Video captures “Milwaukee morning madness” as cyclists pedal towards Kinzie and Desplaines Streets


Brandon Gobel sent us this video showing dozens – I count 27 – of people bicycling southeast on Milwaukee Avenue towards the five-way intersection with Kinzie Street and Desplaines Street. There were 13 motorized vehicles in the same signal cycle.

You’ll notice about half are changing lanes from the conventional curbside bike lane to the single travel lane so they can merge to the bike left-turn lane ahead.


The view from the opposite direction, looking southeast at the intersection of Kinzie Street, Desplaines Street, and Milwaukee Avenue. 

Unfortunately, because of signal timings at the intersection they just left (Hubbard/Milwaukee) uncoordinated with their destination intersection, the first in the group won’t be rewarded with a green light for their tricky uphill lane change maneuver, and will need to stop at the red light, while those in the back of this group will likely get a slim chance at moving through a green light (the green light is only 12 seconds long).

I’ve heard from several people who cycle here, Gobel included, that changing lanes from the curbside bike lane in a dark viaduct to the travel lane in order to reach the bike left-turn lane ahead can be very stressful.

Another issue with the light, but not related to this video, is that the light cycle for people who want to cycle from Milwaukee to Kinzie (making a slight left to go eastbound) is designed such that if you enter the intersection at the end of the green phase, you will be in the intersection for the entire yellow phase, part of the red phase, and then the beginning of green phase for the cross direction. I explored this – long intersections – on my blog, Steven Can Plan.

Ride with me on the journey to deliver beehives across the city


Three beehives are ready to go. 

On April 3, 2012, I joined Jana Kinsman (Bike-A-Bee; read our story from January) and Brandon Gobel (Chicago Cargo) to deliver three beehives on the west and south sides of Chicago. Scroll through this photo essay to join us, or watch this slideshow (22 photos, no captions).

Continue reading Ride with me on the journey to deliver beehives across the city

Meet Brandon, owner and operator of Chicago Cargo


Brandon on Milwaukee Avenue across from Café Mustache, where we met last week.

I briefly introduced Brandon Gobel, a Chicago courier, in Monday’s article about Zipments and how it will change the bike and small-scale messenger industry. I promised we’d talk more about him and his business, Chicago Cargo, today.

Continue reading Meet Brandon, owner and operator of Chicago Cargo

Zipments shipping marketplace may change local goods delivery

Part 2, interview and chat with Brandon, now published


Brandon Gobel riding his Bullitt on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square.

While reading my friend Mikael’s Copenhagenize blog, I saw a video featuring a guy in Chicago who delivers goods around town on a Larry vs. Harry Bullitt (a Danish Long John-style cargo bike).

Chicago? Cargo bike? I had to know more.

The courier is Brandon Gobel, a former tractor and semi-truck driver in Ukrainian Village; the video was created by Zipments. Brandon rides a John Player Spezial Bullitt from Splendid Cycles – Chicago has its own dealer – and uses Zipments to find courier jobs.

Continue reading Zipments shipping marketplace may change local goods delivery