BTD 2011

The camera cord got packed away this weekend so more interesting pictures of the mall in front of Science & Industry swarming with riders and the hellish conditions in fog and rain are trapped on the camera for a while, but I can post this out of focus, too far away shot of a rental bike rack.

I actually saw a few people on these borrow bikes during the ride, which struck me as a brilliant idea. Especially after having my bike strapped to an suv and sprayed with I-80 juice the entire way into the city that morning. They might not be the funnest bikes or easy to go fast on, but renting a bike just outside of the starting area seems like a brilliant way to handle Bike the Drive.

Possibly more pictures to come, but they'll have to wait until after the wife and I close on our place tomorrow. And move a bunch of boxes, and then find everything I would need for the camera. So it will be a while. We've got stuff to do.

ETA: some shots from the ride. It was surprisingly crowded already at the first turn, we got started a little late. Still cool to see all those riders out.
Soldier Field in the fog/rain. I got a good action shot of my mustache near here too.

Current beer-scale: 8.8


Up & away

This was at about 4:45 this morning before heading out to BTD. The non-rain rain made picture taking an issue but not a bad ride for shitty conditions.

Current beer-scale: a sleepy 5.5


it's a wide open road

Two rainy days and the path and streets have been relatively bike-free. Now if only they could be car-free, and my ideal morning would be complete.

I've caught myself reminding myself to slow down and take it easy a few times since getting clipped and it bugs me. I was the one wronged in that scenario, and yet it's me that has to watch out for other douches in their cars not stopping or turning on red. That's just how it goes on a bike. Especially in the rain.

But I don't have to worry about cars on the path, and Bike the Drive will hopefully help me shake the insecurities that have me riding feel a little uneasy lately. It's spring in Chicago, let's roll.

Current beer-scale: 8.8


Doin' it for the lulz

Is anyone else really hoping that the group posting ads about the rapture are pulling the biggest prank of all time?

Trolling on a global-level.

Current beer-scale: 6.66


Quid pro quo is for suckers

I never mind a little bit of volunteering. I'll do what I have to do to be a team player, but it is a bit rough when that means getting up at 5:30 AM to get downtown. But if someone helps my event out I'm gonna help theirs, so off I went.

Being on the 80th floor made things a little easier to take, even if I was just there for labor and things were a little disorganized.

A scant 5 hours later and I'm done for the day and free to have even more coffee. Thank god. So much for napping, let's get packing.

Current beer-scale: 5.8


I know how I want to bike the drive this year

That's got Pedal Pub written all over it.

God I hope someone does this, and I hope they're passing out beers.

Current beer-scale: 8.1


don't fence me in

We've started packing in the hopes that we don't hit any kind of snag in the next two weeks on our close, and it's disorienting to live a simpler life while all sorts of clutter starts to surround you.

The living room is the worst part, as we try to show our place to potential tenants and convince them to imagine the place without stacks of boxes everywhere. When we saw the place it practically looked like an episode of "Hoarders," but we were moving no matter what at that point. The place was cheaper than we had been paying on Belmont & we wouldn't have anyone else in the building. We could see past piles of shit everywhere.

Ultimately that might have screwed us a bit, since we had to wait until later in the same day the old tenants moved out to move in, and have only run the place down more in two years. Without the place getting a real cleaning or re-painting two years ago it honestly was quite a shit-hole. Not a huge selling point when we're trying to show the place.

At least there's still room to park the bike upstairs, even if that meant taking the trainer off and putting everything else downstairs. We're literally down to eating frozen meals that we don't need to use pots or pans with for the next two weeks since most of our kitchen is packed. We can at least use silverware, but only with plastic plates we re-use. And I'm already wearing the same shirt for a week at a time since the washer & dryer in the basement suck, so no problem packing up my closet once I didn't have to wear anymore suits for work.

I can't complain too much, as we're nearly ready to move and our new place seems great. We just have to last through the end of the month, close, enjoy bike the drive, port most of the small stuff a day or two at a time, and then have movers handle the big stuff. Without driving the dog too crazy, and without cracking under the enormous pressure of buying a place in this market. No sweat.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


Dutch bike still does good work

Trued the back wheel for $15, bike's still rideable. Maybe that'll turn things around.

Current beer-scale: 6.8
Wow. Blogger goes down for a few hours and I go from having a great afternoon/evening to getting clipped by some asshole making a u-turn this morning.

So I took a long ride up north yesterday to pick up an academic robe for tomorrow's ceremony. I've been getting ready for this event for weeks and the mere thought of it being close to finally over is making me smile. But before it's over I get to wear a gown that's at least 50 years old. Awesome.

But I capped off last night with a trip to the dog beach, always awesome. My favorite spot in the city on a night that felt more like summer than early May. Good times.

So I woke up happy this morning, happy it was Friday, happy the week was nearly over, happy I was on the bike, only someone decided morning rush-hour on Fullerton was a good time to swerve right into the bike lane then whip around and pull a bitch. Clipped my back wheel as I tried to get around him since I had no idea what he was doing. I'm fine but the wheel is severely out of true. Hopefully a trip to the shop tonite isn't full of bad news.

Damn. And I was feeling pretty great too. That's swirling down the toilet, and I just want to get out of the office and punch random people driving their retarded cars around. Ah Friday.

Current beer-scale: 9.6


Dutch bike does a decent tune-up though

I rode in two t-shirts today so I'm not going to get upset at how many new people I had to maneuver around this morning. I'm not going to bitch about traffic, about construction, about fucking horses (!) clogging things up.

Okay, the horse was kind of amusing, especially since the Fred in front of me couldn't figure out how to get around it without nearly crashing into a car. He was so fixated on getting around a carriage he nearly forgot about the soccer-mom-mobile to his left.

But the sun is out, it feels like spring, and between condo and work I've got enough going on to drive me crazy I don't need commuting to pile on. A conscious decision to enjoy riding a bike is just as valid and enjoying it naturally.

Current beer-scale: 7.7


Go on, try it

When you have a chance to try a $15 pretzel, you have to take it.

Looks great, doesn't it? To be honest, it would have been great if it was warm or hadn't been out all morning. Three dipping sauces, cinnamon, cheese, & mustard. A good base-layer for an afternoon of drinking, overall not terrible.

Unlike the weather, which was awful. But rain didn't stop the cubs from winning, and from us getting free shots thanks to someone's four-square app afterwards. Not a terrible afternoon.

The dog still wasn't impressed.

Current beer-scale: 8.3


shake it off

Got to spend most of my ride in this morning shaking off the adrenaline rush from nearly getting sideswiped by some chick swooping into the bike lane on Fullerton to drop someone off. She was close enough for me to knock on her window on my way by so I could be sure she saw me flip her off. I'm regretting that now as my messed up middle finger is starting to swell a little but it had to be done.

I was hoping a lenten season spent trying to curb my over-eager middle-finger-ing on the bike would last past Easter, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Some other idiot got a passing finger after blocking the bike lane at the back of a line of traffic. She'd be damned if anyone was getting past her on either side, bike or car. After nearly getting clipped I wasn't in a patient mood so she got the finger along with some derogatory shouts.

The great part of all of this is in a few weeks my commute will be that much longer, giving me even better odds of having to interact with some retard on their phone or stuffing their face with burger king takeout while they haphazardly drive to work. Both of which I've already seen this morning, both of which make me want to throw my ulock through a window.

I'm taking a long ride up to lakeshore campus this afternoon and potholes or not, I'm taking the path for as long as possible to avoid all these idiots in cars. It's gonna be a long end of the week.

Current beer-scale: 9.1


Grown up time

I wasn't out buying marshmallow shooters, but the wife and I did meet with our mortgage guy yesterday and things seem to be lining up pretty well for us. The bank approved the short sale contract, and unless the sellers are total douchebags about it we should be closing on May 27th. Which makes me think they'll be total douches about it but we'll see.

So it's time to get final approval, time to pack, time to kiss our shithole apartment goodbye. Time to get ready for a longer commute too, in both good and bad weather. So let's keep our fingers crossed that the sun stays out this spring.

We also found out that the in-laws bought us Bike The Drive spaces with them this year, so Memorial Day is shaping up to be a busy weekend. 15 miles was rough on Friday, I better get to it so I can handle 30 in a few weeks. Ah spring.

Current beer-scale: 7.7