Bike The Drive

Okay, so this morning I got up ridiculously early, ate breakfast, drank a pot of coffee and headed down to Grant Park for the 10th Annual Bike the Drive fund raising event. Each participant has to pay a registration fee that benefits the Active Transportation Alliance. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but this was my first year and glad I decided to participate.

The forecast was calling for thunderstorms all weekend, but when I got up the radar had no clouds anywhere near and gave me hope. When I left it was very foggy here and misty when I arrived down town. I took the CTA Red Line to Jackson to “save” five miles. There were several other bikers on my delayed train and I reached the Start/Finish line at 6:06 AM just a few minutes later than I planned.

Bike The Drive 2011
Bike The Drive 2011
Since I had registered in January and picked up my rider packet two weeks ago I was able to jump right on and headed south to the Museum of Science & Industry. It seemed like most riders took the North Leg as I was leaving.

My first stop was near Roosevelt when I pulled over to check my derailleur which was acting up. That gave me an opportunity to snap a self pic with the fog shrouded Field Museum in the background.

It was really amazing being able to ride on LSD because there were no stops for crossings or obstacles like joggers, roller bladers or skate boarders like the bike paths along Lake Michigan or anywhere else. It was undoubtedly the longest stretch of non stop biking I’ve ever experienced.

When we got to the 57th street turn around there was a rest stop for those who wanted to take a break. I chose to hydrate and snack on some complementary energy bars & fruit. They had large jugs of chilled water to refill our bottles. There was even a trio that played instruments made from bicycle parts that was hilarious and actually melodic.

Somewhere between the band and the water table I lost my Gore-Tex jacket and had to double back to find it. Luckily it was right where I stopped the first time and glad to get it back. I was able to take a self pic with a less foggy MSI in the background. Then, after a quick stop in the port-a-john and an equipment check I hit the road again.

My original goal was to ride the South leg and head home from the Loop on the CTA, but while my legs were good, my left wrist was aching and I bailed at Oakwood/ 39th Street and rode home on my bike. Ironically, I hurt my right wrist on Friday and thought that was going to hinder my ride.

My total mileage after stopping for second breakfast was just under 14 miles and actually the same if I had rode to the loop as planned. It was a great start to the Summer biking season and really spoiled me.

The event organizers had photographers at various points along the route and have pictures for sale. I don’t know if I can browse them for free, but if I find a nice one I may actually make the donation to download it. My rider number was 06015 so look for me if you want.

Eighteen down and 32 to go!