Today, I was able to proceed on my checklist from 67% to 75%. What this is: the number of months in which I have used the Lakefront Trail in Chicago. Therefore, I figure that it would be fun to recall the different times that I used the trail for the first time in a month.
MARCH: On March 23, 2010, during my spring break, I rode on the Lakefront Trail first south from Jackson toward 57th in order to go to the Museum of Science & Industry. On the return trip, I went all the way to Evanston, by taking the Trail from 57th to Ardmore, and then following the signs for the bike route. To that point, this was the longest non-organized ride that I had ever done.
MAY: In 2010, after Bike The Drive (on May 30), I went to League, and was dropped off at Montrose beach by a nice family with my bike in tow. I took the same route as in March 2010, but obviously started much further north. Thankfully, I didn’t run into much pedestrian traffic, despite the beginning of the summer season.
JUNE: The first time in June that I rode the Lakefront Trail wasn’t until 2011, on June 18. The training ride that we did to start Team To End AIDS was a “trivial” 15-mile ride: I probably doubled that in commuting to Foster Beach itself! We didn’t use much of the trail, but I will still count this as my first time taking the Lakefront Trail in this month.
JULY: In 2010, I entered the trail from Ardmore for the first time. I took it to Irving Park, and went to services at Anshe Emet, which went well. However, as I left services, I realized that I had forgotten my טלית (tallit) in the synagogue after I had exited, so when I tried to re-enter, I was questioned by the security officer, and my טלית bag was searched. I’m glad I wasn’t arrested on the spot!
AUGUST: It’s always fun to do a “training” ride that is longer than the ride you will be doing. This was the case in 2010, when I rode all the way to downtown Chicago from Evanston on August 28, in order to pick up my packet for the Boulevard/Lakefront Tour. On the Chicago-bound, I took the Channel Trail to Lawrence, then to the Lakefront Trail. On the Evanston-bound, I took the Lakefront the whole way, and then the snake path.
And the BLT was tough for me as I did not ration my supplies well, and it was a hot day.
SEPTEMBER: My first bike ride in Chicago proper started from the Bryn Mawr “L” stop, and got onto the Lakefront Trail at the underpass at about 5400 north. I took the trail south toward downtown, in search of Northwestern’s downtown campus for an ice cream social. There weren’t many people on the trail, and the ride was very pleasant. After the ice cream social, I went to the Art Institute, and it was a great time!
OCTOBER: In 2011, I rode on the Lakefront Trail on October 22 on a “do-everything” day. There was a ‘Cats field hockey match, and immediately afterward, I went to Kirkwood Bar to watch the Huskers game, by taking both the Evanston and Chicago lakefront trails, connected by Sheridan Road. Belmont Avenue was really annoying to navigate with the traffic jam, but I emerged unscathed.
NOVEMBER: On November 4, 2013, I rode northbound at night after אולפן. The wind that had opposed me on the Chicago-bound now was a boon for me. The lights along the trail were on, which was a good thing. I saw no other riders or pedestrians, and it was a pleasant evening for riding!
DECEMBER: Today! Since most of the past Decembers I haven’t even BEEN in Chicago for half of them, I have had few opportunities to ride my bike there, let alone on the Lakefront Trail. But, because of אולפן being in Chicago instead of Skokie, it gives me the opportunity to ride my bike there (instead of taking the L) if conditions are okay.
So, I have three months left to check off: January, February, and April. Although all of them might be trips to אולפן, I might find some more exciting thing, like an EBC ride or another event with which to commute via the trail. We will see!