Old 04-30-13, 12:50 PM
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
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Riding in other cities seen through your commuter lens

it's always fun to go on a ride outside of our normal everyday riding environs, and as commuters, i think we may see and experience how things are done in other places a little differently than other types of cyclists. novelty can of course easily lead to the slippery slope of the grass being greener on the other side, but it's still really cool in my opinion to ride in a different city with the perspective of "what would be better/worse/same/different about commuting if i lived in this city?"

my recent example: i was up milwaukee this past weekend staying at my fiance's parent's home out in the western suburbs. because my girl had some wedding planning appointments to attend to on saturday afternoon (we're getting married at the milwaukee art museum this summer), i threw my folding bike in the trunk of the car so i could go do some 2 wheeled exploration of brew city on my own. i rode from the western burbs to downtown milwaukee via the hank aaron bike trail and then rode along the lakefront and through downtown and various center city neighborhoods to get a feel for the city and how bike-friendly it is. all in all it was a 40 mile loop and i came away with a very positive impression of milwaukee as a great cycling city.

in many ways, cycling and otherwise, milwaukee is a very similar city to chicago, but the size difference is very glaring. i could ride from the far western burbs to downtown milwaukee in less than an hour. that's impossible in chicago because the urban sprawl has grown to such ungainly proportions. milwaukee seems like a place where one could lead a more bike-centic lifestyle because you can get from one end of the metro area to the other in an hour or so. and for commuting, i felt that the infrastructure in place was great. lots of bike lanes on streets and the hank aaron trail is wonderful, affording just about anyone in the western portion of the city/metro area easy and convenient access into downtown via bicycle.

me and my wife to be plan to stay in chicago after we're married, but should we ever move to milwaukee sometime down the line to be closer to her family, i could easily see myself living there as a happy commuter cyclist.

anyone have other observations from your experience as a commuter cyclist riding in another city?

Last edited by Steely Dan; 05-01-13 at 11:01 AM.
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