The weather was perfect as we arrived and parked at the UIC Parking Lot on Taylor and Halsted. After getting the bikes ready we rode over to the Starbucks a half mile west before returning to Morgan and beginning the ride.
What was a bit puzzling the whole ride was the unspoken belief by riders that STOP SIGNS were not to be obeyed at all. Most riders did not even slow down for them. They bolted through as if they were not really there. At TRAFFIC LIGHTS it was a different story. Some they wanted to turn green. Others they simply gave it 15 second or less and bolted through.
I had to hold my breath a few times as riders who entered the intersections on a red light were late in doing so and suddenly cars waiting to proceed through did. There were some near collisions as these stragglers tried to stare down 2 tons of color steel. Yikes!
The 44 mile route was really odd. You rode for almost 20 miles before reaching your first rest stop. What’s up with that? The 22 mile route was better. And I must say that the spinach pasties were delicious. But again, why have that many people entering and leaving from the same gate? It would have been smarter and safer to have them enter through one gate and leave through another. That is safer I would wager.
The scenery on the ride for the 44 mile route was a bit better than the 22 mile route. But I guess that the historic parts of the shorter route would have been more interesting. I just wish that one of two things would be done:
- Create an app for your riders that allows them to listen to a docent voice while looking at an historic building, or
- Send along actual docents and have them lead waves of riders in groups
On the way back from Hyde Park I decided to bail. So we first attended to a rear flat I had developed (an inner tube split at the seam) and afterwards we dined at the Native Foods Cafe. They were having a cooking demonstration and the place was packed as we arrived.
Following a delicious kale bowl we took the shortest route back to the Chicago Lakefront Trail and entered at Promintory Point. Then it was a leisurely ride along the lakefront to the Museum Campus were we exited and rode along Harrison back to the Taylor Street entrance to the parking lot.
That also brings up the question, is Harrison Street (which does have a ‘bike lane‘) not considered an east-west route through the Loop? According to Michelle Stenzel these routes do not exist.
Distance: 24.8 miles
Time: 3h 00m 54s
Speed: 8.2 mph