We do a lot of complaining here (guilty), but as a whole, I love cycling in the city.  Cars are a little more patient than they were 6-7 years ago when I started commuting, and lots more bike lanes at least give me more of a semblance of comfort, potholes aside. But in general, I love not having to rely on the train or bus, I can park wherever I want, I love being able to scoot through small windows that cars can't, the rush from hitting a big downhill, speed in general, feeling healthier, feeling happier, making more of my trips to local vendors a few times a week (vs. a large supermarket once a week), making new friends, going on long adventure rides, waving to people, and shortening my commute by 50% vs. the train.  I've lost a good 40 pounds since I was at my heaviest, and my general health has been on the up ever since I started riding.  Cycling makes me happy, and no amount of car/pedestrian/scofflaw cyclist douchebaggery can change that.  Compared to the small town where I grew up, cycling here is beyond awesome...  In a huge suburb right next door, they refused to put in sidewalks, let alone bike lanes.  And in my experience, the cops mostly leave you alone unless you're a total psychopath (or they are), which is part of what I love most about Chicago: All the shenanigans one can get away with. Cah-Caw!  

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No complaints? Focusing on the positives of cycling in Chicago? Health benefits? Was this posted in error?

Culture change, bro. 

Fuck Yeah!  +1

I had three drivers hang back and let me merge into the travel lane when something was obscuring the bike lane ahead on my commute home last night. I really appreciated that and wondered if it was the first time I had ever experienced that.

Maybe they usual ride their bikes; or their spouse does; or they just recognized for a moment that, given the density of traffic, they weren't going to get to the next light any faster by squeezing me out. I doubt they were thinking of my safety, but maybe!

YES!!! +1 from me too!

Yes it is!

 

During a huge downpour last week I decided to take the red line to the loop from Irving/Sheridan.  ALL the way down there was this poor soul behind me with a Summer cold coughing/sneezing/gasping/etc.  I just knew I was going to catch some sort of shit...so far hasn't happened...

 

Driving our car last weekend for errands we were at Home Depot on Elston.  Noticed a cyclist pass us in the bike lane.  When we got all the way to Diversey and Racine, there was the dude in front of us...

 

Cycling in Chicago is Indeed Awesome

 

 

I couldnt agree more.

http://www.chicagoparent.com/magazines/chicago-parent/2012-july/goi...

An upbeat article on the topic of cycling with kids in the Chicagoland area. Good read for parents!

+100

You raise an interesting point, Mr. Schmoe. There are simple joys in bicycling that we sometimes take for granted.

I grew up in Oak Park and from 5 to 15 was on my bike more than off it. At 16 car-envy struck and I did not get back on until I got a bike as a gift from the now ex-spouse while in the far western suburbs. I rode after work and weekends; I dropped 50 pounds the first summer of riding, my health skyrocketed, I explored my neighborhood, town and neighboring cities, commuted sometimes, loved to feel the wind in my face and the smell of a passing lilac bush. Cycling helped me get through a bad marriage, reduced my tension and made me feel young again.

The monster change occurred when I moved to the Buena Park neighborhood of Chicago, halfway between my older son and my younger son who had just started at DePaul. I was still riding nights and weekends, but when I got a check back from the insurance company for my older-son-totaled PT Cruiser, I realized that I did not need a car and tossed the check in the bank. I began commuting to work.

Then my life changed. My life-style changed. My mood, health and attitude changed. I was free of so many car-related agonies. I was running errands on my bike, grocery shopping, going to meetings, attending community events, meeting people and even volunteered to help my Alderman’s election campaign by riding in the cold for 32 consecutive days with his yard signs stacked on my trike.

My bike riding was my emotional anchor that helped me recover from the death of my younger son last year. Cycling is my transportation for photo treks, gym membership, get-away-from-it-all pleasure craft, thinking-spot, spiritual sanctuary and happy-place.

I get to play like a kid in a sandbox in the world’s most wondrous city with a dazzling lakefront of ever-changing sparkling water, stunning flora, surprising fauna and architecture that the peoples of our planet journey to for just a momentary glimpse.

I do not need Thanksgiving; I am in Chicago and thankful every day that I am right here, right now and riding my bike.

I am a fortunate man who adores the simple pleasures of riding a bike.

Gene, this is positively inspiring and eloquent. Thanks for posting.

Gail

 

Gene Tenner said:

My bike riding was my emotional anchor that helped me recover from the death of my younger son last year. Cycling is my transportation for photo treks, gym membership, get-away-from-it-all pleasure craft, thinking-spot, spiritual sanctuary and happy-place.

I get to play like a kid in a sandbox in the world’s most wondrous city with a dazzling lakefront of ever-changing sparkling water, stunning flora, surprising fauna and architecture that the peoples of our planet journey to for just a momentary glimpse.

I do not need Thanksgiving; I am in Chicago and thankful every day that I am right here, right now and riding my bike.

I am a fortunate man who adores the simple pleasures of riding a bike.

Love it Gene. My sentiments exactly. Sorry to hear about your son, and hope you're doing better. Ride = happy.

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