The Chainlink

I posted this on Craigslist as well, and was directed here.

I've recently started cycling to work, I live in the loop and work in Melrose Park. Yesterday was the first day attempting the ride. I took the Green line to Harlem and then biked the rest of the way to work from there.

On the way home, I was feeling more ballsy so I decided to bike the entire way. I wound up riding on Chicago Ave until it hit Grand and taking that home. Passing through the west side of the city was pretty intimidating though. The combination of haggard roads, riddled with pot holes that could consume my whole bike, run down houses, and people staring at me like they hadn't seen a white guy in years, all made for a pretty traumatic experience.

Can anyone suggest a path through the west side that isn't quite as run down and intimidating? I'm not trying to come off as racist, I'm just curious as to what other options are out there without having to experiment and put myself in danger.

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Just don't take the same route all the time in a predictable manor. Also, stay away from the Brass Monkey Lounge on Division, just east of Austin.
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif
My office is located on North and Manheim, so I could ideally go a bit farther north of North, I just wouldn't know which path to take. I'm coming from the Fulton/Canal intersection. According to the chicago bike map, Bloomingdale would be a safe bet, but I'm just not sure what to do after the map ends.

envane x said:
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif
we used to ride in from DuPage a few days a week :

here was our (evening) route (morning was easier) :

Fullerton West; then it turns into Grand; then continue west on Grand to your destination.
metra: pacific union west line.
Was it really necessary to include a map of "black Chicago?"

envane x said:
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif
yes.

heather stratton said:
Was it really necessary to include a map of "black Chicago?"

envane x said:
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif
Chicago Ave sucks. It's in bad shape and though it is fourlane, traffic is too unpredictable. You could try Augusta (mornings only) or Division (marginally better than Chicago Ave but with slower traffic). I've been taking Lake Street. since you're on Fulton, take fulton West to California. Turn south on Cali, right onto Lake or go north to Division or Augusta. Take Lake straight west. You can figure out how best to get to Melrose Park. Agree with Duncle too, it's good to vary your route and not ride every day.

It can be traumatic to see run down neighborhoods...but they are just neighborhoods, as vibrant, full of life and interesting things as any. If you choose to continue cycling around in them, you'll get used to the surroundings.
I'd like to point out that some sections of your "black Chicago" map are relatively safe and middle class neighborhoods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham,_Chicago, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Shore,_Chicago

There is a strong correlation between race, poverty and crime. But your equating black with dangerous is invalid. And offensive.



envane x said:
yes.

heather stratton said:
Was it really necessary to include a map of "black Chicago?"

envane x said:
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif
envane x said:
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif

Can anyone suggest a route so that I don't have to ride through neighborhoods with racists like envane x?
Well said, T.C. I often ride through nice middle class black areas in Morgan Park, Chatham, West Pullman, Burnside, Calumet Heights, Avalon Park, and South Shore. People are friendly. I don't get hassled. Black does NOT equate to ghetto.

T.C. O'Rourke said:
I'd like to point out that some sections of your "black Chicago" map are relatively safe and middle class neighborhoods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham,_Chicago, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Shore,_Chicago

There is a strong correlation between race, poverty and crime. But your equating black with dangerous is invalid. And offensive.



envane x said:
yes.

heather stratton said:
Was it really necessary to include a map of "black Chicago?"

envane x said:
How out of the way are you willing to travel to avoid ghetto? North of North ave in generally OK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_chicago1.gif
Twenty years ago, I used to commute to UIC from my house in River Forest taking Madison St. The road was in good condition, the drivers were mostly commuters from the west side suburbs and there weren't many surprises. I still live in River Forest and Division or Augusta are good alternatives. Less traffic as they are two lane and not four (or in Chicago Aves case three) but they are more residential.

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