On Friday, I attended the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park west of downtown Chicago. Instead of biking there, I planned to hop on the bus afterward, which would take me straight home. Obviously, I’m not too familiar with the massive crowds associated with music festivals, my plan to “hop on the bus” being hopelessly naive.
All started well, but then the final show of the day – Bjork! – abruptly ended early, due to an approaching storm. Everyone had to leave en masse. I was part of a huge crowd crawling toward the exit, and by the time I got out, there was a mass of people lined up for the bus and a bottleneck up to the L station. I decided to walk north in hopes of finding a cab or an alternate bus route and made it a few blocks before the storm arrived, complete with thunder, lightening and a torrential downpour. Along with other festival wanderers, I took shelter in a 7-11, cursing the situation.
That’s when I decided to pull out my iPhone and check the Divvy app for nearby stations. Bingo – a station a little less than a mile up the road. Happy to have a plan, I marched outside and into the pouring rain. I was already soaked, so no big deal. Finally coming upon the Divvy station was like finding an oasis in the desert.
Although I had not used Divvy before, getting my bike was a breeze. I marched up to the nearest bike, checked the tires and brakes quickly, used my member key fob to release the bike, and adjusted the seat.
Then I was off! I started on the bike lane right next to the station, then soon turned off on a quiet neighborhood street. I was happy to see a bright front light flash as I pedaled, making me feel visible in the night.
The ride was so lovely, cruising through the quiet, dark, stormy night, leaving behind the chaos of the music festival crowds. A big, goofy smile plastered my face the whole time.
There is not yet a Divvy station near my home, so I biked to the station closest to my home and adjacent to the Brown Line, which took a bit less than 30 minutes. Here I am, looking bedraggled but feeling triumphant at the end of my ride.
I easily docked the bike and then jumped on the L, which took me the final couple of miles home.
This was a beautiful first experience to have with Divvy. I desperately needed a way home and Divvy answered the call. The only improvement would have been for Divvy to take me straight from the festival to home. I hope the hundreds of other planned stations will open soon!