The most enjoyable and safest way for bikes to travel is separated from auto traffic. I don’t want to share the road with one ton vehicles going three times my speed – I have to. A trail or separated path is always my first choice.
Trail – Melissa
Unfortunately, such infrastructure is absent most places. The paths that exist are often trails to nowhere, with a focus on recreation. Other problems include lack of lighting at night and lack of snow plowing in the winter.
I spent Sunday in the suburbs visiting Melissa. I took the local L train to Union Station downtown, then took the Metra suburb train the rest of the way. Betty Foy wanted to come with me, but bikes were not allowed on the trains this weekend because of the Lollapalooza music festival, so Melissa picked me up from the train station in her car.
Bike path beauty Melissa
When we got to her place we parked the car, picked up the bikes and set out to the liquor store. (more…)
It’s a crazy world out there for beginning bike commuters. I remember how confusing and stressful my first couple of rides were and all I had to do was go over and down on a bike path. After I gave Melissa custody of Smurfette last month, she planned to start bike commuting when she moved to a new apartment closer to work in the Chicago suburb of Aurora. And she did!
Makeshift bike lane – temporary detour from bike trail
Unfortunately, the first try did not go smoothly at all. In fact, it sounded pretty awful and enough to turn off most people from bike commuting forever.