Riding Chicago’s Four Star Bike Tour

Last Sunday I rode the Four Star Bike Tour, a massive group ride organized by and benefitting the Active Transportation Alliance. I chose the 35-mile route through the west and south sides of Chicago and my total mileage for the day was a little over 50.

Betty Foy at Promontory Point

I enjoyed the ride a lot. The crowd was too packed together at the beginning and after rest stops, but most of the time I was alone or with a small group. Sunday morning traffic was light and we had the roads mostly to ourselves. The route was pretty easy to follow and I saw many parts of the city for the first time.

The view from Promontory Point

I wore my one sporty bicycling outfit – a wool jersey and padded shorts from Ibex. Although I hate the diaper feeling off the bike, the outfit was super comfortable for the ride and I was happy to have the padding.

A sporty thumbs up

My outfit

I enjoyed bicycling for the sake of bicycling, not as transportation, but I kept wanting to stop places, especially in Hyde Park, like my favorite bookstore or the place with the best croissants. I was determined to stick to the task at hand and ride a straight 35 miles, so I resisted temptation.

Except for a quick detour to Promontory Point for some photos.

Enjoying a quick break

Betty did a great job

I’ve never biked more than 60 miles at a time and rarely more than 10. I was happy to find that my regular daily riding was enough “training” for this longer ride. I even pushed myself to go quite fast, relative to my usual speed, the last several miles because I still felt so good. My legs were tired by the end, but in a healthy way, and my muscles were not sore the next day.

Participating in the Four Star has inspired me to spend some of my Sundays waking up early and going for long bike rides. I mean, not this Sunday, but maybe next? Definitely next year at the 2012 Four Star. :)

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10 thoughts on “Riding Chicago’s Four Star Bike Tour

  1. Jacob Heiss says:

    Wow, I’ve lived in Chicago for over twenty five years but never heard of this tour. Definitely checking it out in 2012; thanks for the post!

  2. Eena says:

    I’ve never noticed the ribbon on your back tire. I assume it’s a DIY skirt guard? You create it yourself or is there a technique?

    • LGRAB says:

      It’s actually a bungee strap for my rear rack, but it also helps keep my skirt from the back wheel. I bought the strap from Dutch Bike Chicago, the brand is Bilbo or something like that.

      • Jax+Puzzle says:

        Ah, thanks Dottie! I’ve been trying to hunt this strap (Bibia Quattro Rack Strap) down for a few weeks, and I just spoke with Vince at Dutch Bike Chicago, who didn’t have any in stock, but told me to call Dutch Bike Seattle, and I’m hoping I can order it from them :-)

  3. Kara says:

    You are so Sporty Spice. This looks like an awesome ride!

  4. Sue (BicyclesinMotion) says:

    Very nice. I see road biking with dropped bars in your future :).

  5. Zweiradler says:

    Yay, a bike ride! I’ve noticed too that everyday “tiny” rides make you fit for longer rides. Sounds strange, but it works. :)

    Nico

  6. maureen says:

    Kudos to you Dottie! Glad you and Betty enjoyed the ride. 50+ miles seems like its worth two thumbs up!

  7. georgina ormrod says:

    ooh excellent :-D & good to hear too. I know someone who’s had to pull out of a 60 mile charity ride in ten days & I’ve been offered her place. I had a sprained ankle afew weeks ago so havent been putting in my usual kind of mileage or riding frequency of late, so the ride will be tough, but fun tough!

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