A crisp fall Tour of Edgewater

Edgewater thumbnail

Fall has come early this year and the end of the week brought weather we typically get in Chicago in late October or November.  On Saturday, the air was crisp with gloves, hats and coats on our riders, but the sky was beautiful and bright and a small group of us gathered to tool around the north side Community Area of Edgewater.  This is a lovely section of town with a variety of late 19th century developments that have turned into little neighborhoods like Edgewater Beach, North Edgewater, Highlands of Edgewater, Lakewood-Balmoral and Andersonville.  The area has stellar examples of many different residential architectural styles.  Through the residential streets, American Four-Squares sit between Queen Anne VIctorians and Tudor Revivals.  On the main thoroughfares, residential skyscrapers neighbor Gothic churches and mixed-use developments.  It is a wondrous architectural backdrop to bike through.  Here was our route.

Total distance: 21310 m
Max elevation: 183 m
Min elevation: 169 m
Total climbing: 222 m
Total descent: -215 m
Total Time: 02:46:06


Tour of Belmont-Cragin and Hermosa

Belmont-Cragin and Hermosa Tour

Belmont-Cragin and Hermosa Tour

Today we managed to avoid the rain that all my apps were predicting and tour Belmont-Cragin and Hermosa.  These two northwest side communities are in the heart of Chicago’s bungalow belt and are surrounded by rail lines.  The rail lines were responsible for bringing manufacturers and industries to the communities.  Soon the population expanded as companies located along the rail lines sought workers.  Workers and their families filled the bungalows and brick flats in the neighborhoods.  Parks, schools, religious and civic institutions dotted the area to service the new residents and the built history of these streets endures today, giving us a perfect backdrop for our tour.  Here was our route:

Total distance: 20791 m
Max elevation: 203 m
Min elevation: 183 m
Total climbing: 418 m
Total descent: -413 m
Total Time: 02:46:08


Just another Sunday ride

Total distance: 79604 m
Max elevation: 262 m
Min elevation: 134 m
Total climbing: 948 m
Total descent: -1054 m
Total Time: 04:25:42

New Tour in advance of the first running of the last new tour which hasn’t run yet because it’s cursed I guess

Belmont Cragin Hermosa Ride Poster 2014

Belmont Cragin Hermosa Ride Poster 2014

Catching up after a long absence away from something has never been a strength.  The chaos of the way that work piles up and some gets through and some gets backed up and the dam’s release when it all gives way is perhaps overstating it, but that is the general feel I have for these things.

In the wake of the most recent leave from tending to my web garden and rides, the Evanston tour got cancelled. Again. The Tour of Evanston might be the tour I have the most trepidation about, though I feel most excited to do that one. The number of things that WON’T be on the tour could make an amazing tour.  I think it will be a really awesome tour when it finally runs. Unless its cursed. It is starting to seem a little snake-bit with both the first and second dates cancelled with short-notice.  Well, third time is so consistently the charm that I am planning on a September make-up date, nearly a year after the original tour was supposed to have run.

What could go wrong?

This will be AFTER the Tour of Belmont-Cragin and Hermosa, which will go forward as planned on August 30, 2014.  So yeah, the new new tour will be before the old new tour.  Ross Felten’s new tour poster is spot on and posted just above.  Tour information is right hear.

Summer 2014 Schedule and Poster

Summer 2014 ScheduleWriting about next season or announcing the new season’s tours is always an incongruous activity since it occurs when the weather is so unlike the weather you will be riding in.  This past weekend was an exception, and it was the first time that the Spring felt like it could actually lead to a real summer, the perfect time to be doing this.

Saturday was the Tour of Irving Park and it was also the first ride of the year that actually had nice weather.  There were 34 riders including myself and all the marshals and it was a fun ride.  Irving Park is such a lovely area of town and always makes for a good tour.  There are sections with housing common to the large areas of Chicago like bungalows, Tudor revivals, etc., but the Victorians in Old Irving and the bungalows in the Villa are exceptional.  Sunday, Riding Michael (Michael Abene, aka Colnago Mike) and I biked up to Fort Sheridan on our first smoothie run of the season.  Today I managed a nice ride back there solo and sans smoothie, beneath threatening skies that turned out to be all bluster.  Spring…..so awesome.

Summer is even more awesome and filled with great tours this year.  In June, I will continue the downtown series I’ve been doing for a few years with the free Tour of the Near North Side done in partnership with the City of Chicago as part of Bike to Work Week.  That Friday night is the Night Tour of the Near North Side, where the buildings and sites that appear brilliant in the night and lights are our focus. In July we will revisit the Community Areas of West Town and Avondale, followed by an August running of the Tour of Lincoln Park before ending the summer with a brand new tour of Belmont-Cragin and Hermosa.