On Wednesday I accomplished my first century (100-mile) journey. An affiliate of mine who I do know by means of my work in different drugs was providing free bodywork periods for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Folks of Coloration.) She lives in north-suburban Grayslake and infrequently posts nice photographs from her bike rides within the space. I initially deliberate on taking my electrical cargo bike bike aboard Metra commuter rail however as soon as I appeared additional into their insurance policies relating to bikes, it was clear to me I used to be going to must bike the 40-plus miles from my dwelling in Rogers Park.
Metra’s bike policy states that “Bicyclists and e-scooter customers should have the ability to board and detrain with out help from conductors.” Provided that my bike is over 60 lbs, it will be fairly tough for me to elevate it onto the practice on my own. Moreover, Metra’s bike coverage states, “The wheelchair elevate can’t be used to load or unload bikes or e-scooters.” And even when you’ll be able to carry a cargo bike onto a Metra practice, its size may be a difficulty, because the guidelines state that “Bikes and e-scooters are to not exceed 70 inches.” In a perfect world Metra’s trains would simply will let you roll a motorbike of any widespread dimension or form bike on board, however we’re not there but. Because it stood, I used to be going to wish to get to my vacation spot by a mixture of battery and muscle energy.
On the morning of my journey I used to be excited but in addition slightly nervous. Would I be injured? Would I make it dwelling alive? Would I get misplaced? Would I encounter offended drivers? I’m glad to report my journey was total nice. The climate was good: sunny and 80 levels. I encountered smiles, nods, and “hellos” alongside the paths. Nevertheless, I’d have to present the journey a B- score attributable to an in depth name with a dump truck driver who honked at me as I used to be driving to the correct on a highway with “Share the Highway” indicators and sharrows (bike-and-chevron symbols), Previous Inexperienced Bay Highway, if I recall appropriately. I used to be so startled and afraid he’d run me over that I fell over to the aspect of the highway. Fortunately I didn’t maintain any accidents, however I used to be left considerably shaken.
I loved the bike paths I took: the Inexperienced Bay Path, the Skokie Valley Bike Path, the Desplaines River Path, and the Casey Path. Nevertheless, as a lot as I like trails, they can’t be an alternative to on-street protected biking infrastructure. It was clear on my journey again that these trails have been solely constructed with recreation in thoughts. My expertise on the Inexperienced Bay Path on the journey dwelling was considerably scary as a result of there isn’t any lighting alongside the path. I had the sunshine of my bike to assist me navigate, however I might have simply been attacked by somebody lurking at the hours of darkness. I did encounter a number of people alongside the path and solely one in all them had a light-weight. It was a bit unnerving. The Sheridan Highway bike lane in Winnetka was good through the day however at night time I felt unsafe biking within the painted lane. I largely took the sidewalk alongside Sheridan Highway and noticed drivers hugging the road of the painted bike lane.
As soon as I made it dwelling I had logged 82 miles on my odometer. So I charged my battery up a bit and went again out to log 20 extra miles to interrupt 100 miles. I loved the quiet of the streets with little automotive visitors and imagined a world during which we will all really feel calm in our nervous methods after we journey.