Watching The “Punks” Get “Punked”! Beautiful!… Off To Get Some Popcorn…

Background Reading

Summary

theqspeaks We just don’t get it — why wouldn’t everyone want to look like this?

theqspeaks
We just don’t get it — why wouldn’t everyone want to look like this?

Wow! I am in awe! This is evidently one of the few times I can watch the ChainLink get punked and enjoy the ride all the way!

It all began one dark and stormy night:

Just Moved From Iowa
Posted by Kris Hendry on March 19, 2014 at 4:42pm

Hello everyone. I just recently moved from Des Moines, Iowa and to put it mildly, I’m a bit overwhelmed in this city. The bike lanes seem like a great concept yet they frequently have big pot holes. Chicago drivers seem extremely impatient.I live in the Ravenswood area and a bit afraid about venturing to far out. I assume there are specific areas of the city that are too dangerous to ride? I ride an old trek that will need to be serviced soon. There seems to be bike shops everywhere not sure where to take it?

This is kind of like fly fishing. You have to let the lure land on the water and float for a bit.

Reply by Julie Hochstadter 16 hours ago
I live in Ravenwood too. Happy to meet, go on a little ride and answer questions for coffee or a beer. I’ll message you.

Oh also, if you want to meet some bikey folks, we are celebrating hitting 10,000 members on Monday, March 31st at a bar that’s pretty much in Ravenswood (4257 N Lincoln) near Damen and Berteau.

You should come!

Of course no ChainLink gathering would be worth attending if not for the alcohol.

Reply by Kris Hendry 16 hours ago
Thank you for the invite. But, to be honest, I’m a bit leery of meeting strangers. I’m not into the bar scene as I dont drink. I guess I joined here to learn how to ride a bike the Chicago way. I’ve heard the police can even ticket riders who don’t follow the laws. The other day I took a ride on the Lake shore and the path was filled with families walking with strollers and road bike enthusiasts who seemed to be traveling 30mph.

Our “punker” has adopted the “Country Mouse” persona. Now for moving the lure an inch or so. Let them know you do not drink and you understand that there are laws to be followed. The true scofflaws will bite at the latter if they feel threatened.

Reply by Tricolor 16 hours ago
Wait till the weather finally breaks. The trail’s still pretty light at the moment.

Reply by Sarah D. 1-3.3 16 hours ago
Hi Kris,

I think Julie has a great idea. Riding with others can be a good way to get the hang of city riding and also feel like you’re not alone out there. Other cyclists here are also great – um – obsessed – with route planning, and can help you figure out best ways to get to your regular haunts.

Mainly, though – keep doing it, and keep reading and posting on The Chainlink! And welcome to Chicago!

Ah, yes. Now you’ve been invited to join the “gang” on one of its “pay-to-play” rides. They are a good idea but the docent tends to drone on and on.

Reply by Lisa Curcio 4.1 mi 14 hours ago
Hi Kris,

Welcome! If you are of the female type persuasion, may I suggest Women Bike Chicago Day of Dialogue and Demonstration which might help with many of your concerns. Definitely a non-drinking, low-key, non-threatening event. Check out the event registration and blog links when you get to the link above.

Okay, you now have one fish hooked. They are willing to offer you a “non-drinking” experience! But why are we still dealing with gender exclusive gatherings? What would a good feminist say if someone announced that Bike The Drive was for males only?

Reply by Kris Hendry 14 hours ago
Thank you Lisa. Don’t laugh, but I’m really afraid of getting mugged here. I hear all these stories about crime on the South Side. I’m glad I live far north but I guess even thats not always safe.

Ooh! This punkster is very smooth! Afraid of getting mugged and for some reason decides to mention the South Side which is a world away from the Northwest side. But again, the fish do not smell anything amiss with the lure, so let them swim closer.

Reply by Lisa Curcio 4.1 mi 13 hours ago
Kris, living is not actually always safe. I don’t know if this will help, but 1) Pilsen is not the south side; 2) the chance of getting mugged on a Saturday morning/afternoon in almost any neighborhood is not very high; 3) the only way to avoid any danger in the city is to–actually, I don’t know the only way to avoid any danger in the city. We have lots of advantages in Chicago, but with them we take some risks. Frankly, I think I have a better chance of getting hit by a bus crossing the street than I do getting mugged anywhere. But that is just me. We all make our own choices as to what risks we are willing to accept.

In any event, there will be a lot of us down at Dvorak Park on April 12. We would be happy to welcome you in person.

So now our intrepid “punker” has been invited to a safe “all white” gathering at Dvorak Park. They are eager to see you “in person“. That always help the fish determine whether you really are an “elite“.

Reply by Kris Hendry 13 hours ago
Frankly, I’m interested in carry a gun. I’m a petite female and have already been harassed with beggars. We just don’t have those types back home.

At first I almost thought this was a bit too blatant, but it seems to have worked. But it could have backfired if the anti-gun lobby had decided to execute a “coordinated attack” in the manner of a few days ago.

Reply by Simon Phearson 13 hours ago
Take it slow; start with what you’re comfortable with; don’t be afraid of experimenting. It’s not a race or a competition to get from Des Moines-level to Chicago-level biking skills (not that I believe there’s a world of difference there). Here’s what I would suggest:

If you’re not sure where’s safe to ride, start by riding in broad daylight down roads that you think look like they’d be good for biking. Get a feel for the neighborhoods you go through – the amount of activity happening on them, the sorts of establishments that are open, and the like. I tend to explore side streets and new routes on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when there’s plenty of light and traffic isn’t heavy. As you get used to the neighborhoods, you can gauge how safe you think you’d feel in dawn, twilight, and darker hours.

Drivers might seem impatient, but in the end they don’t want to hit you any more than you want to be hit. I tend to think of the drivers here like one might think of children – primarily focused on what they themselves want, not really sure why they can’t get what they want when they want it, etc. That tends to make it easier to predict what they’ll do. Again, take it slow. If you don’t feel safe on a road, don’t ride on it. Or if you want to see what it’s like, always remember you can pull over and dismount or turn at any time. Signal your turns and lane changes and otherwise engage in good bike diplomacy, and you might be surprised by the space and respect drivers give you.

The same kind of has to go for bike shops. People have very strong opinions about what places are best, but you’ll end up neglecting your bike if you’re waiting to choose a perfect one. There are lots of threads here on it – poke around a bit.

Riding the Lake Front Path, especially on the North side and during high-traffic periods, is something of an acquired taste. I view it as a fun challenge, personally, on the rare occasion I’ve found myself at North Avenue Beach amid a constant flow of pedestrians, to bike in a way that doesn’t endanger me or anyone else. That’s to say: to sort of waddle through, sometimes.

The secret to living in a big city like Chicago, I think, is to go with your gut. No one will judge you for not being as brave as they are, because no one will know. If a dark side street freaks you out, no one’s watching you take the well-lit, more-crowded street a block over and thinking any less of you. Eventually your standards will shift – or they won’t! But hopefully you’ll feel more at home, in any case.

That opening sentence had me wondering how this guy sounds on “first dates“. And fellow you probably do believe that somehow riding in the “mean streets” is like taking the measure of a “real cyclist“. Sarah Palin would love you! Perhaps you could find out what her litmus test is for “Real Americans” and by combining that with your “Chicago-level biking skills” test you guys could market your own CD. Sweet!

Reply by Kris Hendry 13 hours ago
Simon, thank you for the response. It makes sense to me. I had to travel 15 miles to the nearest bike shop in my hometown. Here there seems to be many bike shops. Which I also heard are hit or miss.

Reply by Julie Hochstadter 13 hours ago
Did anyone give you a shop rec near Ravenswood?

If not, two good ones close to you are Green Machine Cycles on Paulina and Montrose or Uptown Bikes at Leland and Broadway.

Reply by Tim Heckman 13 hours ago
Kris, I grew up in Van Meter, Dexter, and a farm outside Osceola. I’ve been here since ’91 and no serious issues yet. Just start small, and you comfort level will increase. Feel free to friend me and contact me directly if you want to talk Chicago with a fellow Iowan.

Isn’t this sweet another “Country Mouse” offering a piece of cheese. That offer for a “direct contact“, uh no…

Reply by Matt Talbert 12 hours ago
Welcome Kris! I would recommend getting an Active Transportation Alliance Membership. With a that you get discounts at bike shops and bike events in the city in addition to some bike maps and some handy info. The membership fee is tax deductible.

Also, I gotta ask, Hawkeyes or Cyclones. There is a right or wrong answer to this.

Wow! Encouragement to get an ATA membership. Why, didn’t I think of that. But hey, isn’t that “shilling“? But then again, you get something that is “tax deductible“, so maybe…

Reply by Cameron 7.5 mi 12 hours ago
Fellow former Iowan here (Waterloo and Ames). I’ll second everyone’s recommendation to come out for some group rides. Not only does it help build confidence in riding and navigating the city in general, but you’ll meet some great people as well. If coming out for a group ride is intimidating, take Julie up on her offer to meet and ease into it. Also while Chicago can seem overwhelming and dangerous, it’s really not that bad. Honestly I’ve been a victim of more crime in Iowa than Chicago.

Aw, ins’t this sweet! He’s offering to join on a group ride. Definitely less creepy sounding that a “one-on-one” meeting. Not saying the other guy had any devious designs, but a group gathering seems more prudent for both. And this guy, well, he has struck a chord by claiming to have also been a victim. Actually that is the persona cum grata of this group. They even have a thread or two where they try to “one up” each other as to whether their “close call” was a bad as yours. It’s kinda sweet and really helps to pass those lonely hours at work when you should be giving your employer “a full days work for a full days pay” but what they don’t understand is that you are an “activist” and that comes before everything else, right?

Reply by Kris Hendry 9 hours ago
Cameron, I find your reply a little silly. I have never had to deal with vagrants, bums and all the sorts of characters that I have seen here. I am happy to say that own a small car to get around. I already went to a bike shop and they treated me horribly.

Aw, the mood has been broken. And hey, she stole my word, “silly“. Heck, I thought I had that trademarked? Let me get my cycling lawyer on the phone. There has to be some money in it for me. Not as much as when I faked that “dooming” but all I really need is a few “cupcake benefits” and free beers for life and I’m “golden“.

Reply by Drewbacca 8 hours ago
“Vagrants, bums, and all sorts of characters” are not the same thing as being a “victim of more crime in Iowa than Chicago.” I think you are putting words in Cameron’s mouth.

No question that it takes a little getting used to. Blowing off someone who is trying to scam you is a learned talent. It just takes a little time to learn how to look more at ease and build street smarts (to avoid confrontations with those sorts of characters). Sadly, you probably have “I’m not from the city” or “I’m a tourist” written all over you. It’s a skill that must be developed, believe me, I come from a country-boy, every kid in my high school was of European decent type of upbringing; it took some time to let go of some of my naiveté (although the learning process makes for some good stories, like the time I spent a day walking around Atlanta with a homeless guy named Scooter that looks identical to George Carlin…).

Making friends and getting comfortable will do you more good than buying a gun. Then again, if carrying a gun gives you confidence, the confidence will do you some good as well. Those characters recognize the lack of confidence. Just make sure you know how to use it safely and won’t get yourself into a more dangerous situation because you decide to carry. Good luck.

Looks as if his “wing person” has shown up. You need these guys to help you maintain your facade of being a “Real Cyclist” and besides no one is allowed to do to a ChainLinker what was done to survey-taker just the other day. Shame on you!

Ah, but all is not lost, the knucklehead is yammering about her “looking like a tourist“. Feel that slight tickle on your ass? Check for your wallet in a few seconds to make sure it’s still there.

And don’t you just love that folksy almost “aw shucks” story about Atlanta? Wait, I need a tissue, my eyes are getting teary. And you are oh, so very right about the “hucksters” recognizing a “lack of confidence“. But how about “the recognition of insipid over-confidence“?

Reply by Kris Hendry 8 hours ago
drewbacca, I think you are understanding what I’m saying. I went into a bike shop (which I won’t state) and I could smell pot smoke. I want to find a reliable bike shop without druggies.

I don’t think you really want to lead with that bit. It was when I read this that I really got confirmation of what was unfolding. No ChainLinker would ever notice a smell like that because well, just as tobacco smokers never know that they reek of tobacco…

Reply by Cameron 7.5 mi 8 hours ago
My point was that no place is immune from crime and many areas of Chicago are very safe. I know it’s unusual (and way to few data points to draw any useful conclusions from), but I truly have been a victim of more crime in Iowa than in Chicago. I’d hate to see fear prevent someone from enjoying all that Chicago has to offer.

Aw, he’s back to offering a surrogate “big brother” this time. Smooth…

Reply by Cameron 7.5 mi 8 hours ago
Exactly, I was referring to things like petty theft and vandalism that are actual crimes, and not things like panhandling that are just sort of annoying.

Reply by Kris Hendry 8 hours ago
Cameron, I don’t want PC bullcrap. I want to know the areas I should avoid. Specific streets or areas would be helpful. I rode by bike down Wilson and when I reached Sheridan I saw some time of shooting. Yellow tape and police everywhere. If this is normal than I just drive my car. It just seems too dangerous.

Oops! I think you dropped that one a bit too quickly. Now frankly this sounds more masculine to my ears than it should from a “petite female“. But hey, if they’re buying it, great! The grifter motto always applies, “Never give a sucker an even break!” Oh, and watch the spelling errors.

Reply by Cameron 7.5 mi 7 hours ago
I’m not trying to feed you some PC line, I’m just telling you that majority of people go about their day without being crime victims. I would hate for someone to miss out on all that Chicago has to offer because of fear. I’m going to reiterate my (and other’s) suggestion that you come out for some group rides as a way to get to know the city. This will let you see and experience different parts of the city with the help of people who know the area. Seeing different parts of the city will help you build up an understanding of where you feel safe riding. While building up your personal database, hopefully the support of the group can help you feel safe exploring a new areas.

He’s back to being gallant! Sweet! And there is that “group ride” thingy again. After all how much better to form impressions of the city when you have “big strong men” around to help you process it all?

Reply by Kris Hendry 7 hours ago
I’ve heard certain areas are off limits and I guess I just want those areas to avoid. I’m sorry if I ruffle any feathers. I have a Honda Civic that looks like a better options most of the time.

Now, you’re pushing it! But hey, if they string along why not? Ooh, I like the idea of mentioning the car make and model. At least it isn’t a German model. These guys hate those things. Wonder, why… Not really. Just, could not resist.

Reply by Simon Phearson 4 hours ago
Kris, you’re not ruffling any feathers; you just seem like you don’t want to actually listen to what people are telling you.

People invite you for a friendly accompanied ride. You say you’re too afraid to meet strangers from the internet. People suggest you go for an organized group ride. You say that you’re still not comfortable with that. You want suggestions for bike shops, but you’re adamant about “no druggies.” You saw “yellow tape” in your neighborhood, and now you’re afraid of being shot or mugged. You seem to be more committed to your Honda Civic than you are to learning how to live in Chicago.

If there were truly “no go” areas in your neck of the woods, we would have mentioned them. The truth of the matter is that there simply aren’t many such places – and if they existed, there’s no reason anyway to think that driving through them instead of biking would be safer. There are, instead, areas of varying degrees of risk, and you just have to learn what they tend to look like. I live in Hyde Park, for instance, and my previous apartment in the neighborhood was next to a park where people were shot at or mugged from time to time – maybe a few times over my three years there. I didn’t feel unsafe, though, because I avoided going through there when it was late and dark, and I tried to remain aware of my surroundings when I did go through there in the dark.

We can’t make you a personal safety guarantee. We’re trying to tell you what it takes to be “street smart” here, and “street smart” is kind of what you have to be in Chicago. If you don’t want to learn how to be “street smart,” find a cozy place in the suburbs and adopt the commuting hell that hundreds of other non-Chicagoans have already adopted before you – it’s no skin off our backs.

Now this is as close as a Liberal metro-sexual male ever comes to telling a “petite female” to shut up and listen. Oops! I think he is on to you. I told you, you were moving too fast. Now’s the time to “kick off those heels and run like hell“.

Reply by Kris Hendry 4 hours ago
I want to add I already received a $50 no zone parking ticket on my car. I “lurked” this forum for quite a while and I want to know the specific areas that are “no go” for cyclists. I commute to my job, errand and other activities. Just tell me what I’m requesting, which streets are a no go? I don’t think I can be clearly. I could give me my exact rout to work but don’t feel comfortable. My friends in Iowa still tell me I’m crazy for making a life out here but here I am.

Nice recovery. Just the right mixture of “poor little ole me” and “STFU and gimme your wallet!

Reply by Tricolor 1 hour ago
Nothing’s no go when you get familiar with your surroundings. Wilson’s not the prettiest place but it’s also very public and busy so you won’t attract attention just by being there. Some panhandlers can be pushy and there seems to be a shoeshine scam downtown where a guy will follow along trying to convince you get your shoes brushed but that’s the most bellicose I’ve seen in the last five years.

Parking in the city sucks; a rented parking space is worth it. Civics have been prime theft targets for decades, too.

Can you believe these guys? They just seem to love the “petite female” shtick. You are good. Really good. I owe you a Starbucks coffee. Priceless!

Reply by EssFresh 1 hour ago
Kris,

Consider downloading the Chicago Bike Guide app. It has an overlay of streets with bike lanes. Take it slow at first and you will figure out what routes to use. Since you’re in Ravenswood, I assume you live near Damen? I work in that neighborhood and ride it everyday. Lincoln Avenue, Damen, Wilson are all adequate roads to ride on. Take it slow, you will get comforable. Also, Turin is a great shop in that area and I am postive they are not toking up while wrenching. 🙂

Not that “take it slow” crap again? Sheesh! It sounds so creepy. And if you are positive that no one is toking while wrenching that must mean you either are their dealer or know him.

Reply by envane (69 furlongs) 1 hour ago
Avoid the dark blue areas on this map:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:African_American_Population_by_Ce

Notice these are far away from you. There are some micro-ghettos in the Uptown/Edgwater/Rogers Park area, usually centered around some CHA (Chicago Housing Authority) property. Just be aware of them and move on.

You can always count on the data mavens of this forum to give you the “real skinny“. At least these folks do not sugarcoat their impressions of things.

Reply by Nick G 34 minutes ago
I can’t comment on neighborhoods to avoid, because I live and have lived in some sketchy ones, but I can tell you the few streets I avoid at all costs, mostly due to vehicle traffic, no bike lanes, and high speed limits and/or crazy drivers:

  • Ashland
  • Western
  • Cicero
  • Fullerton west of Western
  • North Ave. west of Western
  • Irving Park
  • Broadway
  • Devon
  • Lake Shore Drive (it’s more like a highway, bikes aren’t even allowed)

I’m sure there are a few more, but those are the main ones for me. I prefer to take side streets whenever possible because it’s a much more calm, easy ride. Every once in awhile I have to go just a little bit out of my way to get where I’m going, but most often they’re actually shortcuts. When you’re looking up routes, make sure to take note of which streets are one way, and their direction of travel (little arrows on the street line on Google maps). Being a bike salmon (going the wrong way down a one way) is looked down upon around here (and technically illegal).

One more thought: It sounds like you need to learn some tolerance for different ways of life. You don’t smoke or drink, great! There are lots of people (lots of cyclists too) who do and they’re not necessarily bad or worse than you, just different. You can make many friends and have good experiences here if you learn to let things go. If you can bring yourself to get off your high horse and actually talk to people who are different than you, you’ll be able to make friends much easier, and the big city will seem a lot less scary than you’ve been told. Just because the Chainlink party (or any other bike ride/party) happens to meet or be held at a bar doesn’t mean you have to drink.

Wow that last bit about “learn some tolerance” is rich coming from this guy. He was one of the more insistent types a few days ago when a poor college student just wanted to know if anyone would care to take a survey on helmet use. Where is that book of adages? Ah, yes there is the one about “the pot calling the kettle black“. That seems apropos in this instance.

And really the “bike salmon” thingy again? Actually to be more precise, it is looked down upon primarily when the person doing it is “black or brown“. It seems perfectly acceptable on Chicago Critical Mass Rides when practiced by a group of “elites” against on-coming car traffic.

Really? The “bar thing“, again? How very “male” of you. She must be a stooge. How else could she get it wrong by thinking that a meeting held at a bar would mean she does not have to drink?

In fact I suppose it might be useful to have the next Alcoholics Anonymous gathering for ChainLinkers in concert with the main event. After all, being in a bar with others who are drinking does not mean you have to drink also. Yep, that works for me. In fact if we could just manage to hold these gatherings at a micro-brewery where they served pastries and donuts, we could allow the overweight riders to join in and not drink (too many calories) and not eat sweets (again too many calories). Yep, that works for everyone!

Reply by pherm 1 hour ago
Epic troll, yall.
Also, envane. I’m not into this. Can we all agree to skip the casual racism here?

Reply by David Altenburg 1 hour ago
Congratulations on making me lose my breakfast. I’d rather not see this racist bullshit here.

Reply by Drewbacca 1 hour ago
http://crime.chicagotribune.com/
http://chicagoist.com/2012/06/25/where_are_you_most_likely_to_be_ro
http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Top-10-CTA-Platforms-For-C

Dang! They caught on! And hey, what’s wrong with “casual racism“? Or would you prefer “formal racism“?

Reply by Kris Hendry 1 hour ago
envane, thank you for the map. It is something I shall be inclined to follow. I just want as safe ride free from the nonsense that I sadly have found in this city.

Now, I think the jig is up? Simon seems to be sniffing the lure.

Reply by Simon Phearson 1 hour ago
Trolling is so double-aughts. But I’m inclined to agree, having seen this develop.
I’m inclined to believe that envane was trying to troll the troll, but who knows?

Aw. Now you are simply taking all of the fun out of this. One of the really nasty realities about “coordinated attacks” is that they are often followed by a “swift kick in the head“. Now take it like a man and STFU.

Reply by EssFresh 1 hour ago
Wow, you need to relax. Living in fear of your surroundings has got to be stressful. Chicago is not Iowa but is no means as bad as you make it out to be. Lot’s of us live in far worse neighborhoods and are out riding everyday. It seems to me like you are not even giving it any objectivity or have been frightened by what you may have heard/seen/watchedontheidiotbox.

Yep. It’s almost as stressful as thinking that every automobile driver is out to get you. But you folks ouldn’t know anything about that right?

Reply by envane (69 furlongs) 1 hour ago
Trolls within trolls, son.

U huh, uh huh. Gotcha!

Reply by Kris Hendry 1 hour ago
Just because I want to feel safe when I bike doesn’t make me some party crasher here. I want to know the stats & don’t want to drink beer with fellows here at the local watering holes. I work a a traditional 8-4 M-F job and don’t wish to socialize with those that drink. Which, I’m coming to find out is too many people.

You are really, really good at this. I take my “helmet” off to you. I decided to say that instead of “hat” just to piss of this pompous gathering of “helmets signify fear” gang.

Reply by Andrew N 1 hour ago
Do you suppose Kris ever hangs out with Jim Anchower or Jean Teasdale?

Reply by Tricolor 57 minutes ago
Isn’t Jim still in jail? I really miss his columns.

Reply by Liz 52 minutes ago
There are many rides that involve no drinking what-so-ever, such as Lee Diamond’s neighborhood tours. These will give you a safe, group environment the explore specific areas in great detail. These are paid tours that give a wealth of information, and its less of a social ride, so you can limit your social interactions if you are uncomfortable.
http://www.thechainlink.org/events/event/listUserEvents?user=00lu2l…If you’re trying to limit you contact to people that never drink, then it will be very difficult for you to meet new people. But there are plenty of events that do not involve alcohol or drugs.

In terms of specific this block is good, this block is bad information. Its difficult to specify without knowing what areas you are riding to and from. Within Ravenswood itself most of the area is just fine and dandy. But since I don’t know where you are traveling to its hard to give any advice at all. Several people have already tried to provide you with information that’s helpful.

Here is a map of violent crime rates in various community areas, if you’re uncomfortable in high crime areas, then stick to the dark green areas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Chicago
Here is a bike map of chicago
http://chicagocompletestreets.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Chicag
Here is a thread that discusses good bike mechanics in the city
http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/best-mechanics-1
As this point I get the feeling that you’re just trolling and not looking for any actual advice.

You might not want to take Liz too literally here. While beer is not the answer on these rides, be sure to bring lots of coffee. And learn to listen to your conversational language tapes before you go. It helps to stave off the ennui.

by OLB 0.1 42 minutes ago

Living In A "Bubble"

Living In A “Bubble”

Maybe this will move past the prototype phase soon and help address most of your concerns.

Hah! Another epic instance of the “pot calling the kettle black“. The entire ChainLinker Forum experience is one long soap bubble ride.

Reply by BruceBikes 39 minutes ago
Kris, I’d recommend avoiding the medium-to-dark blue regions on these two maps (at least until you get a better understanding of where and when you can go to other parts of Chicago.):
Chicago Shooting Victims
Chicago Homicides

Reply by Mike Schwab 28 minutes ago
http://www.chicagobikeshops.info/ is a map and reviews done a few years ago by a small group of people. Other people where then invited to supply comments on their experience.

Note: the reddest area of the map below is 4,000 incidents in 100,000 population.
So if you lived there all year, you would have a 4% chance of a crime happening to you.

Reply by Rich S 24 minutes ago
El Dorado reborn????

Now, let the dead accounts rest in peace. Of course I do hope he/she is the punker. You guys deserve it.

Reply by Davo 18 minutes ago

2012PrideParadeMap3

Gay Pride Parade Route

Here is another map of places you should probably avoid if differing lifestyles offend or bother you. Definately stay off the green highlighted area, especially around June 24.

Ooh! Davo just played the “homophobic card“! Sweet! Can you guys hold on for a second, I need to get some more beer. Burp!

Reply by J.A.W. 23 minutes ago
And another good shop I’d like to add is Turin on Damen just south of Lawrence.

Reply by J.A.W. 22 minutes ago
It took me about 18 months until I felt comfortable with riding my bike in the city.
Take it slow, and keep doing it. Riding in a group also gives your more confidence and learn about riding in the city.

Reply by Robert Underwood 5 hours ago
I would say Uptown Bikes is awesome, so go there. also, I’ve been on my bike half a block away when someone shot five people with an automatic weapon out their car window, that was last summer in uptown. One of them died on the sidewalk that I remember. There are potholes everywhere, and I have had a friend killed after she got hit by a car in Humboldt park. I’ve seen a girl get hit while on her bike and she spun around in the air and landed on the hood of another car, that was on clark and ashland. I saw one guy get slapped in the face off of his bike by guy in a passing van, on Clark in rogers park. So stay safe and be careful whatever you do!

Hey, does’t this qualify as “Fear Mongering“? Well, I guess not since he never mentioned the word “helmet“.

Reply by in it to win it 8.0 mi 4 hours ago
Highly recommend riding on streets with no bike lanes and against traffic.

Also, it’s easier to deal with the traffic and bums if you are smoking a doobie and have your water bottle full of Thunderbird.

If the cops give you a hard time, just tell them off, they’ll leave you alone.

You should also probably pay the money and get one of those expensive Dutch bikes…they practically hover over any pothole you will encounter.

Now that is the appropriate response if you think you are being “pinked“. “Punk” right back.

Reply by Duppie 4 hours ago
Or maybe a CL intern directed to (successfully, btw) drive traffic on an otherwise uneventful Thursday morning?

Were I you guys, I would hope and pray it was an intern. Otherwise you are going to have to scrounge once again through all of your accounts and single out the individual(s) who might be El Dorado or his/her successor(s). And I shudder to think there might be more than one of them or that they have multiple accounts or worse yet, that they might live in Oak Park and have a creative writing class at a local Junior College and be unkind enough to have their class play the various “voicings” for credit. And even worse suppose all these kids are gifted writers who love nothing better than “punching” old farts (i.e. anybody over the age of 21) who have nothing better to do than preach about their battle scars from riding among cars in the city. Ouch!

Reply by Kevin C 2 hours ago
Kris-
You have made many astute observations and ask many valid questions. Sadly, the Chainlink is composed of nothing but cult members. If you don’t want to waste your time, you really need to consult the authority on such matters. (Well truthfully, the authority on ALL matters.) Good Luck.

Hey, thanks for the mention in print. I guess that failing a search for the Malaysian aircraft in the Indian Ocean, I’m just as good a target for your frustration. But really guys, I do not log into your forum and write stuff that will make you angry. I love you folks. I just have a great time writing about the “goings on” from a distance. Can you see the “kissy face” I am making?

wilding-101

No More “Wilding”?

Reply by EssFresh 2 hours ago
What is a Beezo Dog? Did he never learn treat folks on he Internet in the same way you would treat folks in real life? How does he have this much time?

Who is Beezodog?

I am the guy you turn to when Natalie Teeger kicks your butts. You spent this past week giving a college student (Adrian Monk) “toilet swirls” for daring to mention the words “helmet” and “brain injury” in your presence. You presumably dispatched him ChainLink Hell and turned your attentions to his assistant. But unknown to you she knows martial arts moves that you never knew existed. And just as I was walking past I see you all standing there with your heads soaked in urine-laced water and it strikes me as howling mad funny.

I know, that really nasty of me to grin and point fingers. But hey, I witnessed the “wilding” a few days ago and it seemed as if you actually earned the butt-kicking.

FeedingTroll

Feeding the Troll

Reply by Davo 1 hour ago
Alls I know is that he loves to point out grammar don’ts and misspellings while making quite the mess of them himself. Sometimes its a fun read but this guys horse seems to be about 20′ tall. He must really have a beef with the chain link, which I am sure has been discussed in earlier threads. At the very least, could you vary your transitions instead of the “Aw thats cute” after every point trying to be made. I was also being very honest about not going down that particular road on that date. Riding a bike through a parade would be a horrible idea. But I guess hyperbole is beyond you. To the rest here I will apologize for:

And once and for all let’s get this part straight. Trolls have to be “under the bridge“. The bridge is the ChainLink Forum and you have to be “logged on” and leaving comments or starting threads to qualify as being a troll.

Honest to goodness, I do neither.

Reply by Alex Z 1 hour ago
I can’t believe this conversation went on as long as it did before someone said the word “troll.”

Well, when you look around with urine-laced water in your eyes and the smell of feces on your breath and some guy is passing through the halls and laughs, it is at that moment that your tiny little mind latches onto the idea that he must be a “troll“. Obviously, the situation at hand is tragic. The Messiahs of Cycling have been assaulted by a “petite female” (or at least they imagine this might be the case) and the first thing out of their mouths is that particular word. Easy-peasy.

Reply by Robert Underwood 1 hour ago
Hey Kwiss Fendy, welcome to Chicago, Illinois. I hope you find safe happy streets to ride down, and I hope you make lots of friends who drink non-alcoholic beer, and I hope you find a drug free bike shop to hang out at. I hope your old Trek gets fixed up. Have you tried oiling the chain? Do you even know how to fix a flat, because you should know that. Do you have a helmet? Why did you even live in Iowa to begin with? Probably the best route anywhere is 90/94, just grab onto a semi and try not to fall over.

See how cathartic it is to fall back into your “old ways“. Nothing says Messiah like playing the “victim” while heaping abuse and insults on some hapless college student who does not meet your requirements for being a “real cyclist“.

Reply by Tricolor 1 hour ago
He’s going to have a heart attack when he finds Village Cycle Center.

Chicago's Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Chicago’s Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

It’s a subtle thing that pronoun “he” in this context. Since Kris is the one who is in search of a bike shop and has self-identified as a “petite female” it could mean that the responder in this instance refuses to believe that a female actually wreaked all of this havoc. Male chauvinism, maybe?

But something happened and while the recounting of it all will change over time, one thing is for certain, the group was not sure who this interloper really was. And that made them nervous and heck afraid that Natalie Teeger might get really angry and take them on one at a time rather than collectively.

It’s really a nervous time to be a “cyber bully“. What the heck might happen should the Democrats lose the next election and suddenly we have to (gasp) “learn to compromise” to get our way?

That would be so humiliating. First we start back-tracking on the value of the Berteau Greenway and we lose the fight over the LFP “Flyover”. Gosh can things begin to go sideways?

They could but it will probably not happen. Or if it does maybe we should all start looking for our next “activism” gig. We could always rally against “fracking” or something. What’s a Liberal to do in an Age of Uncertainty?


TakeAways

This was about as masterful a “punking” as I have ever read. I cannot prove this to have been the case, but I would feel quite comfortable in my chances at being right. But it does feel very good to see the chauvinist male vestiges emerge in even the metro-sexual types who are well, beyond all that.

Selah.