A Bike Ride in the Blazing Sun

The sun was blazing today with temperatures near 90 degrees. Although I grew up in North Carolina and should be used to it, I absolutely hate extremely hot weather.  I’d much rather cycle in the snowy sun.  Despite the heat, I couldn’t sit around all day, so I put on my breeziest summer dress and set out on Oma.  This picture captures how hot the sun was, apparently burning through my clothes.

Blazing Sun

Blazing Sun

My original plan was to go to the art musuem and park downtown, but I did not get far before abandoning that idea – such a long ride with no shade and lots of crowds sounded miserable. Instead, I changed course and took a slow ride north to Andersonville, an old Swedish neighborhood that’s now pretty hip for the 30 plus crowd.

My route followed train tracks, a great way to get north/south since there is little traffic and few cross streets.

Metra Suburban Train

Metra Suburban Train

(El)evated Train  (Chicago's tube, subway, metro, etc.)

"El" Elevated Train – Chicago's version of the tube, subway, metro, etc.

In keeping with the free or inexpensive theme, my sweaty self stopped by a coffee shop for an Italian soda, browsed a bookstore, window shopped without purchasing anything, and settled on a shady bench with War & Peace. No joke, I’m going to read that book this summer – and early fall. I have a degree in Russian literature and have never read W&P – it’s my dirty little secret.  I have read Anna Karenina several times, if that makes up for anything.

New Project

New Project

Finally, I took some pictures to document the flavor of the neighborhood. I’m no photographer, but there are plenty of cool sightings, including several nods to the neighborhood’s Swedish heritage.

8-15 water tower

8-15 chairs

8-15 horse

8-15 wndow

8-15 alamo shoes

Technically, I did not accomplish anything today, but that was not really the point :)

Thanks to everyone for all the fabulous suggestions for filling my time! I took notes and I’m excited to start some new projects.

  • http://suburbanbikemama.blogspot.com/ Mamavee

    as lovely bicycle said- we have the heat too. I’d be lying if I said I went anywhere on my bike today. That sounds like a perfect day though. I wish I had a swedish neighborhood near me. So cool that cute store looks.

    • http://doohickie.wordpress.com Doohickie

      Welcome to my world. I’ve been welcoming the “cool” weather here the last week; the highs have been only in the mid-90s.

      When I do survive a ride home from work on a hot, hot Texas afternoon, I admit that I do feel pretty bad@ss. Until my wife tells me how bad I smell.

  • http://the-coveted.com jennine

    oh my goodness… i was thinking the same thing! we put on 70spf and still got burned!

    these pictures do look idyllic though…

  • http://myhyggelig.blogspot.com Sigrid

    That is a deal. Bills, schmills…

  • http://amidnightrider.blogspot.com John

    We don’t get hot weather any more on Cape Cod. Haven’t for a few years. It’s kind of nice on the bike with the cool cool wind blowing on your body while you float along the boulevards nibbling on a York Peppermint Patty. ahhhhhhh

  • Tom

    Take the bike to the beach and go jump in the lake. That will make the temperature tolerable.

  • http://thechaicyclist.blogspot.com spiderleggreen

    All those destinations and War N Peace. You’re amazing!

    Variety is the spice of life. It’ll be cold, soon enough.

  • http://theory.stanford.edu/~arbrad Aaron

    Do you read Tolstoy in Russian or English? I suppose the cover indicates English.

  • Joey

    I used to live in the Andersonville area (Clark & Foster). I miss Chicago.

  • http://myhyggelig.blogspot.com Sigrid

    I was thinking about you this morning. I see a future for you in giving Dutch bicycle tours of Chicago… This confirms the idea that came to me in the wee hours of the morning.

  • http://none grambev

    I feel like I’ve been along for the ride to Andersonville. : )

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com dottie

    There’s an idea!! Not sure it would pay the bills, though. If you ever visit Chicago, you can be my guinea pig :)

  • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

    I don’t like the heat either. Right now it is 91F and I can’t imagine going outside until the sun goes down a bit. Great shots of your trip!

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com dottie

    English! There’s another idea of how to use my time – brush up on my Russian.