Bicycling

Monday, October 3, 2011

Open Streets on State Street

Posted By on 10.03.11 at 02:24 PM

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The first Open Streets on State Street shut down seven blocks of State (from Lake to Van Buren) to vehicles on Saturday, opening up the streets to pedestrians, cyclists, and skaters. From 10 AM to 3 PM, there were break-dancing demos, yoga and zumba classes, a dunk tank, bouting by the Windy City Rollers, play areas for kids, a skate park, and activities like foursquare, hula hooping, and relay races. Even the Bucket Boys were out, drumming away. I don't know if they were part of the official lineup, but they drew a pretty good crowd—as did the event overall. It was a cool, sunny day, and people seemed to be enjoying wandering the streets. More photos after the jump.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicago to get a large-scale bike-sharing program

Posted By on 09.21.11 at 04:45 PM

Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein announced today that Chicago will implement a large-scale bicycle-sharing program next year, the Sun-Times reports. The plan is to have 3,000 bikes available from 300 docking stations around the city by next summer, and then add another 2,000 bikes and 200 stations over the next two years. Members would get free use of the bikes for the first 30 minutes, then be charged a rental fee; the focus of the program is short trips around the city.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Park(ing) Day photos

Posted By on 09.18.11 at 12:53 PM

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  • Urban Habitat Chicago
Unlike last year, I didn't make it to all of this year's Park(ing) Day spots on Friday, but the few I did stop by were really well done. Urban Habitat Chicago (photo above) featured yoga by the yet-to-open Tula Yoga Studio and free bike repair at its spot outside Revolution Brewing.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Park(ing) Day is tomorrow

Posted By on 09.15.11 at 04:19 PM

Park(ing) Day 2010
Park(ing) Day, an international event in which metered parking spaces are converted into into temporary parks, returns to Chicago tomorrow for its third year. The project began in San Francisco in 2005 when the design company Rebar created a park (complete with sod) in a single parking space for two hours. The goal is "to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat."

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This pinup's makeup bag: tire levers and tube patches included

Posted By on 09.15.11 at 11:27 AM

Ms. February
Thought You Knew (TyK) founder and producer Alexis Finch explains the 2008 origins of her grassroots movement as a "knee-jerk reaction to the lack of strong women as cycling role models in Chicago."

"I was tired of leaving my sexuality at the door in order to get taken seriously in bike shops," she tells me. "I was frustrated at seeing so many women sitting on the sidelines at bike events."

Now in its fourth year of production, the Thought You Knew Bicycle Chick Pinup Calendar is the brainchild of Finch and photographer Kimberly Capriotti and is a means to both showcase "strong women with bicycles" and "encourage more women to ride." Finch described the calendar as "each woman with her own bike, owning her sexuality like only a pinup can."

"We launched the first TyK calendar in 2009 during the Bike Winter Art Show, and despite it being February, they sold like hotcakes."

This year's calendar is looking for one final push on Kickstarter to reach its goal of $5,000 by the October 1 deadline. Donations are teetering around $4,400 at the moment. TyK is accepting donations at all levels, but a minimum donation of $20 gets you a copy of the calendar, with shipping included. Check out the promo video for the 2012 calendar after the jump:

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nice parking job

Posted By on 08.30.11 at 04:36 PM

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Spotted this afternoon on Randolph just east of Michigan Avenue. I'm sure the cop had his reasons for parking his bike directly across the right-turn lane, but they weren't apparent—either to me or to the line of cars backed up on Randolph, trying to get around the blocked lane. That's one benefit of wearing a police uniform, I guess. If anyone else put a bike there it would have been run over in ten seconds flat, but I didn't hear so much as a peep from any of the drivers.

Maybe he misinterpreted the news that Chicago recently launched on-street bike parking.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

A modest bike lane proposal

Posted By on 07.29.11 at 02:31 PM

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  • vxla via Flickr
Steven Vance notes today on Grid Chicago that of the 100 miles of protected bike lanes Mayor Emanuel has promised to install in Chicago, he only has 99.5 to go (half a mile of Kinzie, between Desplaines and LaSalle, was recently outfitted with a protected lane—the first in the city). But Vance is also worried about the open-metal-grate bridges, which can be dangerous for cyclists, especially when wet or icy. Pointing out that adding metal plates to the Kinzie bridge ran about $30,000 plus installation costs, and the half mile of protected bike lane cost $140,000, Vance proposes that instead of installing 25 miles of protected bike lanes the city should add metal plates to 25 open-grate bridges. We'd end up with 75 miles of protected lanes, 25 more treated bridge surfaces, and it should cost less overall. He also notes that this isn't likely to happen without some prodding from cyclists—the solution, of course, being to contact your alderman.

In other news, the city of Chicago is celebrating the installation of its first on-street bike parking corral today at 5 PM outside the Flatiron Building (Milwaukee just south of North avenue). It'll provide parking for about 12 bicycles in a space that would otherwise be occupied by one or two cars.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Style on Two Wheels

Posted By on 06.08.11 at 11:31 AM

The Armitage Satchel from Po Campo, one of the labels featured at tomorrows bike fashion show
  • pocampo.com
  • The Armitage Satchel from Po Campo, one of the labels featured at tomorrow's bike fashion show
Take a cue from the Europeans: you don't have to rock the Spandex shorts to ride your bike around the city. (In fact, some of us would prefer you didn't.) To prove it, and to help kick off Bike to Work Week (June 11-18), Bike Chicago 2011 hosts a fashion show, Bike Chic, on Thursday at noon in Daley Plaza. Participants include the Logan Square boutique Wolfbait & B-girls, bike-bag designers Po Campo; functional-chic commute-and-work label Nonethless Garments, eco-friendly shop Connect Chicago; new cycling gear store Chrome Industries; and local designer and SAIC grad Seth Meyerink-Griffin. Fashion students from the International Academy of Design and Technology will show off bike-friendly creations, and the bikes themselves—both European and home-grown—come courtesy of Boulevard Bikes and Copenhagen Cyclery.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Chicago Gets Its First Pollution-Fighting Bike Lane

Posted By on 04.11.11 at 03:39 PM

Steven Vance reports on his blog that construction is under way on the Cermak/Blue Island Sustainable Streetscape that he wrote about in 2009. The project, by the Chicago Department of Transportation, aims to create environmentally friendly stretches of roadway on Cermak and Blue Island between Ashland and Western by using recycled materials and incorporating elements that will improve stormwater drainage and reduce temperatures in the summer (the latter by adding trees and reflective pavement). On the Blue Island Avenue section, a bike lane is being built from "smog-eating" concrete (TX Active)—the pavers that make up the lane, as well as the parking lane next to it, contain titanium dioxide, which helps break down pollutants into less harmful compounds. Vance has pictures of the unfinished lane in his post.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bicycle Film Festival

Posted By on 02.23.11 at 05:34 PM

On Time
  • "On Time"
The Bicycle Film Festival Chicago kicks off with a party at Beauty Bar with Charlie Glitch of Ghetto Division, Mattyboywhite of Midnight Rockers, and Manny Muscles of Juggrnaut, 1444 W. Chicago, Thursday 2/24 at 9 p.m. Free with festival ticket or before 11 p.m., $3 otherwise.

Jeff Tremaine's documentary about BMX legend Mat Hofffman, The Birth of Big Air, headlines the 7 p.m. program on Friday 2/25, which also includes the Neistat Brothers' A New Challenge, Richard Mungall's Chicago Line, Dean Dickinson's BMX at Burnside, Mike McKinlay's Travis Collier "Night Riding," Eric Matthies's Countywide: Bicycling Across Los Angeles, and Erik Elstren's Dragon Shredit.

At 9 p.m. Friday, Chistian Thormann and Luke Stiles's documentary about New York cyclists, Emprie, screens with Lucas Brunelle's Line of Sight, Ari Taub's On Time, and Robert Chynoweth's Belle Epoch. Goldsprints after party at 11 p.m. with DJ ZBLN.

On Saturday 2/26, Alex Craig's Riding the Long White Cloud, about skateboarders cycling New Zealand's North Island, headlines the 3 p.m. program. Brian Vernor's The Cyclocross Meeting, about course racing in the U.S. and Japan, anchors the 5 p.m. selections. And Lucas Brunelle's documentary about alleycat racing, Line of Site, closes the 7 p.m. bill. Several additional short videos on each program. Panic after party at 9 p.m. with DJs Brad Owen, Pogo and Arturo. Free until 11 p.m.

Screenings are $10, festival pass $25. Screenings and Goldsprints party are at the Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western Ave. Panic party is at Darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago Ave.

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Agenda Teaser

Music
December 05
Galleries & Museums
Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera Northwestern University Block Museum of Art
September 17

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