The Marilyn Monroe Toodle 2011

Late Breakfast

Michigan Avenue Sculptures

The weather this morning was full of thundershowers and it meant that lots of rides got cancelled. The one we were planning to attend we bailed out on because it would have meant spending several hours riding on the Illinois Prairie Path and the Great Western Trail (both of which are crushed limestone pathways) riding what the Bartlett Spin Doctor CycleWorks called the Tour of NW DuPage.

As it turns out the ride was cancelled because of the weather. So we will wait for its rescheduled 80-mile version later this summer. In the meantime we decided to drive downtown Chicago to see the Marilyn Monroe statue. It was raining as we left for breakfast but I hoped it might let up later in the day so we packed up the bikes and took them with us.

Outbound Leg

The first stop was the South Shore Cultural Center to use their bathrooms. There was a very scrumptious buffet underway as we entered. The hallway had food there for the patrons as I walked past.

Afterwards families were leaving with center pieces that they had purchased (from their tables) and were heading out for a day of leisure. We got back on the bikes and headed northward to the Museum Campus area.

We took the series of walkways and tunnels that lead you over to the Michigan Avenue flower gardens. It was a glorious day to capture images along that stretch of the Magnificent Mile.

The pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk was minimal until we reached the Art Institute of Chicago and then it really came to a standstill. We pressed on for another couple of blocks and captured images of the Millennium Park monument and other notable landmarks.

When we reached Marilyn Monroe’s statue it was a sea of onlookers with cameras in hand and lots of folks gawking and enjoying the day. I made a few images of the statue and of folks making images of it as well.

Then we hied ourselves over to Navy Pier Promenade and hopped back on the Chicago Lakefront Trail. We took the trail for a stretch before deciding that it was “safe” to ride. We did not want to again encounter a sea of pedestrians.

Inbound Leg

On the way back we stopped for a bite to eat. We shared a bagel with peanut butter and a ProBar with blueberries. Both were very tasty and made for a satisfying bit of energy for the return trip.

By the time we got back to the car it was getting pretty late. There were folks loitering in the parking lot talking and listening to music. We packed up our bikes and said goodbye to the trail. It had been a pretty hot ride (judging by the amount of fluid I had lost through sweating) but there was enough of a breeze to keep everything just right.

One funny thing happened in the parking lot. A fellow came over from the loitering crowd to inquire about our bikes. He wanted to know what they cost. His guess might have covered the fairing. I did not have the heart to tell him how far off he had been.

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

— Oscar Wilde

Distance: 36.7 miles
Time: 4h 00m 04s