My first day in town, we just bummed around on bikes with no real game plan. We stuck to Lincoln Square, Lakeview/Boystown area, and Wicker Park. I got to stop in a couple of bike shops I'd been wanting to visit, and hit up a couple of cute shops and awesome eateries. The biking situation was pretty similar to what I am used to in Jacksonville, but many times more effective-- an abundance of bike lanes, and a pretty lake-front segregated path that is miles long. Traffic jams of cyclists(!) occurred at stop signs and red lights. I saw so many normal people on all kinds of bikes, going to work, running errands, or trekking to school, and they mostly used bikes with fenders and paniers or baskets. I know, I must sound a little country, talking about how excited I was to see dove bars and bike baskets everywhere. Even though the practical bikes are becoming a more normal sight in Jacksonville, it's still far from the norm. The sheer amount of cyclists riding around was the biggest and most inspiring difference between Chi-town and River City, and I must admit that it kind of blew my mind. I didn't get any great photos of cycling traffic jams in action, but I did get some shots at the Lakefront Trail, close to the "beach."
|Koula, with the pretty city skyline!|
|Val, and the bikes!|
|The Lakefront Trail, as seen from my handlebars. It was busy in the middle of the day!|
|Bring your bike on the train!|
The conservatory was quite beautiful and I'm not sure I saw the whole thing, even though we were there for a few hours. I was glad to see it instead of alot of touristy places, for sure. The Desert House, with all kinds of succulents and cacti, was my favorite area, as well as the outdoor City Garden area. Taking the Green Line was stress-free, and very easy. Chicago makes it relatively easy and intuitive to take the train, bike, and walk to various parts of town, and I loved the freedom from my car for a few days.
|Outdoor City Garden, Garfield Park Conservatory|
|Desert House, Garfield Park Conservatory|