The Chainlink

Just came back from an awesome weekend participating in Milwaukee's Riverwest24 community bike ride. More info: http://www.riverwest24.com/about/overview. So this made me wonder: Is there a similar race in Chicago? and if not, why not ?! Let me know.

PS. I love Pilsen and I think it's fairly similar to Riverwest on many aspect, so that's why I asked about a P24.

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Because you haven't organized it yet.

Challenge accepted. That's partially why I posted up here too. To see if anybody was interested/ had experience in organizing similar events and would be up for it. I'm new to the neighborhood but am working up my community contacts fast. In about a good year I think it's possible.

I love Pilsen too.

No, there has not been anything like this. Closest there has been is an annual alderman's "fun ride", and some excellent scavenger hunts organized by the UIC bike club that tended to include Pilsen.

 

I'd be interested to hear what similarities you see between the neighborhood in Milwaukee and Pilsen.

Pilsen and Riverwest (Milwaukee, WI) have several similarities despite being very different neighborhoods. They're both highly diverse neighborhoods who have been historically settled by working class ethnic groups and now have a recent influx of artists and other gentrifiers. They have a good mix of families, young people and all in between. They both have had issues with crime (being areas of transition), but also both have groups and individuals who are deeply committed to the community's vitality and safety.

I believe having a bike ride of the same nature as the Riverwest 24 in Pilsen would serve much of the same goals of that ride: community safety (having groups, families, etc. out at night reduces crime), community unity (you ride with and meet your neighborhors on the streets), promoting bicycling as a viable mode of transportation in the neighborhood, promoting local businesses, and yes, promoting the neighborhood itself to the rest of the city and the country as a place where people care for and protect their community.

I've been talking with some of the organizers of the RW24 and I have been getting a better idea of what the challenges and details of such a ride are. Now I just need people who live here in the neighborhood or nearby areas who are interested to help me plan further.

Any takers?
I'm gonna try to revive this discussion here since there's been some momentum catching up on actually bringing some of the organizers of the Riverwest 24 down here to talk about how to pull off such an awesome ride.
Just saying... Minneapolis has also been doing its 24-hour community bike ride and the talk on all the rw24 forums is: why doesn't Chicago have this?
So... anybody interested in learning more about this and maybe meeting up with some of the RW24 folks?



notoriousDUG said:

Because you haven't organized it yet.

Make it a ride vs a "race"; that's my only suggestion after participating in RW24 this year. I'm older and more safety and car/bicyclist respect oriented, so was pretty concerned when I saw some super unsafe rider behaviors placing other riders, drivers, and themselves at huge risk and generally spreading ill will. All the bad behavior was thrown into the "it's a race" category and I wasn't impressed that it was blown off and people went to great lengths to defend it. Milwaukee is a few years behind Chicago in bike advocacy and infrastructure so unless some basic things with the ride were changed, I wouldn't see it as a step forward for Chicago. Talk with minneapolis' people too, I'm guessing they have addressed the safety stuff since they really have some good stuff going on up there as well.

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