April and I are having an enjoyable time here in Chicago. Our hosts Ellen and Paul (and here too) have been great. Despite a downpour we got on Friday, the weather has been pretty decent. A quick recap of our Windy City Adventures:
- Friday, September 30: We attend Critical Mass! I’ve attended many a CM over the past decade in many a city. But Chicago is the largest city that I’ve ridden Critical Mass. The downpour occurred right before the ride, but spirits were not dampened. My educated guess is there were 300 riders, and probably 5% of them asked about our trip, as we were still fully loaded when we got on the ride. We only experienced about 40 minutes of the ride, as I got a flat. Rather than go through the trouble of patching it there, we decided to take the “L”** to Rogers Park, where Paul and Ellen live. This was an adventure. The station where we boarded the train did not have an elevator, meaning we had to negotiate TWO flights of stairs. Reminds me how we are spoiled in Portland, as every MAX station is accessible, the benefit of getting a rail system AFTER people started to care about that stuff.***
- Saturday, October 1: Our umpteenth REI visit, plus yummy beers at Goose Island.
- Sunday, October 2: April and I attended the monthly bicyclists brunch, hosted by Dottie from Let’s Go Ride A Bike. (Technically it’s a woman-only event, but I got a pass since we were “special guests” on tour.) Good food, great people. I also got to meet Samantha from Ding Ding Let’s Ride! After the brunch, we hung out in front of the cafe (Deeleece on Southport) where we talked about all the beautiful bikes (mostly loop frames, natch, though a few diamond frames, causing April to exclaim “We’re not alone!”) and took photos of said beautiful bikes.
- Monday, October 3: Uh, we made it to Trader Joes?
Chicago has been good. Though, god, is it a city! We get that impression from riding around. Lots more traffic, and not as polite. Makes me hanker for Portland.
Well, we don’t have to hanker for long. We decided to return to Portland without stopping anywhere else. The money’s almost gone, and we’re just itching to get back to a semblance of “real life”. Plus we miss Portland! It’s going to be a little tough, though. We do have a semi-permanent place to stay, the tougher part is going to be finding a job. If you have any leads please feel free to let me know.
We’ll be leaving Chicago this Wednesday, October 5th. We’ll be taking Amtrak’s Empire Builder west to the Rose City. Special guests: Paul and Caroline. We’ll be back on Friday.
Be ready for us.
Guess what this title references to (hint: a song), win something. Contest over! See Tim’s response below.
**If’n you don’t know, Chi-towns mass transit in rail form. L is short for “eLevated” trains.
***A side rant: Chicago’s bike map indicates covered bike parking at L stops, but does not indicate where elevators are located. If it did, I would have known that the stop BEFORE the one we got on had an elevator. That would have made our lives easier.