Since I was staying in the city (thanks bro!), I didn’t have to get up super early yesterday morning to drive into the city for Bike the Drive. However, I woke up just after 6am before my alarm. I could say it was excitement, but most likely the BOY’s snoring : ) I ate a quick breakfast, bundled up in layers, and grabbed my bike to head for the drive around 6:45am.
This is my forth year in a row doing Bike the Drive; however, this was my first year without my Mom and brother (they both had super fun Memorial Day plans).
I was happy to see that I wasn’t sore from Saturday’s 10 Miler. The streets were quiet as I pedaled east towards the drive. I had no agenda for the day, but was hoping to get in a nice long ride.
I wasn’t sure what the weather would look like. The morning was chilly, but beautiful! I merged onto Lake Shore Drive at Belmont heading south.
There is an indescribable feeling that I get each year when I join other riders of every age, shape, size and background for an early morning bike ride on the drive. And the view is stunning!
I rode south towards Grant Park, through the check point collecting a free water bottle, and down to the Museum of Science and Industry.
This check point is always packed with riders stopping to stretch their legs and grab a snack. I stopped to eat my breakfast and snatch a few mini Cliff bars.
And then rode back to Lake Shore this time heading north. Since I’ve done this ride before, I was looking forward to getting some new pictures and views this year. One of the best city views from the south (also my favorite during the Soldier Field 10 Miler) is this one…
This was a popular spot for photos, so I quickly tried to catch myself with the skyline in a picture before getting back on my bike.
I rode the 15 miles north past Soldier Field, Buckingham Fountain, and Navy Pier. When I looked down to see I had already gone 25 miles, I was shocked at how good my legs felt for my longest ride of the year.
I arrived at the north rest stop which is off Bryn Mar Avenue around 9am just as the BOY was waking up and calling to Say Hello. He was impressed that I’d already rode 28 miles. I grabbed an apple and soaked up some sun.
With just a few miles to go to complete my loop, the sun was starting to emerge! The north side of the route is a little less crowded, but still fun to see all of the biker’s whizzing by.
I considered biking a little longer, but instead decided to exit at Belmont and ride back towards my brother’s for a coffee and some lunch.
I rode a total of 33 miles, which is my longest ride of the year. After a quick shower, I really felt fantastic although tired from two early mornings. I changed into comfy casual clothes and walked down to Starbucks for some caffeine.
The streets were starting to come alive and bikers were making their way back from the drive. Although it was a chilly morning, it wasn’t nearly as cold as 2011. The BOY and I stopped for pizza at one of our favorite restaurants on our way back to the suburbs where I took another nap before enjoying a quiet night in. With a crammed city weekend of activity, it meant that we had to say no to some other Memorial Day plans, but for me it was totally worth it. I was so elated riding down Lake Shore Drive yesterday, and I know that happy feeling will follow me throughout the summer.
The BOY and I are spending Memorial Day together laying low and catching up on sleep after a busy weekend! What are you up to today?
See you again next year!
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