Grid Shots: Chicago Critical Mass 15th Anniversary Ride


The Great Chicago Bike Holdup. Photo by Mike Travis.

Last night was the 20th Anniversary of the worldwide Critical Mass movement, which began in San Francisco, and the 15th anniversary of Chicago’s monthly rides. It’s probably safe to say our local celebration drew over 2,000 participants. They marked the occasion with The Great Chicago Bike Holdup, raising their rides over their heads for a group portrait in front of the Picasso. The route dipped down to Roosevelt, went west to Ogden and Randolph, then up to Webster, and back south via Magnificent Mile, ending at a secret 10,000 square-foot private lot in River West with a bonfire and dance party. As someone who’s been doing the Daley Plaza rides since 1997, I enjoyed seeing many of the early participants show up for the anniversary ride, some visiting from out of town. Several of my friends met their mates through the Mass and some of the kids from these unions are now old enough that they pedaled solo in last night’s ride.

Continue reading Grid Shots: Chicago Critical Mass 15th Anniversary Ride

Grid Shots: In the Loop


A cyclist crosses State Street under the Lake Street ‘L’. Photo by Michelle Stenzel. 

It seems this theme could mean two things, traveling to or within the central business district of Chicago, or knowing what’s going on. We’ll go with the former.


Two people converse on the corner of Randolph Street and State Street. Photo by Ann Fisher. Continue reading Grid Shots: In the Loop

Grid Shots: Copenhagen cargo bikes


A woman pedals her “short john” cargo bike across the world’s busiest bike intersection

According to Mikael Colville-Anderson, there are about 40,000 cargo bikes in the municipalities of Frederiksburg, where he and his company, Copenhagenize Consulting, live, and Copenhagen, the city where I’ve been for 5 days now.

And Saturday we held the 4th annual Danish cargo bike championships, or “Svajerløb” (pronounced zvy-uhh-loob). I participated in the Team Relay race with my friend Brandon Gobel and two Danish locals, Micha and Lasse (he cofounded the Bicycle Innovation Lab here).


A woman pushes her trike across the sidewalk in a shopping neighborhood. 


One trike among many bikes parked near a Metro station and indoor public market. 


Two Bullitt bikes outside the Larry vs. Harry workshop. 


The City of Copenhagen found four families in the Vesterbro neighborhood who wanted to securely store their cargo bikes on the street in this pink container shaped like a car. Each family has a key to their separated compartments, and the door lifts up. The City plans to build more. Each takes up 1 American car parking space, or 1.5 European car parking spaces. Gobel and Colville-Anderson are on the left side of the photo. 

See more photos from my Cargo bikes in Copenhagen set. This was an unplanned edition of Grid Shots.

Grid Shots: Crossing

Today’s theme is “crossing” and it was very easy to find photos for this one. I first look for photos by searching for the theme in the Flickr group. A variety of photos showing different kinds of crossings appeared.


Cycling across the wide Western Avenue on Milwaukee Avenue. This photo wasn’t labeled with “crossing” but it was recently uploaded so I saw it in the group page first. Photo by Clint. 


Crossing guards in Blue Island. Photo by Jane Healy. 


A railroad crossing sign in the Wilmette Purple Line parking lot. The public isn’t allowed to cross the here (only CTA workers), and for the most part the tracks are guarded by the concrete wall. Photo by Michelle Reitman.


A Metra Rock Island train crosses other railroad tracks at a 90-degree angle at the 16th Street tower. Photo by Eric Pancer. 


This CTA bus stretches across the entire intersection. Photo by Señor Codo. 


Ducks and their offspring will cross here, in Wheaton, Illinois. Photo by Clark Maxwell. 

Grid Shots: Tour de Fat 2012


The Bike Barbarian wields a new bicycle awarded to an attendee who traded in his car for the bike.

On Saturday the Tour de Fat bicycle and beer festival organized by New Belgium Brewing (a Grid Chicago sponsor) returned to Palmer Square Park in the Logan Square neighborhood. Steven helped organize a cargo bike contingent in the morning bike parade. The event raised about $25,000 for West Town Bikes, a bike education center based in Humboldt Park. I swung by at the end of the fest and snapped a few photos.

Continue reading Grid Shots: Tour de Fat 2012

Grid Shots: Color jamming

Color Jam is a new piece of artwork at the intersection of State Street and Adams Street. Huffington Post explains further:

Chicago’s largest-ever public art installation, Color Jam, was unveiled Tuesday in the heart of the city’s Loop — covering various surfaces of the intersection of State and Adams with multihued, geometric shapes. Created by multimedia artist Jessica Stockholder, Color Jam “wraps” the intersection with color in a three-dimensional homage to fabric artist Christo commissioned by the Chicago Loop Alliance’s Art Loop.

Here are three photos of Color Jam from Grid Chicago contributors to our Flickr group. The remaining photos are of other “color jams” in Chicago.


Photo by Michelle Stenzel.


Photo by Michelle Stenzel.


Photo by Drew Baker.


A color wheel at the Tour de Fat bike+beer festival in Palmer Square Park from 2011. Photo by Joshua Koonce. The festival returns July 21, 2012. Join Cargo Bike Roll Call in the 10 AM bike parade.


A woman crosses the street in downtown Chicago. Photo by Cynthia K.


An array of painted bike forks near Addison Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue. Photo by Drew Baker.