Fisher sets new CTA record; ‘L’ race this Saturday at Linden centennial


A CTA racer’s summit: Fisher (wearing a t-shirt based on the honorary station sign the CTA sent him), minutes after setting the new record, meets up with Bielaski, Greenfield and Resner to toast his triumph.

Adham Fisher has done it again. In March 2011 the globetrotting Leicester, England, native set the world record for visiting all 143 CTA stations by train, only to have the title stripped from him by Chicago residents Danny Resner and yours truly last February 3. On April 6 Chicagoans Kevin Olsta and Scott Presslak beat our time, but were bested five days later by locals Rob Bielaski and Ben Downey, who brought the winning time down to 9:08:56.


Fisher is currently back in town, not on a busman’s holiday but a subway racer’s vacation, participating in a slew of transit-related events. You can read background on the cutthroat competitive CTA riding scene and Fisher’s packed Chicago transit geek itinerary in this week’s Checkerboard City column in Newcity magazine.

After doing research on Wednesday, Fisher rode the entire system yesterday and set a new record: 9:06:48. This Saturday 4/28 following remarks by CTA President Forrest Claypool at the 100th anniversary celebration for the Purple Line’s Linden station in Wilmette, Fisher will engage in a friendly ‘L’ riding race versus the team of Resner and myself. Grid Chicago readers are invited to cheer us on as we depart from Linden, or even join us in the competition.

It turns out that all Loop stations will be open this weekend so setting a new record may be possible, although perhaps unlikely, since trains will be running less frequently than on weekdays. But it will be interesting to see how elite CTA racers perform against one another on a level playing field (although Checkerboard City is by definition a level playing field). May the best rider win!

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John Greenfield

John has lived in Chicago since 1989 and has worked a number of bicycle jobs, from messenger to mechanic to managing the Chicago Department of Transportation's bicycle parking program, arranging the installation of over 3,700 bike racks. He writes regularly for Time Out Chicago, Newcity, Momentum and Urban Velo magazines and works at Boulevard Bikes in Logan Square.

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