Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Riding South

Ok, so I usually ride north from my condo along the lakefront path when I'm in the city.  Last week I decided to ride south and rode about 6 miles, although I could've continued further.  But it was awfully hot and a 12 mile ride was about all I could take in the sun. 

South is less populated along the path and an easier ride, as you can let your guard down a little and enjoy the scenery rather than constantly glancing in the rear mirror for riders who come up quickly on your left, many of whom don't know the proper bike etiquette and don't "announce" and then scare the crap out of you.  You also aren't continually ringing your bell (yes, I proudly own a bike bell) or yelling "passing on your left" and hoping the people you pass aren't ones who don't speak English, don't know what you are saying, and step to the left right in front of you, causing a nasty spill.  Sometimes I get an ulcer riding north.

The key to it all, though, is to take off at 5:30 or 6:00 AM on a weekday and then you pretty much have the path to yourself, except for the more adept bikers who do follow etiquette.

But I'm not often up at that hour.  Hell, I was up earlier than that for 32 years.  I deserve a break.

(Click photos to enlarge)

South of Museum Campus

Past Soldier Field, the lakeside of McCormick Place

McCormick Place from the path

Tribute to fallen Chicago firefighters

A shady spot to stop behind McCormick

Bikers resting at the water's edge

Gardens behind McCormick Place

People who think the city hasn't natural beauty are people who don't know the city!

A nice, shady section

Bad storm damage along the path

This little guy didn't stand a chance.

Halfway back north to the city

Even during Taste of Chicago in Grant Park, the south beaches are much less crowded than the north. (My building is the first one to the left of Lake Point Tower...)

My favorite resting spot

Be sure to enlarge this one (click it) as it is a great cityscape from the south, with the Sears Tower on the left and the John Hancock building on the right!

Lots of great space to take a sandwich and a book for a couple of hours

Behind McCormick on the ride back

A cyclist rides right along the water, off the path.

Burnham Harbor

Segway tour and a cyclist with the Sears Tower in the background

The Planetarium behind Burnham Harbor

Rounding the bend on the path lakeside of the Shedd Aquarium

The Planetarium now behind us

Coming back up to Lake Shore Drive and the south end of Grant Park

Back to the Field Museum and Museum Campus

From here, a ride along the lake past Grant Park, Buckingham Foutain, Columbia Yacht Club and DuSable Harbor and home, across from Navy Pier.

A great ride.  I feel so lucky to live in Chicago.

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