I missed the past couple of Critical Lass rides, so I was happy to catch up with the group for May’s ride. Coolest bicycling group in Chicago, for sure, including a couple of baby-bicyclists. We started in Roscoe Village and enjoyed a leisurely ride through Lakeview and Lincoln Park, ending at a Mexican restaurant for margaritas.
Many thanks to our fearless leader Ash, pictured first below.
We got rained on a little during the ride, but hail and lightening waited until we were safely at the restaurant and finished by the time we departed for our rides home. The goddesses were on our side.
Chicago’s monthly Critical Lass ride continues on, even in the dark cold!
Usually I avoid winter group rides because biking for a long time at slow speeds in freezing temps is a great way to freeze my extremities off.
The ladies behind Critical Lass understand these problems and have adjusted the winter rides accordingly. For the next few months, the ride will be short (3-4 miles) and end at neighborhood bars that are close to home for as many of the lasses as possible.
This plan worked perfectly for December’s ride. A hardy group of 16 lasses showed up and spent much more time drinking pitchers of beer in a cozy pub than pedaling in the cold.
To stay up-to-date on the different dates and locations for Chicago’s Critical Lass ride, check out the Facebook page.
What do you think about winter group rides? Have you been on one this year?
With the temperature at 97 degrees last Thursday, I thought the Critical Lass turnout would be dismal.
Well, look how wrong I was! A little blazing sun isn’t enough to keep a lass from her bike.
A few beat-the-heat tips from the lasses:
1) Play in water fountain.
2) Eat an ice cream sandwich, preferable from from an ice cream trike.
3) Grab a pop of yellow to rival the sun.
4) Adorn your bike with cute accessories, just because.
With all the above summer essentials covered, the group set out for the 6-mile slow ride.
Unfortunately, Ms. Chicargobike had a pedal that stubbornly insisted on falling off her awesome new trike, so the two of us left the group to stop by Rapid Transit Cycle Shop. Once the pedal was secured, we had our own duo lass ride to the destination bar, where we met up with everyone else.
Despite the obstacles, it was a delightful evening.
Women of Chicago looking for a fun time: join Critical Lass the third Thursday of every month starting at the Polish Triangle!
Chicago’s second Critical Lass ride rolled out last Thursday, this time with a group of nearly 30. Like the inaugural ride in May, the ride was so much fun. I love it!
As you can see in my photos below, it’s a women’s ride, plain and simple. All lasses are welcome! I guarantee you will be greeted by the friendliest group of women in Chicago.
(Saying goodbye to mom)
Chatting with others and riding side-by-side was easy due to the super calm route. After about an hour, we ended at a bar in Logan Square, where I stayed for a couple of hours, enjoying beer and buffalo wing specials.
The next Critical Lass ride is July 21 – always the third Thursday of the month, starting at the Polish Triangle. I hope to see even more lasses there next time!
I bow down, once again, to our amazing leader Ash.
Chicago’s first Critical Lass ride was a great success! The weather was perfect, the route calm, and 25 cool women showed up.
We met at the Polish Triangle in Wicker Park. Once the group gathered, our fearless leader Ash welcomed everyone.
I said “hi” to some old friends from the Women Who Bike brunch group.
A random guitar guy serenaded us with an impromptu song about bikes.
And then we were off!
We stopped at all red lights …
And stop signs.
We biked along quiet side streets, passing lots of big green parks and enjoying the smell of fresh mown grass.
After a fun and leisurely five mile ride, we ended at Simone’s in Pilsen. We managed the parking situation by piling all in together and locking to each other.
Finally, we hung out for a couple of hours, enjoying dinner and kick-ass cocktails. :) My 9-mile ride home from Pilsen at 10 pm was also lots of fun, since I had several riding companions for most of the way.
The ride and gathering were so much fun. I plan to attend the ride EVERY THIRD THURSDAY! I hope to see you there. Spread the word!
I am pleased to introduce a new addition to Chicago’s growing women-bicycling scene: Critical Lass! Every third Thursday, 6:00 pm, at the Polish Triangle.
The ride’s name is self explanatory: think Critical Mass but exclusively for women and with an extra dose of friendliness.
The Critical Lass concept was – I think – created last year by Loop Frame Love in Edmonton, Canada. Girls and Bicycles and Breaking Chains Taking Lanes also participate in the Edmonton ride. Now my friend Ash of One Less Minivan has picked up the idea and worked to bring the ride to life in Chicago. As far as I know, Chicago is the second city to host a ride using the Critical Lass name (always the Second City).
Critical Lass is a monthly 5-8 mile bike ride exclusively for women/trans cyclists. In situations where childcare is not available to you, children who can ride independently while maintaining a 10MPH pace and younger kids in bike seats/trailers will be welcome to join the ride.
We meet on the third Thursday of each month at Polish Triangle (Division/Ashland/Milwaukee) in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Begin arriving at 6pm for a 6:30 departure.
The route will change monthly, always ending at a restaurant or bar for drinks, nosh and conversation.
I’m excited! Hope to see many of you Chicagoans there. If not this month, then June, July, August, September, etc. :)