Bike Tour in Chicago, September 20, 2009

One afternoon, a few of us decided to rent bikes and take a tour along the Chicago beach. Near Navy Pier, we found a bike rental. For $20 we could have the bikes for four hours. Not exactly free but still good. We got some nice classic Schwinn cruiser bikes and felt a bit like in Easy Rider when we departed from the bike rental. I honestly have to say that this turned out to be one of the coolest things we did in Chicago and I would recommend it to everybody. You are much faster than on foot but still are not so disconnected from your environment as in a car. We rode down to Navy Pier and then turned left to drive north along the beach parallel to Lake Shore Drive.

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It was a bit weird to have a busy city with skyscrapers to your left and a beach with volleyball players to your right, all very close together.

We passed parks, tennis courts, and harbors with small yachts. After a long ride we passed by a Hispanic soccer tournament, accompanied by enthusiastic Spanish-speaking commentators and music over a PA system, food stands, and many families having a good time watching the players. On our way back south we got soaked by an outbreak of pouring rain and we had to take cover under a bridge with our bikes. When the rain stopped, we continued and rode a bit further south past the Chicago Aquarium.

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All in all it was great fun to explore a part of the city by bike. Being used to riding my bike almost every day, I immediately felt a little bit more at home in Chicago as soon as I got one into my hands there. I would recommend to everybody to try a bike tour to get a feel for a new city. For those of us who tried it in Chicago, it was really something to remember.

Benedikt Schäfer


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