I didn’t get started till about 4pm, Jojo was out of town. Eileen and I hung around with friends at the westside coop after the market, and didn’t get done till about 3pm. I grabbed my towel and trunks, headed to a secret swimming spot about 15 miles south and out a ridge, and then down a steep bluff to the water. It was still steamy hot and and when I hit the water, it seemed warm, but almost immediately the wind picked up, and so the warm water started to feel good. Diving down there was still cool water, but not much. I swam out a few hundred yards and floated as some fishermen came trolling along the shoreline. I stayed out while they fished, then went to shore and built a diving platform and got some good dives in before heading back while the sun set in the west.
Jojo and I took our standard, down and back ride to Pine Grove after work on Friday, Aug. 18 after a long week of work. The water was lower than ever, you could easily walk out to masses of flowering lotus plants extending from the south side of the lake. Our friends the heron were there in full force, just slowly wading in the shallows, grabbing a bite to eat here and there.
Lotus has to be one of the most beautiful flowers and strangest seed pods of any plant out there.
We stopped at the mud flats just before heading back up the hill, you could see where the stumps of the old trees, used as windbreaks, defined the farmers’ fields. There were mammal and bird tracks everywhere in the mud.
Eileen, Tim and I took the train downtown, where we emerged from the underground terminal right at the Chicago River. Eileen went to see a show at the CIA, while Tim and I rented bikes at Millennial Park and headed north across the river to Oak St. Beach where the lakeside pathway begins in earnest. We traveled with a mixed crowd of tourists, commuters and recreational riders, skaters and walkers. The cooling lake winds kept us from sweating, and we stopped at a convenince store for some tea, juice and snacks.
We got back on the path and went to nearly the end before dismounting and wading out into the waves. We found a little sand bar, with a couple dozen seagulls nest to us. Tim looked down and saw tiny fish swimming at our feet, and as we watched the gulls, it was evident we were at their sushi bar. Gulls swooped all around, waded into the water for a snack, and would then float along on the waves, or go back to shore to preen.
We decided to see what city street riding was like, so we headed west when we hit the end of the path at Thorndale Beach, just south of Loyola Uinversity. Coming off the path, we were forced to bike to the west, and the street we used
was for bikes only, but then headed into a one way street, which surprisingly had a bike lane such that we were riding against traffic for two blocks to the north-south bike routes. These are in an extended residential neighborhood, and sharrows with speed bumps are the rule, with 4-5 humps per block.
We rode south a while, then cut over to Clark St., which is designated as a bike route, with a bike lane between the traffic and the parked cars. There were a lot of bikers using the lane, both commuters and shoppers visiting the vast array of ethnic stores and restaurants. At least twice cars who wanted to turn right waited for us to go through an intersection, even though they could have speed around us and turned like people do here in Bloomington. The day was warm and partly sunny, with the skyscrapers hidden in the clouds.
On Saturday we went to Jesse and Sean’s wedding, and we stayed at a hotel in Evanston. Bikes were everywhere here too, of course there are a lot of students because of Northwestern, the neighborhood shopping area felt a lot like Bloomington. The wedding was at the Swedish Museum on Clark St., I ended up playing for about 4 hours on the sidwaslk outside.
Yesterday, while the racers rode through the 90 plus degree heat in downtown Bloomington, Jojo and I rode the shady route south to Lake Monroe. We spent a couple cooling hours in the water, swimming floating and diving.
Jojo saw and bald eagle land in a tree, and I saw the heron which also perch, it is amazing to see these big birds in a tree, especially when you are used to seeing them walking along the shoreline. I love the look of the lake when you are in the water, so I took a few pics from several feet out.
Check out this link to Google maps, it was started by Steven Wallace to give bikers a place to add their favorite biking hazards in the city. If you have pictures to add, just send them or links to them to me or Steve.