Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011 The L.A.T.E. Ride

My Number for the L.A.T.E. Ride a 25 Mile Bike Ride thru Chicago from 1am until Sunrise

It was a stormy night...wait...that is how horror stories start...this story starts out like was a beautiful summer night for a bike ride with 9,000 of my friends.
My sister-in-law Kimmie, her second LATE Ride
My long time friend Mike, his rookie ride
My Canadian friend Walter, his second ride
 Everyone is lining up for the start of the ride at 1am
This is Columbus Drive near Buckingham Fountain. We were in the Blue group which leaves second after the VIP section. As you can see it is a crazy scene but they release groups every 10 minutes or so and this year it seemed pretty smooth. If you look closely you can see the Lollapalooza banners on the street lights. I'll be at that wonderful event next month but now I'm excited to start riding through the city on a great summer night.
Our first stop was in Chinatown, we lost Kimmie somewhere in the crowd.
The people riding are very friendly. Everyone is just out for a fun ride through the city. Unfortunately  some people are put off by the traffic issues caused by closing some streets and intersections for this ride. I heard several angry and quite frankly stupid comments from people on the streets. Of course at this time of night alcohol is probably involved. But these people were the minority (loud obnoxious assholes always are), most people were cheering and taking pictures of the bikers filling the streets. There was a loft on Milwaukee Avenue that had some partiers in the window with Queen's "Bicycle Race" blasting down to the street. That was cool.
Downtown Chicago from Greek Town
The only hills in Chicago are the bridge overpasses like this one on Halsted Street.

My favorite picture of the night, Chrissy & Kimmie under the Puerto Rican flag in Humboldt Park neighborhood.
Mikey at the rest area in Homer Park where sponsor's supply the riders with drinks and food.
The last part of the ride in down the Lakefront Trail while the sun rises across the lake. Here's Chicago's Totem Pole along the trail.

A couple of pictures taken at Belmont Harbor just before sunrise.

Mike & Chrissy on the lakeshore waiting for the sunrise but low clouds along the lake stole the excitement of watching the sun rise over the horizon. The white dots are bugs that got lit up by the flash.
The Queen of the LATE Ride removes her crown.

My favorite shots along the lakefront.
North Avenue Beach
It was a warm humid night and the morning had that 'it's gonna be hot day' haze over the city.
Walt & Jamie catch up with us near Oak Street Beach.
 A few shots at Navy Pier on our way back to Grant Park
 Mike poses with Bob Newhart
 A strange sign saying "Fix - Ice Machene"
Chrissy dreaming about raspberry bars at the Bleeding Heart Bakery which is where we picked up breakfast after the ride...see Chris...dreams do come true.

 A few shots at the end of the ride
 back where we started about 5 hours ago
A cute girl with the sunlight in her hair

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