Riding Free

Soldier Field 10 Miler + Bike the Drive

I wouldn’t have Memorial Day Weekend any other way!!!


This year, I’m going backwards with my recaps.  And since this is my 5th year in a row doing Bike the Drive, I attempted to get some different views from the drive.




My alarm went off at 6am this morning.  I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t at all sore from yesterday’s 10 mile run.  I dressed in my festive (and very appropriate) Bike the Drive socks and was fueled, covered in sunscreen, and on my bike heading east towards the drive at 6:30am.




This was only my second ride of the year, and I was psyched for the perfect biking weather.  During my first ride, my bike computer battery appeared low and this morning, it was downright dead.  I was annoyed for a second and then decided that it would be fun to just ride free.  No knowledge of speed, no knowledge of distance!


IMG_20140525_064425488 IMG_20140525_064431409_HDR


I entered the drive at Addison heading south.  There were already tons of riders out enjoying the beautiful morning.  I think this event may have gotten more popular over the past few years.




I got a chill as I pedaled quickly down towards Michigan Avenue.  I really was riding FREE!  Free to ride my bike through one of the busiest streets in Chicago, free of stress, free of expectations, free to go as fast or slow as I wanted, and free to make the day my own!




I rode south towards the Museum of Science and Industry observing the famous Chicago landmarks and new parks and buildings on the way.  I saw this sign yesterday during my run but didn’t have my camera.  I was happy to be able to snap a photo of it today.  It just makes me smile!




The museum was crowded as expected as everyone stopped to refuel and take photos in front of the museum.








Including ME!  I didn’t stop long before starting my 15 mile trek north to Bryn Mar.




One of my favorite things about Bike the Drive is watching every age, size, and ability come together on their bikes that also come in tons of different shapes and sizes.  This year had its fair share of dogs in costumes on bikes and people in costumes on bikes.


IMG_20140525_075126348 IMG_20140525_080717186

IMG_20140525_081536716 IMG_20140525_083437418


I rode all the way back north to the next rest area where I took a little snack break.




Then rode back to my starting point where I exited the drive and rode west to where we were staying.  After 3 hours on my bike, I felt awesome and super strong, but didn’t want to push past ~32 miles for just my second ride.  Yesterday, I refueled with beer carbs and today I went with the Starbucks run on our way back to the suburbs.




I still feel surprisingly good for such an active weekend, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay awake much longer : )



Did you ride or race this weekend?

Do you have any Memorial Day traditions?



4 Years on the Drive

Bike the Drive 2013

Bike the Drive 2012

Bike the Drive 2011

21 thoughts on “Riding Free

    • Slowly but surely! Can’t wait for your first ride!
      It is really unique and exciting. I get chills every year as I ‘merge’ onto the drive. It makes me LOVE Chicago even more!

  1. dd, that you are beautiful sign is a 12 year project of a 34-year-old graphic artist! The sign was installed elsewhere and the City of Chicago asked to install it for one year. He makes buttons of the same logo.we should check out his

  2. That looks awesome! So cool! MSP has similar events in the summer called Open Streets; they close busy streets for an afternoon, so bikers can ride free. It’s so fun! Also, LOVE that you are beautiful sign!

  3. Looks so fun!! I remember when you did this last year!! Perfect weather too! How did that happen??!! Can’t wait to hear about the run!!
    I rode 150 miles this weekend over 7000 ft of climbing! I am sure your ride was better!! 🙂

    • oh my gosh! wow! Way to go! I haven’t read blogs all week (hoping to catch up this weekend) so I can’t wait to read about it. I’m not sure how we got the best weather ever and I hear we have more to come!

  4. Congratulations!!
    Ah- it looks so awesome to ride the roads when they’re open like that! And love that so many people on all kinds of bikes come out to participate!

  5. Nothing like finishing a long bike ride in the sun with an iced Star$$$. That is pretty unique and cool that they open those huge roads to cyclists. It looks so nice and spacious! Bet it was pretty awesome being around all those other cyclists as well. What a neat event – more cities should do that!

    • They should! The money they raise (you pay to ride) goes towards biking in Chicago which I love too. It is such a special event to get all city and suburb folk together for a good cause on a beautiful sunny day. I definitely earned that bucks and enjoyed every sip 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s