Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bicycling season is here!

The bike is back!
Originally uploaded by katherine of chicago

For me, I mean. It never went away for some of you. But my back wheel was stolen in November...this had never happened in the 13 years I'd had the bike, nearly all in Chicago, and then it did when the bike was locked a few days in front of my building. Last Tuesday night, in a caffeinated fit (I made it over two months without coffee! or anything containing caffeine other than chocolate/hot chocolate), I walked the bike the 10 blocks to the shop. I didn't think I could take it on a bus and I didn't want to ask a friend with a car for a favor.

I thought the store might be closed so I locked it overnight and came back to Boulevard Bikes in Logan Square the next afternoon, a gorgeous day. While they quickly repaired it, I ate at Johnny's Grill and took photos in the area. The prices were reasonable for the parts/repair, but it added up to more than I realized it would ($162, which must be half of what I paid for the bike itself). But I was so happy to have it back, I biked 5 miles Wed. evening, 24 miles Thurs., and 10 yesterday.

I was in a hurry to get it fixed for yesterday's Critical Mass...and the forecast was so lousy (yes, they got rained on) that I didn't go; in fact, I didn't even make it home on the bike, and it's locked up across from the Ferrera Pan Candy Co. in Forest Park.

If you're on LiveJournal, I just started a bike blog there (, because for several years I've meant to keep a log of my mileage and streets I travel (and to mark them off on a copy of the Chicago bike map). I'm debating the extent to which it'll be friends-only (i.e. you have to be a LiveJournal member to see it); I need to keep some of it private to keep my location private...but right now I only have one reader, ouch. Anyway, if you don't see it at all, no big deal, any of the GOOD stories will end up here, in my usual timely fashion. Oh, and I've also started a group on Flickr called Bicycling Chicago--there was no general-interest Chicago bicycle group there. If you're on Flickr with any bike photos whatsoever, feel free to join!


Jennifer said...


You could pick a landmark or major intersection nearby as your starting point, or would that still be too specific for your comfort?

Eric Allix Rogers said...

You might also want to publicize the fact that users can subscribe to your LJ posts via RSS if they want to. Any posts that are friends-locked won't show up in the RSS feed at all, of course. But your RSS feed URL is: feed://

Jeff Stevenson said...

Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 7,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.


Jason David said...

You missed Critical Mass? It was great! We only hit rain at the last 1/2 mile, but all the bikers (700?) parked underneath the Western at Logan I-94 overpass. Really cool scene:

Hopefully, you'll be at the next one!

Katherine said...

Thanks everyone. I've already changed the format of the LJ; all the stories are public, and only the actual location info is locked. I live at a major intersection, so it probably wouldn't hurt to name in. We'll see...

Eric, thanks for the RSS info, I'm still quite bad at knowing how I'm actually supposed to be promoting stuff on the internet. Jeff, I don't know much about LinkedIn but I'll check it out. Jason, I plan to be at the next CCM and I'm glad people didn't get totally rained out!

Andre Alforque said...

Hello! I found your Blogs via Flickr after you posted on the ChiFlickr post about Bike the Drive. Just thought I'd drop a note to say, "Hello!" Hope to see you out on a ride one day!