Sunday, May 3, 2015

Divvy, Chicago and Saint Louis

We drove to Chicago for the first part of our tour of the Midwest to check out some Pirates games and see some new-to-us stadiums. I'd convinced spouse that using Divvy bike share in Chicago would alleviate the hassle of parking and driving in a city where parking is hard to come by.

Not only would this be spouse's first time riding a bike in traffic, but it would be in a city where I was totally unfamiliar with the streets. I'd have to make sure his maiden voyage was safe and stress-free. We wanted to ride 6 miles down LakeShore Drive trail for a tour of legendary Wrigley Field before the game and then we'd ride back down to the hotel in traffic using Clark Street's bike lane and sharrows.

Divvy was easy to use, we did encounter one station that refused to pump out new codes when we tried to grab new bikes before our 30 minute ride expired, so we walked the remaining 5 blocks.

While I did my best to ensure a stress-free time on the bikes and traffic, I was clueless as to the fact that the bike lane on one particular street was on the left hand side of the street and we were riding on the right most lane of a 4 lane street. I observed that the folks in cars were amazingly patient with all pedestrians and people on bikes, I encountered none of the menacing behavior I'm used to in Pittsburgh. Spouse complained that I rode too fast for him (wow...) and that he was in fear for his life the entire time we rode with cars.

More photos of our time in Chicago and visiting Wrigley:

We rode down to the first game but damn it was cold that evening, we couldn't make it into the 6th inning before we had to leave... it was in the 30's. I couldn't bear riding a bike for 4 miles back to the hotel after sitting in the cold for several hours so I sprung for a nice warm taxi.

A nice warm subway

The next evening's game I suggested taking the L/Subway down to Wrigley, I was worn out from the cold from the previous evening's game as well as a cold river tour we took. Again, it was in the 30's and we dressed much warmer and even took a blanket from the hotel.... it was brutal, but we made it though the entire game.

Wrigley's FREE bike valet!

Chicago is very bike-oriented, there's tons of infra, tons of commuters, soooo many people use the bike share!
Other bikey stuff I encountered:

Cargo bike!
I wondered what this bike was...

Later, after our river tour, I saw the owner had unlocked it, rode it a block or two away and he crawled inside to put on a puppet show.

 Bike cops in Chicago use handcuffs to lock their bikes.

A female officer was the user of the bike with the pink water bottle

We drove deeper into the midwest to Saint Louis to see the Pirates play the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.


Union Station Hotel
Brewery tour
Busch Stadium

Notable difference: Saint Louis has much fewer cyclists and barely any infra.

What is this?

A Saint Louis/Gateway themed bike rack.

I found Saint Louis' only remaining original Toynbee tile!

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