Tag Archives: Active Transportation Alliance

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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Happy Friday!

TGIF! It’s hard to believe that this is the last weekend of August already.

In order to enjoy the remaining days of summer as much as possible, yesterday I signed up for the Four Star Bike Tour on Sunday, which is an annual ride hosted by and benefiting the Active Transportation Alliance. In the past, I’ve volunteered at the ride, but never biked it myself.

There are four route options, 12/21/35/65 miles, and I plan to do the 35-mile route, which will be 50 miles of riding when I add in the trip from home and back. Sounds like a lovely way to see the city:

You’ll travel through many of the same Chicago neighborhoods as the Chicago Ramble, also riding through Bronzeville, Hyde Park, South Commons and the Near South Side. You’ll explore Garfield and Humboldt Parks before following Oakwood and Drexel Boulevards south to soak up the beautiful, historic Kenwood and Hyde Park neighborhoods. In Hyde Park, you’ll head east through the Midway Plaissance, and then continue south on Woodlawn to Jackson Park where you’ll pick up the Lakefront Trail for the return trip.

I’ll have to dig in the back of my closet to pull out my only cycling-specific outfit of padded shorts and jersey (wool, of course!).

Does anyone else have special bicycling weekend plans?

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Cocktail Party Ride! and other bike events

There are so many fun Chicago bike events coming up, they definitely deserve their own post. Calendars ready? Here we go…

  • Tuesday, November 9 – Bike Fashion panel hosted by the Chicago Cycling Club at the Active Trans office. 6:30-8:00 p.m. I will be a panelist.
  • Sunday, November 14 – LGRAB’s Third Chicago Cocktail Party Ride! Co-hosted by John Greenfield. Leaving from the Wicker Park Fountain at 3:00 p.m. Dress fancy – all are welcome!
  • Friday, November 19 – Thought You Knew calendar gala-gallery launch party at the COOP. (<– check out TYK, it’s an awesome project!!!)
  • Saturday, November 20 – The 2010 Chicago Sadie Hawkins Style Ride. 12 p.m. starting at The Blue Frog. Registration is required and you must have a partner.
  • Monday, November 29 – Biking the Boulevards premier with Geoffrey Baer. 7:30 p.m. on WTTW Chicago Public Television.
  • Saturday, December 4 – Active Trans’ Bike Town Bash. 7-11 p.m. at Dank Haus in Lincoln Square.

See you there!

(Especially the Cocktail Party Ride!!  Okay?  Okay!)

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Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike!

On Saturday morning, I participated in a group ride along the Lakefront Trail, Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike, put on by Active Trans and the Dutch Consulate in Chicago. The event did not attract a huge amount of people outside the Dutch bike community, possibly because of the threatening skies and mid 40’s temperature, but the fact that we have a Dutch bike community is pretty cool. Socializing among ourselves was fun, including groups from each of the city’s three Dutch/Danish bike shops, Copenhagen Cyclery, De Fietsfabriek and Dutch Bike Co. Chicago is the mecca of beautiful bike shopping in America.

I rode an Oma bike from De Fietsfabriek (full review soon) and my husband finally rode my WorkCycles Oma. Once he stopped trying to launch off, he caught on well to the Dutch bike riding style.

The Copenhagen Cyclery crew.

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Boulevard Lakefront Bike Tour

Not bacon lettuce tomato

Not bacon lettuce tomato

Today was Chicago’s annual Boulevard Lakefront Tour, organized by and benefiting the Active Transportation Alliance. The tour, Chicago’s longest-running bike ride, journeys along Chicago’s extensive boulevard system and parks in either 15, 27, 35, or 62-mile routes. A festival followed, with plenty of food, beer and music. This is the second major ride that Active Trans organizes. The other ride is Bike the Drive, which I wrote about here.

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