Hyde Park Ride – Tinsy Tiny Adventure

Riding daily in Chicago can get somewhat stale – same old, same old – and sometimes I yearn to escape the city and frolic among wild flowers and cows and stuff. Unfortunately, a true country adventure would involve a rental car or train and a lot of planning. One city ride that always seems somewhat like a country adventure is the ride from my northside neighborhood to visit my friends in Hyde Park on the southside (Obama’s neighborhood!). A 30-mile round trip, the ride goes straight down Lake Michigan almost entirely on the Lakefront Trail. The first half is exactly my daily commute, but the second half is much more relaxing and scenic.

Flowers by the Lakefront Trail

Flowers by the Lakefront Trail

This weekend we made the trip to have brunch with friends. Along the way, we stopped to smell the roses – or whatever these are – and appreciate their beauty.

More flowers

More flowers

I adore the south side of the Lakefront Trail and wish I had an opportunity to ride it more often. The south portion is mercifully free of tacky palm trees (they’re not fooling anyone), volleyball nets (a volleyball hit Greg in the head while commuting last summer – the indignity!), shirtless rollerbladers (out of my way, Steven Seagal), and clueless tourists (too scared of the south side). Instead, notwithstanding the Lakefront Drive traffic noise, I can imagine that I’m cycling down a country seaside lane.

Lakefront Trail - Southern Portion

Lakefront Trail - Southern Portion

Grassy knoll meets lake and sky

Grassy knoll meets lake and sky

Sailboats of the rich and lucky

Sailboats of the rich and lucky

When the trail gets closer to the city and loses its nature appeal, the exchange of a gorgeous skyline is mollifying. Unfortunately, our day today was rainy and chilly (check out my wool socks and sandals, stylin’) but still good to be alive.

Lakefront Trail and Skyline

Lakefront Trail and Skyline

If we had taken the subway or somehow gotten a car to drive to our friend’s brunch, half of the day’s fun would have been robbed from us. And that’s no way to live!

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10 thoughts on “Hyde Park Ride – Tinsy Tiny Adventure

  1. grambev says:

    I drool with envy, wishing there was a loooong trail like that here.

  2. Bob says:

    As a bike rider and sailboat racer, I’d have to say that none of the boats in your inappropriately tagged photo require a rich or lucky owner. Why not stop by and ask for a ride?

  3. Betty says:

    Sounds like a wicked good time:)

  4. Jen says:

    The trail is beautiful but damn, I love that bike!

  5. Beautiful flowers — I see roses, peonies, poppies and irises!

  6. Angella says:

    What a beautiful setting!

  7. Trisha says:

    South side looks nice! Yum, brunch. Riding bikes there looks more pleasant than the car ride.

  8. Carolyn says:

    That looks like a nice ride! I love weekends like this. Fortunally, where I live, the city is small enough that you don’t have to bike too far to get into the country.

    This weekend I biked 30 kms (19 miles) out into the country to the Salmon River, a favourite spot for locals in hot weather, which we have been having. If I wasn’t a dedicated hiker on Sundays (skipped hiking this past Sunday), I’d do this particular trip more often.

    The reason I went out is I have a friend out there who had a bbq/bonfire Sat. night. He brought out my big tent, beer, etc…and I biked out the rest. I camped the night. Next morning, I biked back..at 8:30ish, and really enjoyed the leisurely ride back. There were many old 20’s and 30’s cars with open tops driving north. The people driving it were in period costume..my fav was the guy with the goggles on!! :)

    Actually, going out I biked 45 kms (27 miles) as when I arrived, I biked around the country roads for a while. The best!

  9. Sooncheol says:

    your pictures make me wanna ride on the road. i live in country so i won’t have to go anywhere. my ankle just need to recover a little quicker. nice pictures

  10. NetinChiRides says:

    I can attest to that scenic ride! I live in the Beverly/Morgan Park area of Chicago (about as far south and west of the city you can get before hitting one of the south suburbs), and I commute as much as I can to work downtown by bike.

    Unfortunately, I have to drive my bike close to the Museum of Science and Industry (wish I didn’t have to drive to bike…kind of defeats the purpose), park, then I hit the lake front at 57th street. But oh, is it worth it! Gorgeous and picturesque, just like the pictures above. More people should do it!

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