Saturday, August 20, 2016

August 14, 2016 The L.A.T.E. Ride in Chicago

Here I am stuck on Lakeshore Drive during the Friday night rush hour. The L.A.T.E. Ride is tomorrow night in Chicago. It is supposed to rain all day long on Saturday. I hope it looks better than this when I am riding my bike down the Lakefront Trail on Sunday morning.

Guess what? The rain stopped a few hours ago and it is a beautiful night for a bike ride through Chicago. The staging area for the L.A.T.E. Ride is at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Here I am lined up on Columbus Drive with my riding partners tonight...the Mazrimas Sisters.

Off we go south to Roosevelt Road.

A quick stop in Chinatown.

The Cermak Road Bridge over the Chicago River.

This is an interesting concept, drink and paint. Check it out here.

The Jane Byrne Interchange and Downtown Chicago from Halsted Street.

Riders heading north on Halsted.

I stop a lot for two, I love taking pictures of things that interest me...two, I want to take my time so I will see the sun rise over Lake Michigan while I am on the Lakefront Trail. So I am using this wonderful night ride to enjoy all the city has to offer when you slowly ride through it's neighborhoods while most Chicagoans are sleeping.

Riding through Greektown

I took this one for Christy & Kimmy.
The police stop traffic for the first mile or so, after that we are supposed to obey all traffic laws. 
We always stop here to say hello to my friend Marko who works here. We did say hello but it was closing time and he was busy laying down the law to several patrons. So I just got a photo of the old school sign.
This one is for my Aunt Nora. Division Street goes through the heart of a Puerto Rican neighborhood which we ride through on our way to Humboldt Park...
...and this one is for my cousin Karen.
Here we are resting in Humboldt Park. Chrissy hates this picture but this is my blog.
This is the mid way stopping point for refreshments and bathroom breaks.
It is also a chance to say hello to people you've seen while riding along the route.
Everyone is just trying to have fun tonight. Decorated bikes, costumes and music playing all night long. I love events like this that bring such a diverse group of people together. I had a great time walking through the crowd taking pictures.

Eventually we headed north on Sacramento Blvd for the second half of our ride.

After heading east on Diversey, we rode north on Lincoln Ave toward Lawrence. I was so excited to see the new route this year because it passes several of my favorite places to see a concert. The Old Town School of Folk Music is one of them.

The Riv at Lawrence and Broadway is another great place to see a show.

I've seen some classic shows here...Ozzy Osbourne with Motorhead in 1981...The Replacements in the late 80's...Smashing Pumpkins in the early 90's...Flogging Molly...Dropkick Murphys...I could list more if my memory was better.

I fell behind but Chrissy knew to wait for me at the Aragon.

Kimmy & Christy enjoying the ride on a beautiful night.

The Red Line stop at Lawrence.

After a quick refueling stop for a Pepsi and Milky Way at the BP at Lawrence and LSD, we headed south on the Lakefront Trail.

Belmont Harbor

Not bad for a long exposure hand held shot.

The city is so peaceful when 95% of the people are sleeping.

I lost the Mazrimas girls with all my photo stops. But there are some interesting places to shoot along the lakefront....and none of them are crowded now.

This pedestrian underpass below Lake Shore Drive has some impressive art work.

The sky is beginning to get lighter at 4:51am. Just about an hour to sunrise.

This must still be Belmont Harbor.

I think this is the Barry Street underpass. It has an incredible display and artwork from a group or idea called Hug Chicago. I spent a long time here.

The idea was to get Chicagoans to submit photos of them hugging a loved one. Someone defaced the picture of President Obama hugging one of his daughters. Regardless of what you think of him as President, I think it is pretty cool he submitted a photo to this project. I guess some people are not bright enough to understand the point of a project like this one.

Cool idea, great photos and music lyrics....This is my favorite underpass in the city.

Back on the Lakefront Trail

The Alarm is a memorial to the Ottawa Nation on the lake side of Lincoln Park. It is the oldest sculpture on Chicago Park District property. It was commissioned in 1880.

The sun begins lighting up the sky before it crosses the horizon.

The city before sunrise from Lincoln Park.

There is still a half an hour to go until sunrise.

I found the Mazrimas girls relaxing on the lakefront waiting for the sun to rise. Still have 20 minutes until the official sun rise... I had some time to kill.
 I wonder if the band Chicago was sitting here years ago when they wrote this...
"I still dream of the Lake of peacefulness
The warm summer breeze
Cause my life was so much simpler then
Street corners and Tastee Freeze" - 

'Take Me Back To Chicago' by Chicago

I had some time so I played with the panoramic feature on my phone. This is the result. I really like it but not sure where the curve in the middle comes from.

Still waiting for the sun..
...running out of things to photograph but still having fun...
... if you look closely you might be able to tell that I had to lift Christy's bike because I was too tired to try and lift my bike.

"Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right" -
 'Here Comes The Sun' by George Harrison

Still not official yet...

We got lucky with this amazing sky for our sunrise.
The birds were enjoying the sunrise too.
The fishermen heading out for some fun on the lake.
What a great ending to our night. We headed south to Grant Park. that the city is waking up, there is so much more to shoot.
I would not see Kimmy again until Grant Park.
Having fun with the sand and sun.
Bye Chrissy....see you in Grant Park.
North Avenue Beach

I had to stop to get a picture of this couple walking down the lakefront.
Chicago looks good in the early morning light.
Oak Street Beach
Lake Shore Drive at Oak Street Beach
Lake Point Tower is the only high rise residential property east of Lake Shore Drive.
Christy is texting me...time to get going.

But look how great the low sun is lighting up the boats.

I found them on the lake side of Buckingham Fountain soaking up the sun...
...and so was the fountain. 
Since it was turned off, the reflection shots were amazing.
Gotta get going, need some sleep.
Just one more before we get to the parking garage.
We drove home down Lake Shore Drive to enjoy the scenery just a little longer.
We stopped at Rainbow Beach along the way. My last shot of the city.
We finally got home about 8:30am.
I slept until 1pm when these two woke me up to let them outside. That's all right. I had a great time last night. Can't wait to do it again next year...if you read this post this far, why don't you join in the fun next year.