Archive for January, 2007

Enough cold in Ecuador. Took a two week break from artificially induced windchill. Resumed cycling again yesterday commuting to the Lyric Opera, and today doing the entire lakefront path, stopping at Trader Joe’s and Chinatown on the way back. Discovered new, decent way to return to Hyde Park from Chinatown. Take Archer to Clark, turn right into 18th St, follow 18th St all the way east. There will be an underpass and overpass to Soldier Field. From there it is a simple matter to make one’s way to the lakefront path. Much better than trying to get to King Dr. from Chinatown, since the roads leading east and south from Chinatown are particularly treacherous for bicycles. Also better than taking the overpass through McCormick Plaza, which involves stairs aplenty and wheeling one’s bike through an interminable mall (the Metra station).

My ears turn funny after a cold ride, I think. My own voice sounds distant to myself immediately afterwards.

For the first half hour of today my right big toe was cold. This was puzzling since I didn’t see what wind could make my right big toe only, and no other toes, cold. Curious asymmetry.

It takes longer than I thought to get to Trader Joe’s from Fullerton. Fullerton is a cyclist’s nightmare. Narrow road with heavy traffic and parked cars all the way. Plus it’s almost impossible to turn left into Halsted within the green light interval. This time I didn’t even try it, and just walked my bike through three pedestrian crossings. Bloody exhausting dealing with traffic along there. I am greatly deterred from approaching Trader Joe’s that way. Should find a better route to TJ’s that doesn’t involve going all the way south to the North Ave underpass and turning back north again.



I like having my Camelbak to drink from when out on a ride, especially since cycling into a cold headwind dries my throat out in no time, but the pain that carrying a backpack creates in the latter stages of a long ride is simply not worth it. The back complains a little but it’s mostly the shoulders, from maintaining a forward position against the weight of the pack. Most of the time nowadays I just put my flat repair kit and headlamp and extra jacket, etc. into a messenger bag and strap it to the front rack. It’s goodbye to my Camelbak until my next hiking trip.

Went out today for my first long ride after returning from Ecuador (the land of mountain bikes and single speed pedal-carts that you wonder how people ever get up the hills, but no road bikes), but missed this. It was relatively balmy weather though, for a Chicago January.