The Chainlink

Does anyone use a recumbent to commute or am I the only nutjob doing this? I see other 'bents around the city on occasion but almost exclusively on the LFP, which incidentally comprises about 99% of my morning ride. My afternoon route is a combo of Wells/Kinzie/Dearborn/Wabash before I hop back on the path. I've been riding the street portion in the afternoon because the entire LFP area from LaSalle past the river is a nightmare, especially with all the construction. Winter is nice because the path is empty except for us diehard commuters and the hardcore runners. Alas, with nice weather come crowds. Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has adopted riding a 'bent as their sole means of commuting and running all other errands.

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I believe Gene Tenner commutes on his recumbent.

Kind of off-topic, but it sounds like your afternoon route goes the same way mine does (I typically take Kinzie/Dearborn/Illinois to get to the LFP in the afternoon/evenings). I agree that the LFP is nightmare-ish for the p.m. commute on nice days north of about Monroe, so I'm always toying with alternatives, but I've yet to find one I'm really happy with. Randolph scares me; Monroe feels slightly better, but only after a fair distance down contra-flow lights along Dearborn. Sounds like you must take Dearborn down to some street and hook over to Wabash (after the lane begins?), and then get over to the LFP at some point. Where do you do that, exactly? 

I can appreciate not wanting to ride a recumbent up the hill from Illinois on busy afternoons, with the slow traffic under the scaffolding. I often can't get onto the trail at all but by going down half a block and coming back, since peds and bikes so often block the ped cut-out at the corner.

In the summer I take Dearborn all the way north to the park.  You can get on the LFP at North or go through the park near the lagoon and get on at Fullerton.  And, on topic, Gene did switch from the trike to a recumbent this year.  I am sure he will show up here at some point.

Someone else who uses the bike lockers in my office building in the west loop rides a 'bent. At least, used to. Haven't seen him for a while.

There are a few I have seen around, one I remember was a Rapid Transit customer when I worked there.  I see two or three locked up or on the road pretty regular.  Chris, the owner of Rapid rides one almost exclusively and has been known to commute on it. 

Personally I think they are a little dangerous in traffic for no reason other than they are low enough they can be hard to see in traffic, especially in a van or commercial truck.

I commute 6 miles one-way on an ICE recumbent trike. I have never missed a commute due to weather, even over the most recent Ice Age here. I have two flag poles sticking high up for cars to see me.

I live at Buena and Sheridan and get on the Lakefront Trail at the Peace Garden at Buena. At the Belmont underpass I switch over to the west side of Lake Shore Drive in Lincoln Park and pass the zoo until I hit North where I take State to work at State and Erie. I park in our loading dock. I rarely feel in danger, and my route allows me to take photos (posted most days on "I rode today. Did you?) of some interesting flora and fauna.

I run errands, get groceries and attend evening meetings on my trike. I no longer own a car and my recumbent trike is my only source of transportation except for the Red Linde once per week on Thursdays. I also own a two-wheeled Burley Taiko recumbent as a second bike when the trike is in the shop, or I am interested in a longer non-photo-taking ride.

After 20 years of two-wheeling on road and mountain bikes I switched to recumbents because of my back (scoliosis - a curve in the spine) and the pounding that my vertabrae took.

I would never go back. Recumbent trikes are just too much fun, albeit slow fun.

Not to derail the 'bent convo, but the stretch of State St. from North to Division is in atrocious condition. So many potholes and lots of torn-up pavement forcing the rider well into the lane. I've started taking Dearborn and highly recommend it as a buttery-smooth alternative.

 At the Belmont underpass I switch over to the west side of Lake Shore Drive in Lincoln Park and pass the zoo until I hit North where I take State to work at State and Erie.


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