Biking in the ‘Burbs

I spent Sunday in the suburbs visiting Melissa. I took the local L train to Union Station downtown, then took the Metra suburb train the rest of the way. Betty Foy wanted to come with me, but bikes were not allowed on the trains this weekend because of the Lollapalooza music festival, so Melissa picked me up from the train station in her car.

Bike path beauty

Bike path beauty Melissa

When we got to her place we parked the car, picked up the bikes and set out to the liquor store.

I rode Smurfette, while Melissa took one for the team by riding her boyfriend’s less-than-ideal bike (Chanh, we gotta get you a new bike, man!). Transportation cycling in the ‘burbs requires a lot of knowledge of various bike trails, side streets and sidewalk conditions, because bikes really cannot take the usual routes that a car would. Once you figure out these logistics, as Melissa has, cycling can be extremely peaceful. We never really mixed it up with cars, a completely different experience from riding in Chicago.

Big suburban streets

Big suburban streets

Bike path panda - me and Smurfette

Bike path panda - me and Smurfette

To get to the liquor store we started in the neighborhood and soon got on a dirt bike trail through the woods for most of the way. For the final leg, we rode on the sidewalk of a big road. The sidewalk was more like a poor quality bike path, since it was uninterrupted and there were absolutely no pedestrians. At our destination we picked up well-deserved ice-cold beer, a great treat because the temperature was in the mid-90’s.

Destination: Liquor Store

Destination: strange suburban liquor store

Beer!  In a bike basket!

Beer! In a bike basket!

After getting back to Melissa’s apartment we took our beer to the pool and relaxed for the rest of the day. Taking a bike ride first accomplished many things: acquiring beer, making a dip in the pool even more appealing, and helping us feel less like slugs for drinking beer and laying by the pool all day :) Happy summer!

p.s. The “cycle chic” tag for this post clearly references Melissa, although an adorable 4-year-old boy did point at my shirt on the way home and say, “Grover! I see Grover!” Which made me happy. Random fact: my mom does an awesome Grover impression (“near…faaaaaar”).

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17 thoughts on “Biking in the ‘Burbs

  1. I love the look of those meadows with the Anne’s Lace flowers in the first photo! Alcohol on a bike is always fun as well : )

    In the Boston area, the city and suburbs sort of wind around each other, so that I regularly go through both types of “terrain” during my daily rides and commutes. We have several lovely trails that connect the city to different suburbs to the North and West, and if one has patience (as these take longer than cycling in the streets), it is possible to use them as cycling highways and go quite far. Sadly, we do not have a car-free coastal trail to the East of the city. I would love a way to get to Cape Cod or the North Shore.

  2. Cyclin Missy says:

    I love grover! And biking, beer and pools. Sounds like a great time!

  3. Melissa Hope S says:

    Lovely Bicycle!: There are a few trails that lead to different parts or Aurora, too. But like you said, they are pretty tedious to actually USE. People just ride them for fun or exercise and not usually to go somewhere. And what sucks about Aurora (and maybe Boston too) is that the sidewalks end without warning or reason. So it’s difficult to take the sidewalks to a destination but also long to take the trails.

  4. Johnny says:

    How did you enjoy Skinny Dip? It’s hard to find their stuff this far East, dang it. :)

  5. Mamavee says:

    what a fun day.

    I agree that bike ride just makes the day better. Yesterday B did yard work, the kids ran around the street. I was feeling stir crazy ( too much weekend time in the suburbs give me cabin fever I need to make at least one trip per day. It’s old NYC apt living in me… So I hopped on the bike for a quick tool to get a cup of joe, some fresh bread and some more grocery items I forgot. ( I think I forget stuff just so I can go back via bike the next day…) anyway- it makes a nice lazy day feel eventful doesn’t it?

  6. Sox says:

    I have a question. Is ‘Skinny Dip’ beer allowed in Alabama (no-naked-cyclists-in-alabama/) ? ;D

    Also, I am so glad I am not the only one who anthropomorphizes her bike (“Oma loves her neighbourhood” and, from this post, “Betty Foy wanted to come with me…”). I have a hard time not saying ‘we’ when I take my bike some place. I feel so much more normal now.

    You girls have such fun. It is wonderful!

    • Trisha says:

      Ha. I have never seen “Skinny Dip” In AL but maybe the Bike Skirt gals can tell us? New Belgium has only just started distributing in TN over the last two years, so it may not have gotten that far South yet.

  7. Karen says:

    Biking to the liquor store! I love it! And no apologies either. A six pack in a bike basket is ever so charming.

  8. Trisha says:

    Looks like my kind of Sunday! Bet you were ready for the pool after that ride.

  9. 2whls3spds says:

    Good Beer choice! I had to import my Skinny Dip, 1554, and Blue Paddle from Iowa. In NC we can ONLY get Fat Tire Ale (better than the alternatives :-p )

    Suburb riding can get interesting, local knowledge is a must!

    Aaron

  10. [...] including Elisa of Bike Skirt all the way from Alabama, Elizabeth of Bike Commuters, Melissa of here, John of Vote with Your Feet, Mr. Dottie and me. The ride likely will be smaller and less formal [...]

  11. [...] including Elisa of Bike Skirt all the way from Alabama, Elizabeth of Bike Commuters, Melissa of here, John of Vote with Your Feet, Mr. Dottie and me. The ride likely will be smaller and less formal [...]

  12. pamela says:

    Would Mr. Dottie be greg? LOL

  13. … [Trackback]…

    [...] Read More here: letsgorideabike.com/blog/2009/08/biking-in-the-burbs/ [...]…

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