This past week I rode my bike to work every day, as usual.
Yesterday I had a court hearing in the morning and I wore my professional outfit on the bike commute – a Brooks Brothers skirt, blouse, hose and shoes. As soon as I got to my office, I threw on the matching suit jacket that was waiting for me and walked one mile to the courthouse.
Thank goodness for the perfectly cool fall weather that made all of this possible without sweating. Also, major props to my new Liz Clairborne shoes from DSW. They are super comfortable for walking (I wore them every day in France), have no-slip rubber soles for biking and still look decent enough for work.
Nothing hip or especially fashionable here, just a real outfit on a real bike commute.
My new commute is not very different from my old one. The biggest difference is that my office is not by the lake, so it makes sense to take city streets the whole way instead of the Lakefront Trail. The other big difference is that I don’t have to ride through downtown.
The streets I take have either bike lanes or marked shared lanes. As you can see below, I’m able to slide past car traffic in the bike lane.
These pictures are from last week. I’m remembering it fondly, as this week has been gray and dreary. Rain was pouring this morning, so I sighed and took the L train to work. I’ll be back tomorrow with a report of my new commute.
A Final Burst of Fall
P.S. I’m rarely able to take good pictures of other cyclists going by, but I managed to snap the one above. Note that she has a Jimmy Choo bag on the handlebars of her vintage Schwinn. Only when I was cropping this picture to post did I notice that her pants legs are tucked into her socks. Thank you, anonymous beauty, for proving that tucked hems can be stylish.
I ride by Navy Pier every day during my commute. Today the weather was gorgeous – sunny in the 60′s F – so I decided to stop and explore the pier before heading home. I enjoyed it all, even my $5 icecream cone This is a great place to go for families, friends and dates. I love being a tourist in my home city, which you may have noticed.
My ride today was filled with wild variations. A super harsh headwind in the morning and a powerful tailwind in the evening. A calm, safe ride on the Lakefront Trail most of the way and a stressful, congested ride through downtown the rest of the way. Starting out a bit too cold and ending up a bit too hot. Life is full of ups and downs, and dealing with it on my bike helps me appreciate the balance. I really think bike commuting can be as mindful and therapeutic as yoga sometimes.
I was riding home from work today and saw this beautiful leafy scene. My sister and I loved to rake up piles of leaves and jump in them as kids. In honor of playing with leaves, I stopped and had a little too much fun with my camera’s self-timer. I was way too into my leaf-playing to care whether passersby thought I was insane.
After starting a new job, I’m reminded of the fun of bike commuting. A few main points:
Riding a bicycle every morning and evening keeps me sane, especially because I spend 10.5 hours of my day sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
Co-workers are always surprised and impressed and want to talk about it. I try to make it sound fun and easy, while at the same time secretly being proud of the one trait that makes me interesting.
Businesses are really catching on. The new sky scraper where I work has a lovely secure bike room directly off the lobby. I was locking my bike up outside the building when a man from security saw me through the window and came outside to walk me to this magical bike room. Very nice!
Oma at Night
My commutes continue to be dark and rainy, but I’m having fun. I’d better get used to the dark, as the days are only getting shorter. The rain will soon become snow, though. I say bring it on!
Fall weather in Chicago this year has been up and down, with brief periods of sun amid days of cold rain. Today we seized upon one of the warm and dry periods to enjoy a ride up the lakefront. A lot of Chicagoans had the same idea, so we detoured off the crowded main trail to amble through secondary dirt paths.
What started as a rainy and gloomy Saturday suddenly turned into the perfect fall day. The sun came out to warm everything, and we got the bikes out for a ride to the Farmer’s Market. I was riding a bakfiets, not my own bike: I borrowed the bakfiets from Dutch Bike Chicago (thanks!) last night to haul tables and chairs for a fundraiser that I helped organize, and had to return it reluctantly this morning.