Veterans’ Day Weekend 2010

Northerly Island Sculptures

We awoke to a promise of temperatures no higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit and winds from the west. A bit of breakfast was in order so we stopped at the local Einstein Brothers Bagel shop and got cinnamon raisin bagels with peanut butter, orange juice and fresh fruit cups to go. On the way in we decided to avoid the downtown area of Chicago since the Bears had a noon kickoff time.

But as luck would have it this was probably a bad idea. Most of the fans was already parked and in the stands as we drove and listened to the National Anthem being sung. Near Midway Airport we encountered two very slow and very long freight trains which delayed us a bit before we could continue onward.

When we finally reached the Children’s Hospital parking lot the temperatures were at least 45 degrees and the wind seemed to be more from the north than the west. In fact as we traveled along I could feel it against my forehead giving me an “ice cream headache”.

Lots of riders despite the weather. What really mystified me were the numbers who despite the cold were in shorts and sleeveless tops. Brrrr! Most of the riders we encountered were either roadies training along the lakefront or randonneurs out and about gathering miles before the snow and ice choked off the trail riding.

At the Museum Campus approach we passed Soldier Field and could hear the crowd cheering on the Bears (versus the Vikings whom they beat). It almost sounded like the roar of jet engines overhead when they growled out their emotions.

Northerly Island was nearly empty. There were a few park district employees tooling around on Segways. And a few photographers were walking the trail looking for desolate images. A single biker came in as we were leaving.

The fantastical sculptures were as awesome as ever and I for one could not resist capturing them again. But it was getting on towards 3 PM and the sun goes does pretty rapidly at this time of year. In fact at one point just before reaching our van my headlight sensor turned on my SON hub generator powered eDeluxe light.

With the bikes stowed we went in search of food at the Cedars of Lebanon Restaurant and enjoyed a falafel sandwich and some sparkling water. Afterwards we stopped at Starbucks and got medium sized coffees to go and used them to wash down our baklava squares. Yummy!

Don’t know how much longer the colder weather will hold off before swooping down and bringing with it some snow, but until them I’ll cherish the rides we do together and savor the images we capture long into the winter months.

Distance: 17.5 miles
Time: 2h 5m 46s