would rock.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kiecker's Avatar
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    Note, in shipping bikes it is cheaper to ship to a business then a residential address. If your company has an office in Chicago that might work or maybe someone might be able to offer theirs as a shipping ground. Each airline has different policy's regarding fees for bikes..for example Sun Country is $40 each way whereas NWA is $80. Yes, it makes no sense.

    Would love to make this and see some of my old friends in Chi-town...let me check the schedule and flight miles.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    ATA charges $50 each way for a bike unless you can make the box smaller than the free baggage allowance (62 linear inches). You'd need a mighty small bike to do that. Anyway, like I said, the ticket from Boston is $218 round-trip, so even with the extra $100, it's still fairly cheap.

  14. #14
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    I'll be there if I can swing it. Haven't had much luck getting there lately though...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Msngr's Avatar
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    i'll organize a NYC crew. but we need some track events scheduled! [165]? anyone?

  16. #16
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Sorry - out of town that weekend. No face punches or the like.
    Should have been discussed before being posted, but I am always this sour on a Monday.
    I can set-up the events for the velo and get someone in the know to get 'em off the tarmac, but the rest is up to those in attendance.
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  17. #17
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    I'm fine with getting the velo stuff done (read: to the tarmac), provided we can get everyone out there via car and with enough time. We'll see how things play out as time goes by.

  18. #18
    roll'em high shants's Avatar
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    i will be there. my car will probably die on the trip, but you know.. i'll get there.

    my only requirement is that i get straight wasted and take photobooth pictures. if that can be arranged, i'm there.
    Last edited by shants; 09-19-05 at 07:39 AM.

  19. #19
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
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    i will be renting a minivan, and will have space for at least 4 more aside from myself. coming from dc. the drive's about 12 hours, and anyone coming, please be willing to drive part (unless you lack a license).

    we'll need floorspace - anyone?

  20. #20
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shants
    i will be there. my car will probably die on the trip, but you know.. i'll get there.

    my only requirement is that i get straight wasted and take photobooth pictures. if that can be arranged, i'm there.
    I will personally make sure they get you to the Rainbow Room.

    (ps> don't read into the name please - it is a 'hipster' bar in the Wicker Park border realm. Has a photo booth, and if the right bartender is there - some of the BEST whiskey and cokes this town has to offer. Also, later on you might get lucky and see some suburban, art student junkie shooting up in the alley! Score!)

    however - the Holiday Club near Irving Park and Sheridan has a booth and good drinks too! Knowing the owner never hurts...
    Last edited by pitboss; 09-19-05 at 07:52 AM.
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  21. #21
    roll'em high shants's Avatar
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    i've been to the rainbow room before.. that's the place that i had in mind, but i had forgotten the name.. now that i think about it, i have forgotten most everything about that night.. straight blacked out.

  22. #22
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    chimbly - I'll see what I can do as for floorspace, let me know your final headcount.

    As it stands, I've got jrowedc at mine, psn too, and tentatively dolface. I could probably fit your crew in another room. Might be slightly tight, might not be.

    Also, if you have a sleeping bag/or some sort of pad, bring it. I don't have enough bedding that's for sure.

    P.S. I live with two cats, so if you're allergic, I'm letting you know now. If you are, I can sort you out to monkey's (Fred's) or salome's or such.

    shants - I assume you'll crash at Teadoggg's.

  23. #23
    Geriatric Member 48x16's Avatar
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    The trip from Bucktown to the gathering areas is probably gonna cost me some energy. I might have to spend $1.75 on the EL or the Bus..hmmm..I dunno man...I'll see if I can make it. Money is tight.

    I'm in.

  24. #24
    roll'em high shants's Avatar
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    i'll sleep in a gutter if necessary. i'm still trying to figure out which bike i want to bring. i am not particularly keen on the idea of doing beer crawling and such on the makino, but i cannot ride my idontgiveadamnwhathappenstoitgitaneconversionofultimatedoom on the track. i suppose i can bring both... hrmm.

  25. #25
    Senior Member stickyfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrowedc
    Alright, round-trip tickets from Boston to MDW are $218. I'm in. Sorry, psn, no car. Oh yeah, if anybody's got a small spot I could sleep in, that would rock.
    I have a car, a POS with a trunk-mount bike rack. If anybody wants to try a marathon drive from Boston, I could be convinced. My car gets roughly 30mpg, gas costs roughly $3.00 per gallon, and it's about 2000 miles round trip. So we're looking at about $240 in gas total, plus whatever parking costs we might encounter. And there is that little 14+ hour drive each way to consider. On the plus side, my car goes in tomorrow for a sprucing up, so it should be in top shape. As top shape as an '89 Mazda can be in, at least.

    If we decided to drive, we could leave as early as Thursday evening and take shifts at the helm. Chicagoans, is there any reliable free parking to be found nearby?

    rob

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