Elevated Train and Elevators

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.

Waiting for the Train

Waiting for the Train

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!).

Up in the Elevator

Up in the Elevator

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).

Intermission at Auditorium Theatre

Intermission at Auditorium Theatre

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.

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15 thoughts on “Elevated Train and Elevators

  1. Tinker says:

    Purebred bike puppies! A breeding pair…

  2. Do you have friends that think it’s extremely weird and perhaps offensive, that you bike to all sorts of events, instead of take the car?

    Too bad about not being able to transport bike during rush hour. Hope that will change.

    Do you still have snow on the ground? This will probably be the first time in a very long time, that Minneapolis won’t get above freezing during the month of January. I’m curious how that Oma rides in snow.

  3. Anna says:

    sigh. you might be covetous of my warm weather, but i am positively foaming at the mouth from envy after reading about your train system, and the fact that spamalot is playing up there. we got it for about 3 days last summer, and i missed it.

  4. Scott says:

    Hey, I like your oma bike! I ride one daily and park in the sears tower. Do you ride everywhere with the front rack? I usually leave mine at home unless I’m carrying something big like a case of wine.

  5. Jennie says:

    I saw Spamalot in b’ham – I liked it too! I wish there was a picture of Oma on the train!

  6. Elisa says:

    I would love some public transport. we have a really terrible bus system that has bike racks on it, but I would literally have to change buses 3 times (if they are even picking up on a schedule that day) to get 7 miles to work.
    oh, the photo of Oma waiting is great!

  7. Johnny says:

    That’s one beautiful bike:)

  8. Trisha says:

    You know, I think this may be the first shot I’ve seen of the Oma’s saddle from this close. It is gorgeous!! Nice post as always. Feel like mine can’t compete, what with the lack of trains, purty theaters and such down thisaway. ;) We did get snow today though.

  9. msdottie says:

    Tinker, that’s cute, purebreds!

    Spiderleggreen, my friends are pretty much cool with the bike thing. It’s co-workers who seem to think it’s odd/crazy/silly/dangerous. There is still snow on the ground here; in fact, I woke up to about three inches of snow. The steering of the oma is not great in snow, I think because there’s no weight on the front wheel. But the full chaincase and enclosed gears and hub mean the mechanics will never be bothered by the snow or ice, and the huge fenders and mudflaps keep me clean and dry. Of course, the studded tires are a necessity for me. The streets and bike path are plowed pretty regularly, so I don’t have to ride through much accumulated snow.

    Scott, you’re not the guy from the el platform, are you? :) I do ride around with the front rack but I think I’m going to start taking it off to shed a bit of weight. I use my back rack with the bungee cord for pretty much everything. Is it bolted on, though? I don’t even know how to remove it.

  10. lowell says:

    Responding to your comment about not having enough weight on the front of the bike in snow. I have found that when I’m riding in a snow storm or after one, that my bike rides better if I put as little weight forward as I can(I read about it in a blog). I had one time where I was snaking dangerously and I decided to follow that advice. I put my hands lightly on the handle bars. It allowed me to straighten it out. But when you get down to it, you have to learn about your bike, and how to ride it.

    And yes, people do get used to me riding… but not everybody.

  11. Charmaine says:

    Hi – I live in the Washington, D.C. area, and have often taken different bikes of mine on the subway (like you, we can only bring them on in non-rush hour times and on the weekends). I often get looks from people, as they are curious about my bike (I often bring a folding bike). It’s a great conversation starter! :) And with your great looking bike, I’m sure A LOT of conversation starters will happen! Enjoy meeting new people! :) Don’t be afraid – they won’t bite. :) ha. Some people really open up when you talk to them about bikes – it brings out the kid in them. :) Charmaine

  12. [...] decided to look into bicycling – the rest is history. But sometimes I still take the El (and so does Oma). Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Biking Is BetterElevated Train and [...]

  13. [...] decided to look into bicycling – the rest is history. But sometimes I still take the El (and so does Oma). Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Biking Is BetterElevated Train and [...]

  14. miss sarah says:

    Haha, I AM outgoing and start conversations with people. A lot of the time they think I am crazy so it’s probably better to be like you. The one misgiving about a loop framed bike is how awkward it is to carry. Since I park mine in a garage it’s no big deal, but if I lived in a condo without an elevator I’d probably just ride a boy bike. There’s a girl in my neighbourhood who rides a boy Pashley (the boy equivalent to the princess sovereign) and she looks so wicked.

    S*

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