Saturday in Lincoln Square

Another beautiful spring day on bicycles. We enjoyed a few hours in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, visiting the bookstore, music store, Italian restaurant, coffee shop, and running store. Cycling there makes the whole day 100 times more fun, since it’s so much faster than driving or the el train, plus it’s impossible to find a car parking spot and the el is always sorta depressing. On bikes, the journey becomes part of the day, instead of a hassle to get through.

In Lincoln Square

In Lincoln Square

This morning I put the front rack and basket on my bike (it’s been off for a while to help combat the headwinds). The basket was stuffed full and the Oma handled like a charm. Thank goodness for those rear rack straps, which can hold pretty much anything, including my new yoga mat. The front rack is rated to carry 50 lbs and the rear rack 75 lbs, so I still have a long way to go before I run into cargo problems.

We popped into an Italian place for lunch. I was disappointed that no cafes had their outside seating set up yet, which is the truest sign that warm weather has arrived. To compensate, I sat by the window and got quite hot by the sun’s rays.

Doesn't everyone have wine with lunch?

Doesn't everyone have wine with lunch?

Bikes of every manner were locked up all along the sidewalks. This one says “Bicycling Against Oil Wars.” I’ve seen a different bike with the same sign a few times before. Sure, one of the many reasons I cycle is against oil wars, but I’d rather stay positive and subtle in the bike lanes. It’s good that some people spread their message, though.

Making a Statement

Making a Statement

Here’s a lighter image. I looked to see what type of bike this was, but all it says is “PINK!” Fair enough. Later I saw a woman riding a different but very similar bike. Gotta love Chicago bikes. Notice in the background the sharrows of the marked shared lane. The wide open space on the right is not a bike lane, unfortunately, but street parking for cars. I think all the space Chicago gives for parked cars is crap and the city should eliminate all street parking on Lincoln Avenue, a major thoroughfare for cyclists, and use this space as a wide bike lane free from dooring danger – that would literally change my life and make cycling so much safer and more comfortable. I may as well wish for a purple unicorn, though.

Pink!

Pink!

On the way home we tootled around the neighborhood a bit, enjoying the beautiful weather and calm streets. Greg took me to see a dreamweaver made of bicycle parts that he ran by earlier in the week. Pretty cool.

Bicycle Dreamweaver

Bicycle Dreamweaver

Finally, we ended the afternoon on the balcony. Prime city real estate here! This was our inaugural balcony hanging-out since last summer. I read Bust magazine, listened to my new Neko Case album, and drank Great Lakes beer until the sun fell behind the apartment building next door. Tra la la.

Cats Love Balconies

Cats Love Balconies

The cats enjoyed the outside time, too. (Teddy Bear is not very photogenic.)

UPS indicates that my Rivendell Betty Foy is in Chicago today, but Brown will not be delivering it until Monday – oh, the heartache! Expect so many pictures next week that you get tired of seeing the thing.

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10 thoughts on “Saturday in Lincoln Square

  1. MamaVee says:

    oh wow. that is my ideal day. Plate of pasta and wine in the sun included. all down to Bust and Neko Case and beer on a balcony. ( how is the new album, I have one song downloaded and like it ok. Need to listen to it more…)

    happy saturday indeed. ( you also seem to have gotten much better weather. It’s been misty and cold all day. I and my daughter are ignoring it and both of us wore dresses with leggings. ( although she caved and put on socks which is good cuz she’s like 5)

  2. Carolyn says:

    Oh, sounds like a lovely day! It’s good to see Spring finally arriving, it seemed like a lonnnng winter this year, didn’t it?

    I should go to the coffee shop tommorrow. It’s been nice here too, though a cold cold morning, brrrrr. I want it to warm up to melt the snow. Thank goodness though, the streets are bare.

  3. Karen says:

    Nice post and yummy looking pasta.

    Tell me about the basket. I love it. Nice size and a lid. Where did you find it?

    Oh, I want a second bike. I love my Specialized but I’d love a Dutch style bike (must have at least 8 gears though as Flag is quite hilly).

  4. dottie says:

    Vee, the Neko Case album has totally seduced me and I’ve listened to it four times since I bought it earlier today. Her previous album was kinda boring to me, but this one is the opposite of boring.

    Carolyn, it was a long winter – when is it going to warm up in Canada?? Sorry to hear about the snow lingering.

    Karen, it’s a Hershberger Baker’s Basket – more info here: http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/hershberger-bakers-basket/. I bought it from Velo Orange, but it’s not listed anymore. The Hershbergers are an Amish family and they made this basket by hand. As far as Dutch bikes go, I love my Oma but would not recommend it for a hilly area, even though it does have 8 gears. A Dutch bike like Trisha’s soon-to-be Batavus Entrada (lighter and aluminum) is a better choice.

  5. meligrosa says:

    neko case is bomb!
    and oh! that cat. iHearts!
    xo/

  6. Erich says:

    As soon as you said Neko Case’s last album was boring, ya lost me. But seriously, the warm weather is certainly uplifting. We pedaled to our favorite breakfast spot yesterday along the local Rivertrail. It was simply perfect.

    Unfortunately, we have up to 6 inches of snow forecast for tonight.

  7. Trisha says:

    Nice pics! It was a beautiful day here, too. Have almost bought that album at least five times, now I’ll have to press the button on it. :) Yay for pasta, cats and the great outdoors. (Hi Ted!)

  8. Justin says:

    When I read articles like this I am really floored that more people don’t THINK about their bicycle as a means of getting from point a to point b. Especially on weekends when traffic is generally lighter.

    I know if you stopped and interviewed several folks shopping you’d find many that live less than 5 miles away.

    They truly don’t know what they’re missing!!

  9. Braxton says:

    I do often have wine with lunch, thank you. ;)

    My wife and I just discovered your blog via Copenhagen CC. Thanks for doing what you do.

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