A view of downtown from Promontory Point, about 55th Street and the Lakefront Trail.
Back in 2008, Momentum magazine invited me to write a roundup of the Chicago bicycle scene. The current issue of Momentum features this new guide to biking in Chicago, especially geared for visitors to the city but hopefully of interest to locals as well. Comparing the two pieces shows there have been a lot of exciting developments here in the last three years! Print space was limited so I couldn’t include every great cycling event, not-for-profit, bike shop, etc., that I would have liked to, but feel free to to comment if you think I left out anything crucial.
The city of Chicago by the numbers, courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation Bicycle Program:
2.7 million people
227 square miles
.5 miles of car-separated cycle tracks
123 miles of on-street bike lanes
33 miles of marked shared lanes AKA “sharrows”
50 miles of paved, off-street bike paths
12,265 on-street bike parking racks, more than any other U.S. city
60,000 people educated about safety by the city’s Bicycling Ambassadors in 2010
100 B-cycle bike share vehicles at six kiosks
300 parking spaces, showers and lockers at the Millennium Park bicycle station Continue reading A visitor’s guide to biking in Chicago
Panelists James Schonzeit, Adolfo Hernandez and Rubani Shaw
Let’s Go Ride a Bike blogger Dottie Brackett recently told me she thinks Chicago’s male cyclists could put a little more effort into their appearance. “I see a lot of women on bikes who are looking really nice, but I think I’ve only ever seen one man riding a bike in a suit,” she said. “It’d be nice to see more than just jeans and a t-shirt, and if you’re going to some sort of event why not spiff it up a little?”
Last year Brackett participated in the first Bike Fashion Panel organized by the Chicago Cycling Club (CCC), an exploration of how to get around the city on two wheels without sacrificing your personal style, with a focus on women’s fashion. The panel also included Emily Taylor and Maria Bousted from PoCampo bags and Alexis Finch, who produces the Thought You Knew pin-up calendars. The participants discussed their favorite clothes, bikes, accessories, tips and tricks for pedaling with panache.
Earlier this month the fellas finally got their say. This year’s Men’s Bike Fashion panel, also presented by the cycling club takes place in a cozy upstairs room at Schubas Tavern, 3159 N Southport. The three male panelists include product designer James Schonzeit, Active Transportation Alliance staffer Adolfo Hernandez, and graphic designer Rubani Shaw. All three are known as natty dressers who spend plenty of time on bikes.
Continue reading The second annual Bike Fashion Panel: sharp dressed men