Thursday, August 25, 2011

May, W Armitage Ave & N Stave St, Chicago, IL

May rides a fixed gear Nishiki rebuild. 

Where are you going?  I am meeting a few friends for dinner at 90 miles Cuban Cafe.  My friend Deren just got back from a research excursion in China all summer so it is kinda like a "Welcome Home" dinner. 

What are you wearing?  The shirt is from Buffalo Exchange in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  My bud is the manager there so she sends me all the good stuff.  I actually got the black jeans in San Fran and the shoes are from London.  Holy smokes, a pretty worldly outfit I guess.  I didn't even realize. Oh, and the belt, which I love, is from Family Discount Thrift Store right around the corner on Milwaukee. 

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?
Well, her name is Daffodil.  Daf for short.  It's a Nishiki frame.  She was sand blast and powder coded kinda a John Deere green.  I actually got her on Craig's List complete with the beautiful yellow wheels and yellow grip tape.  I just added on my old Brooks saddle and some new tires and waaah laaa.   The frame is a bit big for me, but I like it.  She's mine.

Why ride?
The freedom, the wind in your air (I just cut all mine off last week so maybe not so much anymore) , kicking cars and buses butts getting home in evening traffic, $4.19 gas prices, it's good for the body and soul, lots of time to think, you get to actually feel and experience the change in weather, the reasons are endless.  It's addicting.

Favorite ride?
My 6:15  am ride to work. It wakes me up and gets me ready for the day.  I also really like the ride up to the Chicago Botanical Gardens. 

While riding you …?
I sing Disney songs, most of the time out loud, sometimes just to myself.  I have been on a big Aladdin kick the last few days.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
I actually got pulled over on my way to work at the end of last school year (I am a teacher) for jumping the gun on a stale red light right before it turned green.  Not three minutes before, I was honked at by a driver that was behind me and couldn't get over and was upset because I apparently wasn't going fast enough.  It made me really think about how Chicago bike culture is in this strange limbo.  All the people in cars complain about bikers not following the rules, but then they give them no respect on the road.  In order for Chicago to become more bike friendly bikers need to follow the laws IN RETURN for cars making room for bikers on the road (that also means they need to watch where they open their doors).  I know I would be more apt to always follow bike laws if cars were less aggressive toward me.  Obviously, more bike lanes would be amazing as well. 

ALSO, I think the biggest thing, is just getting more bikers on the road.  If this is done, inherently bike infrastructure would (hopefully) improve.  I think there should be a big push in bike education in schools; with a focus on free or reduced lunch schools.

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