CITY BIKING SAFETY TIPS and Dean’s attempt to eat sushi

2 Sep

Saturday workout:  6-7 mile run?  Not sure exactly.  Haven’t been using my Garmin, because as I’m trying to build my running back up after this long break from it, I don’t want to get too focused on pace just yet.  I tend to be really competitive with both myself and in general, which can be bad.  For instance, because I know what I am capable of, I hate seeing my pace be anything above 8:00/mile.  Right now I have no business running in the 7s for several miles, and I know if I had my Garmin on I’d be temped to.

Taken during my run through Lincoln Park yesterday.

FYI, some of you may have noticed that my last post is password protected.  I have been doing a lot of research on wedding venues, and so I used my blog as a means to send my family pictures and pricing information on the Arboretum, which is one of the venues we’re considering.

So, as many of you know, I am a huge fan of biking as a means to get to places in the city.  It drives my mom crazy, because she’s always been a big time worrier, and I know it makes Dean a little uneasy when I bike to and from downtown every morning, but honestly, it’s the most practical way to get there.  I hate waiting on the bus, it makes no sense to drive to work (plus, I don’t have a car), walking would take way too long, and I’m not about to pay for a cab every morning!

So, first of all, how do I practically bike to work without showing up looking like I just worked out?

-If I’m wearing pants, I tuck the ends of my pants into my socks so that they don’t get dirty.  It’s a really great look, haha, and the first thing I do when I get off my bike is untuck them in fear that I will forget to and then walk into work looking like an idiot.

-I now always bring a backpack to work.  If it’s extra hot and I’m afraid I’ll sweat too much, I’ll throw my outfit in my back pack and wear lulu pants and another top to work.  I’ll also throw deodorant in my bag.

-If I’m wearing a dress, I’ll wear biker shorts underneath it.

-For my hair, I put it in a loose ponytail and undo the ponytail as soon as I get off my bike in front of the hospital.  I don’t brush through it right away, because brushing through it if you’re a little sweaty will brush out all the curls.  I wait a few minutes until I’m inside and then brush through it slightly with my fingers and a brush after I’ve changed and/or am in the restroom.

 

Now, more importantly, how do you be safe on a bike in downtown Chicago??

-First of all, I would never step foot on a bike without a helmet, even if I were just going one block.  It’s just stupid.  I don’t understand people who don’t bike without a helmet…why would you risk your life and brain like that??

-When possible, I take less busy streets, even if it’s a little round about.

-Follow the law.  If you’re pulling up to a four way stop, you don’t have the right of way just because you’re on a bike.  If I pull up to a stop sign, I slow down and check all directions to see if there are other cars coming.  If not, then I’ll bike through the intersection.  If there are other cars stopped or pulling up to the stop sign, I ALWAYS stop.  If they were there first, they have the right of way.  If they’re pulling up to the stop sign, I want to make sure they see me first before I go through the intersection, even if I have the right of way, which leads me to my next point….

-At intersections, I try to make eye contact with other drivers so I know they’ve seen me.

-Be aware that a lot of drivers don’t seem to know how to use their turn signals.  If you’re a biker, you’re on the right side of the street, so be especially careful if there’s a car next to you.  Don’t ride immediately to their right at an intersection if you’re going straight! They may not see you and decide to turn right without any warning.

-Be careful around cabs.  Enough said.

-Always be on the look out for parked cars.  People will open doors without looking.  I’ve been doored before and fractured my pinky when my hand and handlebar hit their opening door.   I was even in the designated bike lane on Wells when this happened!

-Pedestrians are incredibly stupid.  Sorry, but it it’s true.  They will J-walk, they will walk across intersections even though the light in their direction is red.  They will do so while looking up at the buildings or looking down at their cell phone.  It is really quite amazing.  Just beware that they have no clue of their surroundings.  If you are bored you can actually turn it into a little game.   Michigan Avenue is a great place to play it…..if I have the green light and pedestrians are walking across the street on a red light, I try to see how many people I can freak out.  I speed up, make no attempt to move for them, and just get so much joy out of seeing their freaked out reaction when I zoom by inches away from them and scare them.  I think I am actually doing them a service!  Next time it could be a car who doesn’t see them and actually hits them when they’re walking cluelessly across the intersection on a red light!  Hehe ; )

~

Because this post is slightly void of pictures and I just love posting excessive numbers of pictures, here are some random pictures of Dean attempting to eat a Spider Roll the other day.  Has nothing to do with this post….I just think it’s funny ; )

It was quite entertaining. I enjoyed the entertainment while sipping on wine and taking pictures (and participating in eating the sushi myself).

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One Response to “CITY BIKING SAFETY TIPS and Dean’s attempt to eat sushi”

  1. Losing Lindy September 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    We belong to Morton, we love it there.

    You also need to watch for buses, I have been almost hit by them many times, as they cruise through red lights.

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