Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

A Divvy Morning

 

Earlier this week, I took Divvy bikeshare to work, since it was supposed to rain in the evening.  Divvy is a very useful tool, and I’m lucky to have the option.  I had to stop and re-dock my bike twice along the route to keep from going over 30 minutes and being charged for the extra time.  That was not too much of a hassle, but I wish the max time were 45 minutes.

DSCF7067

I took the Lakefront Trail to work.  With the nice tailwind, it was smooth sailing, although Divvy is noticeably slower than my bikes (even my Dutch bike) because even its highest gear does not provide that much power.

DSCF7074

DSCF7073

Here is where I tried to cross Lakeshore Drive at a pedestrian sign and gave up after the walk sign never appeared in five minutes.  I continued down the path and crossed at a car crossing.

DSCF7078

DSCF7070
My final 9 mile trip was one hour of cycling, plus extra time for walking to and from the nearby Divvy stations.  Not the best option if I’m in a rush, but not too much slower than more regular bikes.

DSCF7080 DSCF7083 DSCF7087

If the rainy and cold weather sticks around, I expect to be using Divvy quite often this spring.

From winter to spring…

Right now – late March through early April – is the most refreshing time to ride a bike in Chicago.  The visible signs of fading winter and approaching spring make me so grateful, I could weep.  The chill in the air is enough to make my cheeks rosy, not to cause frost bite.  The sun is still up and slowly setting as I make my way home.  And the Lakefront Trail is calm and peaceful, not yet overcrowded.

DSCF6964 DSCF6987

DSCF6968 DSCF6976

DSCF6969 DSCF6973 DSCF6980 DSCF6988 DSCF6984

I hope you all are enjoying your bike rides just as much!

A dash of spring

My wish for bright spring colors came true today, at least a little bit. The amazing 50 degree temperature combined with the bright, lingering sun made the city feel like a springtime paradise.  The sidewalks and lakefront were filled with Chicagoans basking in the glory of the weather.
untitled-6
The photos below look cold, but the mere fact that I was able to bike on the Lakefront Trail is a sign of the thaw.   Most of the snow has melted, leaving behind mounds of dirt, salt and debris.
untitled-15 untitled-16I even warmed up enough to remove my scarf, which looked quite lovely on Oma.
untitled-17 untitled-18 untitled-19

untitled-13

Unbelievably, I heard on the evening news that Chicago may get over a foot of snow mid-week.  All the more reason to appreciate days like today, I suppose.

Surviving this winter

How is one to survive this winter, one of the coldest, greyest and snowiest in history?

20130211-DSCF6437resized

As you can see, I chose to lighten my hair, buy a new red overcoat and bicycle on – except honestly I have not been bicycling a lot, certainly not everyday, as with previous winters.  All I ask for is a morning with temps at least 10 F and no falling snow, but such mornings are rare.  (As I type this, it’s 9 F and snowing.)  When I manage to ride my bike, I feel so much better, physically and mentally.

My plan for combatting winter also includes appreciating the (indoor) culture that Chicago offers: going to ballets, plays, symphonies and art exhibits.  If it were not for the Joffrey Ballet, the Goodman and Steppenwolf and Shakespeare Theatres, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Art Institute (and, of course, my wonderful friends!), I would question daily why I choose to live in this crowded, frozen tundra.

20130211-DSCF6434resized

This time last year, I was already enjoying the sights and sounds of spring with Betty Foy.

How are you dealing with this winter?  How much have you been bicycling?

{P.S. Our friend Elizabeth will be reporting on the National Bike Summit / Women’s Bike Forum here on LGRAB and our Twitter feed this week, so stay tuned!}

Not afraid of a little snow…

EleanorNYC has a lovely little post today showing “women who look stylish on their bike and not afraid of a little snow.”  This reminded me that to not be afraid of a little snow, I need studded tires.  If there is snow on the ground that has not yet been totally plowed off the salted streets, I’ll only ride my bike with studded tires.

20121225-DSCF5494resized

These are the bad boys on which I rely: Schwalbe Marathon Winters.  I bought them five or six winters ago and they’re still going strong.

Because I don’t have the time, patience or interest to swap out the tires myself (a longer-than-usual process for my Dutch bike), I brought Oma to a local bike shop a few weeks ago for her yearly tire swap.

When it was time to pick Oma up the next day, I Divvied to the shop.  (Thanks again, Divvy!)

20121225-DSCF5480resizedMy girl was waiting for me, still wearing her medical bracelet.

20121225-DSCF5490resized

Oma was also wearing a note from my friend Dan, who saw her when he happened by the shop later to have his bike serviced.  An inside joke involving karaoke and Justin Timberlake – fun!  :-)

20121225-DSCF5489resizedNow Oma and I are ready to take on winter together and not be afraid of snow.

20121225-DSCF5501resized 20121225-DSCF5502resizedA lot of Chicago bicyclists get by fine without studded tires – and in fact I never put mine on two winters ago due to the relatively mild weather – but I like having them as an option.  What do you do to take on winter bicycling?

See also,

My Schwalbe Marathon Winter review from 2009

In defense of studded tires

My studded tires getting me through a post-blizzard ride

The return of my winter wheels in 2010

Fashion Over Function

Perhaps a flowing white skirt was not the smartest outfit choice for a wet and windy day, but sometimes fashion trumps function, and this morning I wanted to wear a flowing white skirt, dammit.

DSCF4189resized

I began second-guessing my choice as the lake winds whipped the skirt against Betty’s grimy rack and fender, but by that time there was no turning back.

DSCF4194resized

DSCF4193resized

In a nod to function, here is my head and eye protective gear that rarely makes it into photos.

DSCF4197resized

By the end of the day, the hem of my skirt was lightly soiled here and there, but nothing terribly noticeable from a distance.  The real danger was the chocolate cake I enjoyed with lunch, crumbs of which inevitably got smushed on my lap.

DSCF4186resized

Regardless, riding my bike, eating chocolate cake and wearing a flowing white skirt all made me happy, so I consider the dry cleaning bill worth it.  :-)

Score one for fashion.

{I picked this skirt up from a Paris thrift store for 2 euros.  See it styled for summer here.}

Early Sunset

The sun is setting earlier and earlier now – a clear sign of the shift in seasons.  While I am not crazy about bicycling in the dark, I appreciate changes that mark the passing of time and keep life from feeling too routine. And I can now watch the transition from day to night during my evening commute.

20130803-R1-08060-006A

20130803-R1-08060-009A

20130803-R1-08060-011A

20130803-R1-08060-012A

20130803-R1-08060-013A

20130803-R1-08060-014A

20130803-R1-08060-016A

20130803-R1-08060-000A

I hope all of you are enjoying October so far.  Just remember to carry your bike lights with you at all times!  :-)

Divvy! Divvy! Divvy!

20130821-P1030348

Divvy bikes are taking over Chicago!  On Wednesday, I had plans with my friend Sara for dinner and a movie after work.  Just that morning, I saw a brand new Divvy station near my home and before heading out to meet Sara, I realized that  I could easily Divvy the whole night long.

There’s the starting Divvy station:

20130821-P1030346

The Divvy station across the street from the restaurant:

20130821-P1030348

And the Divvy station a block from the movie theater:

20130821-P1030350

Here’s Sara with her Divvy-colored Pashley.  :-)

20130821-P1030353

And coming full circle at the end of the night, I returned my Divvy.

20130821-P1030355

I’m excited as new stations continue to pop up daily.

Chicago is doing Divvy so right!

1 2 3 49