Chicago’s Bike to Work Day

Despite our focus on the simple side of cycling – get on your bike and go – I think Trisha and I became certified bike geeks the day we started a bike blog. There’s no way around it.

So when Bike to Work Day came along, I was incapable of simply riding my bike to work, I had to make a whole bikey day out of it.

First, I met my friend Elizabeth (of Bike Commuters) early in the morning to ride downtown together.

Elizabeth at the Bike to Work Rally in Daley Plaza

Then we attended the Bike to Work Rally in Daley Plaza and mingled with other bike commuters. I was excited to hear da Mayor speak, since he gets so much praise as a cycling advocate, but he did not show up due to “another mayor commitment.” Boo – hisssss. Lame.

The great helmeted dog of Kathy's folding bike

During my lunch break, I met up with Patty for delish fish tacos – silly me forgot to take a photo of her and her bike. We met through LGRAB and I must say that everyone I’ve met through this blog is all sorts of awesome. She was also a team leader for her employer’s commuter challenge (doing a great job, based on the numbers!). We talked about some ideas to get the Bicycle Goddess Brigade going, so stay tuned.

On the way home after work, I got caught in the rain storm.

Caught in the rain

Undeterred, I headed back downtown via the L train to attend the bicycle forum featuring David Byrne and other local bike advocacy luminaries. All of the speakers were interesting and the part that excited me most was a mention that Wells Street is getting a buffered bike lane in the fall – a first for Chicago. That’s part of my commute! I haven’t been able to find any information on this, though, and can’t imagine how a buffered lane would fit unless the city removes street parking (not gonna happen).

The panelists, David Byrne on the far left

After the forum, I bumped into Patty and her boyfriend Brian, aka The Car Whisperer. Even in a city as large as Chicago, the bike geeks are a pretty tight group :)

By the end of the day, I felt optimistic about the future of bicycling in Chicago. The most important thing, though, is to make every day Bike to Work Day. Here I go…

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9 thoughts on “Chicago’s Bike to Work Day

  1. Dan says:

    Can’t wait for Bicycle Goddess Brigade to show up with pics

  2. [...] season on cyclists in the Windy City. In a truly bizarre case, a Chicago judge celebrates their Bike to Work Day by giving two drunk drivers who intentionally sought out and hit two cyclists — actually [...]

  3. Scott says:

    We’re getting a protected bike lane on Wells! Holy crap! I don’t see how they are going to do it without eliminating street parking. Will the motorists be apoplectic if they can’t leave their cars parked on the street? My heartfelt thanks to everyone in Chicago who made this happen.

  4. Sally says:

    Do you have a recommendation for a good bike lock?
    I’d like to start riding to work and will be locking my bike outside my office to a rack. It’s a pretty busy street so I’m not that worried, but I do want to make it difficult to steal without carrying around a really heavy lock set up. Any advice would be great! Thanks!

    • Haakon says:

      The Abus 1060 chain lock is a great lock but it’s a little bit on the heavy side with ~4 pounds. If you are looking for a U lock good brands are Kryptonite or again Abus. As a rule of thumb think about investing 10% of the bike’s price into a lock.

  5. Hey!

    I just needed to make sure your e-mail is lgrab@letsgorideabike.com because i just sent you e-mail about the Summer Games. :)

    i hope i sent it to the right place!

    Haa haa!

    Happy Friday!

  6. Dave Brennan says:

    What’s a “buffered bike lane”?

  7. Margaret says:

    Is it just me or does David Byrne have a real Billy Idol thing going on??

    Every time I get caught in the rain I think, “I really need to get some fenders on this thing.” And then I proceed to forget until the next time it rains, lol.

  8. Jami says:

    I had to get to work early to set up for a meeting, but I think I saw you and Elizabeth meeting up in the morning.

    By the time I got to the rally, they were closing up shop.

    Glad you had such a bike-filled day!

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