The trick, I always tell myself, and indeed sincerely believe, is to make it a habit. Not so long ago I thought that riding to the Trader Joe’s on Clybourn for groceries (a 1 hour+ ride compared to my usual 5 minute walk to the Co-op) was an elephantine task. Indeed, the first time it felt like an elephantine task. I was exhausted. I thought I’d hauled a ridiculous load back. I thought I’d put up with awful traffic on North.

Now, after more experience riding on city roads and a couple more trips to Trader Joe’s, it seems routine. North is not too scary; the drivers more or less expect cyclists on North and don’t do anything rash. The traffic is a little heavy, but you’re only on North for five minutes or so, really, before you get to turn into Wells, which has a bike lane. And after Wells you can take a bunch of small side roads with light traffic.

Next intend to explore the North Branch trail. That’s even further away than the North Shore Channel Trail, so I’ll need an early start. NSCT took a round trip of 5 hours today, although that included the hold-up at North Avenue beach. Estimate around 8 hours needed for the NSCT. Actually I don’t know how long it is. 8 is probably too optimistic.

Back to the original topic. Making things a habit. Until April this year I’d also balked at the idea of cycling on the lakefront path at night. Safety concerns, mostly. So far have had no problems except for once getting stoned by some adolescents. Suspect racism, but who knows. Fairly substantial police bike patrol there at night, which is nice. Won’t cycle to the southern part though. Even in daylight I avoid that part, not because of safety concerns, but because many parts are strewn with broken glass. If I get a flat there at night I’ll be a sitting duck for muggers, laying my pump and backpack out like that.

Saw a Redline 925 being ridden on the lakefront path today. Envious, even though I’m getting an IRO Mark V, which supposedly has better street cred. Suspect that part of the reason why I’m getting a fixie is for street cred. The other part is that I’m depressed and need some new object to fawn over, after having exhausted fawning over my Mountain Hardwear softshell jacket, which thanks to good weather has not even been tested. And that was after having exhaused fawning over a new hard shell jacket which I certainly didn’t need, and the new Montrails which I even more certainly did not need. This should be a stern warning to myself never to scoff at the mentality of the typical female who loves shopping.


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