This morning Mr. Dottie and I set out at 9 o’clock for brunch at the home of friends. The catch: they live over 15 miles away (31 miles roundtrip) in Hyde Park, aka Obama’s neighborhood. The ride was totally worth it for their fantastic food and company, plus I always like an excuse for a bike expedition.
Thanks to the Lakefront Trail, the ride there was simple and beautiful. From our house we rode a mile east to the Trail, then 14 miles south down the Trail, then a mile west to their house. I often ride along the north side of the trail, but very rarely along the south side. The south side is much quieter and less crowded, more nature-like and removed from the city.
Me at Promontory Point – view of skyline from the south side
Greg and Sir Raleigh at Promontory Point
Museum of Science and Industry
I'm on a boat! Not really, I only wish I were.
Part of the skyline from the south
Chicago skyline with kid biking
I wish I could convey the feel of the 90-degree heat, burning sun, miraculously cold lake breeze, cookout smells, boom box music, children laughing… We returned home at 5:30 pm, exhausted in a good way, feeling alive.
This is going down as a Summer Games event, “explore a new part of town by bike.” Although I’ve been there before, I don’t go often, and I’m not eligible for prizes, anyway
Sustenance and transportation are two necessities of daily life. People need to eat and need to get from one place to another. How one chooses to fulfill these needs greatly affects one’s life. Our society in general is going about it all wrong. Pleasure, health and happiness can be derived from these tasks. I don’t mean by eating steak and driving a porsche; I’m not talking about anything money can buy, but about simple pleasures.
Just some thoughts after another beautiful Saturday at the farmer’s market, eating fresh food in the shade of old trees and then hopping on the bikes for a quiet ride home. The price for hours of entertainment, quality time, exercise, transportation, fresh air and happiness – nada. For local food (cherries, cheese, arugula, croissant, mushrooms) – ten dollars per person.
I’m no master of simple living, but I know what makes me happy. Bicycles and fresh food are so obviously good, their near-invisibility in society boggles the mind.
What is your take on simple pleasures and how they affect your life?
Riding 5 miles in 80+ degree temperatures does not have to be miserable. Take the opportunity to kick back and relax, keeping cool while keeping your cool. Everyone else can rush rush rush, but you’re too smart for that.
Today there were so many bicyclists along my route, everywhere, becoming a real force in the movement of the city – it was beautiful. I found myself smiling the whole way home.
There are many more bicyclists this summer than last summer, and especially more people dressed in regular clothes. I’m bad at numbers, but I must have seen nearly 100 other bicyclists during my commute. On the way home I rode behind a guy in a suit (jackpot!), a woman in a skirt and another woman in stylish khakis and a button-down with pink flowers on her basket.
I hope people who don’t ride notice all of the bicycles, too. They must! Seems impossible to miss such a dynamic new part of the cityscape. I’m pretty sure I saw some smiles on the faces of pedestrians. Who can resist a smile at the bicycles? Especially those with wicker baskets, flowers, skirts and suits?
Have you noticed more bicyclists where you live? Or is it your first summer riding a bike? I’m really curious to hear what others’ experiences have been.
This morning I rode further than usual to attend a conference. While waiting at a stop light, my friend Elizabeth magically appeared next to me. What a fun surprise! There are few surprises better than meeting a good friend in an unexpected place. Turns out she was on a long morning ride (being much sportier than I). Gotta love the social aspect of bike riding.
Elizabeth brightening my morning
Soon afterward, a grouchy guy tried to mar my morning. As I rode 8 mph on the nearly empty bike path (trying not to sweat my ass off before work), he said sarcastically while passing me, “Nice place for your helmet,” indicating the helmet hanging from my handlebars.
Helmet-carrying contraption, aka handlebars
Why, thank you! I agree; that’s a brilliant place for my helmet, as I can easily take it off and put it on as I transition from the streets to the bike path. Perhaps if he slowed down occasionally (to, say, 8 mph), he would notice that riding a bike is not always an extreme sport requiring protective gear.
Really, I ride so slowly and cautiously when I take off my helmet on the bike path – if anything, I am safer.
My ride was otherwise nice and relaxing, though almost 90 degrees and humid. Nothing a wet washcloth and deodorant couldn’t handle.
And now for something completely different. In one hour (9:00 central) Trisha and I will be interviewed live on Bicycle Radio. You can – and totally should! – listen at http://bicycleradio.com. If you miss the show, you can download the podcast. While you’re at it, check out their awesome archives, which include guests such as Ray LaHood and Gary Fisher!
After six months of winter, I was thrilled by the re-emergence of roses and puffy hydrangea in Chicago’s Grant Park. I cycled through the garden every day to and from work, and these flowers always brought a smile to my face. Sadly, they are now dying as autumn takes over.
Beginning of summer, blooming flowers in Grant Park
Good news first: you work! you really work. Better than the old damp paper-towel routine. Better than a washcloth and soap (no need to rinse).
You do your best to make your packaging environmentally friendly.
You included a nice little handwritten note on my order slip.
Thank you for all of those things.
But do you have to smell like a hippie eating a cough drop? Herbal, I can live with, but smelling like the herb, I cannot. Can we pretty please have the cleansing and soothing properties of eucalyptus and tea tree with a little less of the scent? Because on all but the hottest days, I find myself opting for the slight BO/Chanel Chance combo instead.
Dottie and I are cooking up a little group ride adventure for her next trip here. Exact route and details TK, but we hope you’ll keep the afternoon of Saturday, August 22, open for a stylish saunter through the bike lanes around my side of town.
P.S. In other news, I’m in North Carolina (Sapphire/Asheville) for a long weekend. Hoping to rent bikes, hike and eat some good food — drop me an email if there’s anything I shouldn’t miss!