When I got on my bike Friday morning, I made a last-minute decision to take the Lakefront Trail instead of my usual street route, since I was not feeling up to car traffic and was not in a rush.
The Lakefront Trail in spring is totally different from the Lakefront Trail I wrote about in winter.
First, getting on the trail was a challenge, as recent thunderstorms created a moat in the underpass access. The water was very deep, so I backtracked up the ramp and biked three blocks south to the next access point, among heavy car and truck traffic merging onto Lakeshore Drive. Not my ideal route, but I managed safely by acting like a car and taking the lane.
I was annoyed by the difficulty, since the whole point of riding the trail was to take it easy due to my illness. When Coco and I made it to the lakefront, though, my annoyance dissolved. The cool air was refreshing off Lake Michigan, a huge improvement from the hot-sun-on-blacktop feeling of the streets. Lots of people were out enjoying the beautiful Chicago morning.
A couple of miles along, I encountered heavy trucks working on the trail. This was a pleasant surprise because they had paved over all the chunks of missing concrete and horrible craters that formed during the winter. Smooth sailing!
I enjoyed my easy ride so much, I totally forgot I was sick until I tried to sing along to my fav Kate Nash song and couldn’t make it through one line without losing my breath. So it’s official: riding Coco slowly is less taxing than singing along to my iPod.
After emerging from the trail for the final 1.5 miles on downtown streets, I popped my helmet back on, blew my nose and said “cheese!” with Coco.
Looking back on naive, Friday morning Dottie, I almost feel bad for her. She had no idea that she’d end up working late and then biking home along congested streets in a harsh headwind and temperatures that fell 30 degrees from the 70′s to the 40′s, without the benefit of gloves or earmuffs and with a hacking cough. But at least she could go home and sleep 12 hours, dreaming of her ideal Chicago spring morning ride.