The UPAF Ride for the Arts is one we have done many times in the past. We have even served as Ride Marshals along the 50-mile route. Today’s ride was cold and a bit windy for much of the second half but with the wind (outbound leg) things were a good deal more pleasant.
Judging from other times on the ride I would guess that the registration is at least as strong as it has been in the past. The 25-mile route takes you into Cudahy, WI where you can see some very interesting homes, churches and schools. And the turnaround point takes you into and through the local golf course and forest preserve.
Lots of children on the route. Many on single speed bikes who struggled to keep up with the adults. But nevertheless everyone seemed in good spirits. Saw only one crash during the entire 25 miles. This one took place in the forest preserve where after a short steep downhill run a large number of potholes (from the previous winter’s freeze/thaw cycles) had caused a fellow in his late 50s early 60s to hit a muddy section of the road while attempting to avoid them.
He was lying on the grass with more of his pride wounded than he appeared to be. Generally the ride (which runs through neighborhoods along the Lake Michigan lakefront) undulates and is easy to navigate. At virtually every intersection there were traffic coordinators who either stopped the riders or allowed them to cross on red lights to prevent backups.
Even the crossing of the Hoan Bridge was well-conducted. We had a sendoff to a Jazz quartet as we wound our way up and over the massive bridge. People stopped along the way to photograph the panorama of the city itself and the lake on the other side. Because we were crossing on the opposite lane of the bridge we had to be escorted across protective strips that normally puncture the tires of vehicles traveling in the wrong direction.
All along the route upright riders were quite curious about our front fairings. Everyone without exception called them windshields and I got tired of correcting them. On the outbound leg everyone wanted to know if they had any function. On the inbound leg (against the wind) no one bothered to question their usefulness.
At the very last rest stop we got to listen to another jazz quartet. This one had a lead trumpeter who was a young female. She wailed the entire time! Besides the two jazz quartets we were also entertained by African drummers (from Senegal) and a brass quartet. All in all a very impressive ride experience. Chicago’s ride promoters could learn a few things about conducting a fundraiser from these folks.
Distance: 23.8 miles
Time: 2h 46m 20s