Active Trans Four Star Bike & Chow: 62 Miles of Terrible

Well, it would have been 62 miles if I could have continued to ride with a bunch of jackasses while avoiding the sudden urge to ride my bike off a cliff and end the misery. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any cliffs in the Chicago area.

What was so terrible about this ride? Where do I begin?

First, let me say that I’ve participated in the other popular Active Trans event, Bike the Drive, which takes place the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend every year. I’ve done it three times, and for the most part I don’t have many complaints. Keyword: Many. Anyway, it’s a nice ride and seeing the city from Lake Shore Drive via bicycle is pretty cool.
Continue reading Active Trans Four Star Bike & Chow: 62 Miles of Terrible

Bicycle Route from Chicago to Milwaukee

This will be my detailed breakdown of the bicycle route I took to get from Chicago to Milwaukee. I’m definitely not saying that this is the route that every one should take, and in my opinion this is definitely not the best route.

Before we get started, I’ll tell you three things about this route:

  1. This IS NOT a good route for road bikes. It can be done (I did it on a road bike), but the route is made up of streets, nicely paved trails, crappy old paved trails, and crushed limestone trails.
  2. This IS a good route for people that want to spend the least amount of time on roads and streets… except for the beginning when there is quite a bit of street riding. That can be changed though if you really wanted to avoid streets.
  3. I chose this route because it was one of the only routes that made the trip over 100 miles (101.5 to be exact). It can be done in less than 100 miles… I saw a few different routes that were around 90 miles.

Continue reading Bicycle Route from Chicago to Milwaukee

Critical Mass is a Critical Mess… Oh, and It’s Terrible for Cycling

Tomorrow, hundreds of “cyclists” will take part in the Chicago Critical Mass, an event that is quite possibly the worst thing to ever happen for cycling. And yes, I put “cyclists” in quotes because if the people that take part in this event knew how terrible it was for cycling in the city of Chicago, they would never do it.

I’m not even sure where to begin with this topic because I have so many things that I want to mention, but not sure I will get them all into this post. Let’s first start with the basics… Continue reading Critical Mass is a Critical Mess… Oh, and It’s Terrible for Cycling

November is Here… Still Biking into Work!

That’s right, and even though that’s not me in the picture and it’s not snowing like that in Chicago (thankfully), winter is approaching. I know, it’s terrible, but there’s nothing I can do about it… EXCEPT… Maybe… No, there’s nothing I can do. And for all you people that actually like winter and the colder weather, well you can shut up. Yeah, you read it right. Shut up. Just remember that this site is called Summer of Andy, so consider yourself in enemy territory you winter loving fools.

OK, back to the bicycle riding… Let me first say that this is a big deal for me. Anything that involves the cold weather and me being in it, that’s a big deal. In most cases I’d rather have someone punch me in the face repeatedly than go out in the cold. I know, if I hate the cold that much, then why am I living in Chicago? I don’t know, I still haven’t figured that one out yet. I’m pretty sure I curse 95% more during the winter months than I do during any other time of the year. Although in Chicago it some times feels like there’s 8 months of winter, 3 months of summer and a couple weeks for each of those other seasons… spring and whatever. Continue reading November is Here… Still Biking into Work!

Bike Ride from Chicago to Wisconsin… and Back!

When you read that, maybe you’re saying, “Hey, that seems like a long ride!” Well, you would be correct, and I would say, “Yes, 113 miles to be exact.” If it hurts your knees, ankles, or possibly even your butt just thinking about it, well just imagine how I feel. At this point, pretty good, but it’s also been two days.

This was the longest one day ride I’ve ever been on and my second century ride. My first century ride was earlier this summer before my RAGBRAI trip. This century ride to Wisconsin I did with my friend and fellow cycling enthusiast, Allison Wagner (There you go Allison, I gave you a name in this post instead of just “friend” like my last post). Allison was brave to join me and trust that I actually knew where I was going… when I obviously didn’t. I mapped it on Google Maps and had a few print-outs with me… Oh, and my trusty GPS (my phone). Either way, we were ready for an adventure. Continue reading Bike Ride from Chicago to Wisconsin… and Back!

Best Bike Route from Downtown Chicago to the North Branch Trail

What is currently my favorite bike trail to ride in Chicago? Definitely the North Branch Trail. If you’re someone that likes the Lake Shore Path, but can’t deal with the crowds of people that make it nearly impossible to ride your bike, then you need to venture north of downtown. The North Branch Trail starts about 11 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, and it winds through parks and forest preserve while crossing low traffic streets a few times along the 15 mile trail. At the northern most point, the trail loops around and passes by the entrance to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Continue reading Best Bike Route from Downtown Chicago to the North Branch Trail

Completed My First “Century” Bike Ride

No, that doesn’t mean that I dress up in 1st Century attire and bike around Chicago (I’m not even sure what 1st Century attire would be). It means that I biked 100 miles in a single day. It’s actually something that on Friday I decided I wanted to try to do. The most I’ve ever biked in a day is 60 miles, so I wanted to push myself and make sure that I could ride the longer distances. After today I feel like I should be able to complete the longer 80+ mile days during RAGBRAI. Continue reading Completed My First “Century” Bike Ride

Trying Something New at IO Chicago Improv Comedy

After 56 weeks of improv at Second City, I’m moving on to try something else. Sure, I had a great time at Second City and met a lot of great people over the past year, but I figured it was time to broaden my horizons as they say. I’m not sure who “they” are or when they said it, but someone said it at some point in time. Anyway, that’s what I’m doing. Continue reading Trying Something New at IO Chicago Improv Comedy