Tonight I took the Oma on the el for the first time. Bikes are allowed on the el train any time except rush hour, with a max of two bikes per car.
A friend and I saw Spamalot at a theatre downtown and she did not have a bike, so I rode the el home with her. [note to Spamalot - please stop singing your lame songs and stick to the Monty Python script!] Oma was frustrated and confused; she did not understand why she had to stand still and wait for 15 minutes. Luckily, the train was not crowded – she took up A LOT of room. With the kickstand down, she’s sturdy as an ox and I held onto the saddle to keep myself steady while standing up during the ride.
A couple of people started conversations with me about her. A woman asked if it was one of those new electric bikes (I guess she thought the chain guard was an engine?) which made me feel bad because I hope my bike doesn’t look that dorky. An old man asked how much I paid for her (um, none of your business!).
Thank goodness for elevators and the ADA that requires them. This bike is way too heavy for me to carry up and down stairs by myself. A lot of el stations don’t have elevators and when they do, they’re often out of order. I called the CTA hotline before leaving to make sure the elevator at my destination was working (1-888-YOUR-CTA).
When I was waiting on the platform downtown, I saw a guy walking toward the other end of the platform with an Azor Opa! That’s the same bike as mine, except with a diamond frame. This is the first other Azor I’ve seen in Chicago, and what an odd place to see it. I wanted to walk down there and talk to the guy, but I’m not that outgoing. Would have been funny, though.