Change Is Permanent

Background Reading

Reply by Juan 2-8 mi. 10 hours ago
Julie, I’ll never forget the time I was reprimanded for posting pictures from the World Naked Bike ride 😉 Change is permanent
Happy trails to you.
Welcome Yasmeen!


As we reach the end of 2014, I’m in awe at how much we have done as a community in the past few years.  We surpassed 11,000 members, created lifelong friends and partners, gotten engaged and married, had babies (with a few more on the way), improved our health, influenced transportation policy, helped open bike shops and supported numerous bicycle organizations and rides.  Suffice to say, there are many more exciting years ahead of us as bicycling takes on an even greater focus for the general population as a healthy, environmentally-friendly lifestyle activity and transportation option.

The Chainlink has been my “baby” for the last several years, and as I mentioned recently, I’m getting close to starting the next new adventure in my life. This time it will be as a new mom with another kind of baby, with different needs.   After a lot of deliberation and thought, I’ve decided to step down running The Chainlink as I transition into this new phase of life.  And just like when Leah handed over the reins to me, I am now handing over the reins to another extremely competent person who I know will continue with the same mission of The Chainlink, as a hub for the Chicagoland cycling community.

Yasmeen Schuller, long time Chainlink member and personal confidant, will be taking over the reins.  I’ll be staying on as an advisor and involved in some events this coming year and look forward to seeing many of you out and about.

Meet Yasmeen

There are several reasons Yasmeen is the right person for the job and I trust she will continue to do good things for the community and improve and grow on what we’ve done up until now.  Yasmeen is deeply involved in the Chicago cycling community and many people are familiar with her bubbly personality and passion for being involved in the community and encouraging people to bike.  She’s been a member of The Chainlink since 2011 and is also a member of the BFF Racing Team. Some of you have met her on longer rides including RAGBRAI, Barry Roubaix, The Joliet Metric Century, Udder Century, Swedish Days and Le Tour De Shore.

Yasmeen has over 15 years of experience with digital marketing and development and has extensive experience launching websites. This is important because, after spending the last 2 years planning, strategizing and working on launching a new website that so many of you contributed towards and supported, I’ve realized that in order to finish the project it needs someone with her experience to manage the launch and Yasmeen is the right person to get the project done, and implemented right.   She’s been analyzing where we are and all the improvements and features we are looking to improve upon and will be in touch as she delves in.

It’s been an amazing experience running this unique and wonderful community site, and I’m looking forward to watching it grow under Yasmeen’s direction for many years to come.

You can say hi and send a congratulatory note to her here.

Feel free to stay in touch with me here.



I Vacuum Copenhagen

I Vacuum Copenhagen

Over the past year the ChainLink has gone from one upheaval to another. Most of the problems were due to a rather ‘out-of-control‘ mindset fostered by the testosterone-laden males who ‘guided‘ the day-to-day operations of the board. Thank goodness, those days are hopefully over.

Cycling was never meant to be a ‘contact sport‘. In fact this board is something of an anachronism when considered under the lens of one Mikael Coalville-Andersen who famously decries the notion that bicycling has a culture. Instead he says that in his native Denmark, people are no more a part of a culture than vacuum cleaner users, or for that matter automobile drivers.

Chicago's Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Chicago’s Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

That makes sense. When your usage numbers are in the majority the distinctiveness of cycling becomes diminished. You can no longer ‘make a statement‘ by driving your cargo bike to the local hardware  store and bringing back a few sheets of hardcore.

In that kind of culture the notion of having a last Friday of the month ‘free-for-all‘ is replaced by nothing. Maybe a stop for a pint. But this time it is because your week has ended and you would have done this any Friday in the past year.

Hopefully the ChainLink will continue in its ‘grown-up‘ format. We as a Movement are going to be hard pressed to continue with any semblance of cohesion in the coming years. That is because Illinois is about to undergo a rather violent transformation where public expenditures and reallocation of resources are concerned.

Brash ‘in-your-face‘ rhetoric was never worthwhile in the first instance and will become increasingly so. This is going to be the age when adults who ride bicycles are going to have to bargain with those who do not to get anything done.

Juan May Be Right…

Change is permanent

Something tells me that Juan is going to rue the day he wrote this. Change of course is ongoing, never permanent nor constant. And the fundamental axiom is:

not all change is good

When the Nazi and before them the Bolsheviks began to usher in ‘change‘ they too thought things were ‘permanent‘. Both groups made things worse. You can generally tell when change is going to go off the rails when it comes at the point of a sword or gun.

Thus far the Urban Cycling Movement has been functioning like the post war Cambodian regime did. Drunk with what it thought was power, it overplayed its hand. That single factor is going to cost us far more than we might imagine. But try as they might the policy wonks working on Capitol Hill could not convince the grassroots that they were squandering the little Good Will they had in Congress.

My guess is that we are about to learn a very valuable lesson as those who ‘hate‘ cycling (and many with very good reason, given the nastiness of the movement to date) decide to teach us a few lessons.

Bring it on. We need to suffer in ways that we could not imagine possible. And what may emerge from all of this is a certain knowledge that any lasting benefits to our society have to come as the result of a joint venture.

Our aim should have been to have quality miles of protected bike lanes, not some trumped up ‘pulled out of your ass‘ number like 100 miles. What exactly does that mean?

Chicago ChainLink Forum Is Broken!

Chicago ChainLink Forum Is Broken!

If you cannot have 100 percent agreement on the value of Dearborn Street’s PBL and the Berteau Greenway you have some idea that quantity will never replace quality. We have been going for the SuperSize model of fast food eating. But instead we should have been looking for the Chipotle model. Maybe we can get there. I doubt that the current crop of airheads who think they know everything are the ones who can take us there.

We will need to shove those bastards out of the way and find some very young and inexperienced leaders who are far less confrontational and far more strategic in their understanding. We need to get past the group that wants to ‘make a statement‘ ever time they pass gas to others who see that between pedestrians, motorists and cyclists we are all victims of our lack of compassionate roadway manners.

There is no infrastructure which can make us ‘safe‘ if we never come to view one another as neighbors. Selah.