Tour Hiatus

This is a brief post to inform everyone that the July, August and September tours have been cancelled.  This includes tomorrow’s Tour of Evanston.

As many of you know, my father died at the end of last month and my family and I are working on sorting out his affairs and moving my mom to be close to us in the Chicago area.  I have to focus on my family for the time being but hope to be able to run the final two tours of the year in October and November.

My sincere thanks for all of the kind wishes, messages, calls, texts, emails, letters and the like that we have received.  It has been a difficult time but we have been better able to get through it with the support we have received. 

Thank you all for you understanding.

Goodbye Dad

Charles Nissan Diamond

Charles Nissan Diamond

Last night, my father, Charles Nissan Diamond died unexpectedly at his home. It hit my mom especially hard and I drove out to Cleveland today to begin the process of helping her, making arrangements for his funeral, and meeting the family that is congregating to celebrate his life. It has been a hard couple of days and I suspect they won’t be easy for a while.

My sister Rae sent me the picture above, which I love and shows a side of my dad that not many knew.

I love you dad and I miss you already.  Peace to you and mom and Rae and all of our family.

FRIDAY NIGHT’S TOUR IS CANCELLED.

I am going to have to cancel Friday night’s make-up Downtown Night Tour as I will likely still be in Cleveland and in any case will be in no position to lead a group of riders through the streets of downtown Chicago at night.  I am sorry for this. I will initiate refunds for all that pre-registered and be in touch about the status of the season pass for those that purchased one this season. As I look through the posts on Chicago Velo, it is depressingly notable how many of the posts are about tour cancellations, postponements and rescheduling. I know it isn’t the time to make big decisions about everything after a major event in one’s life, but as I sort through these tasks, I will be taking stock about the future of the Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours as well.

Take care everyone and hopefully I will see you soon.

Downtown Night Tour Cancelled Tonight….postponed until Friday July 28

Hi everyone,

It is raining outside my window as I am typing and there is lightning in the sky.  There is a flash flood warning in effect and my three open browsers with radar and weather forecasts don’t look much brighter for the rest of the evening so I am going to cancel tonight’s ride.

We will hold the Downtown Night Bike Tour next Friday, July 28 at 7:00 PM instead.  The ride has been postponed for one week.  Pre-paid tickets have the option of a refund or can use their tickets next week.

My apologies for the late notice.  It is my goal to not have to cancel a ride whenever possible but I am also concerned for everyone’s safety and want to make sure that the ride is fun for everyone that comes.  That doesn’t seem like a deliverable set of goals this evening.

I hope to see you all next week.

At night, Chicago is particularly lovely

Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THE TOUR AND THE WEATHER:

The weather report is indicating the strong likelihood of thunderstorms during the hours we would be touring. While we do indeed hold our tours in the rain, we do NOT hold tours during storms, particularly when lightning might be present.

I will be at the start of the tour to either run the tour as scheduled, or to greet riders that show up if the ride has to be cancelled.
IF the ride needs to be cancelled, we will have a rain date of next Friday, July 28 at the same time. Pre-paid riders will have the option of a refund or rain-check. Hopefully our weather luck works out and I will see everyone tomorrow.

THANKS! – Lee Diamond

 
 

When Chicagoans speak of their downtown area, they most often refer to it as the Loop. The term does indeed represent the central business district of the downtown area and is a designated Chicago Community Area, but Chicago’s Downtown also includes adjacent neighborhoods and communities and many of the iconic buildings that people associate with downtown Chicago like the Field Museum, Wrigley Building, Merchandise Mart, Union Station and the Water Tower which all lie outside of the Loop proper.  The term the Loop is most frequently thought to originate from the loop that the cable cars made at the turnabouts along State, Lake, Wabash and Madison. Later it referred to the Union Elevated Line, an elevated train that connected the various independent el train companies to one another in a central business district Loop.

Agora

Agora

For much of the decade that I have been organizing the Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours, I have offered mini-tours of the various Downtown districts which I held for the City of Chicago, and longer night tours of the same areas.  The mini-tours were 6 to 10 miles and offered the greatest hits of the major sites of each Downtown Community.  The night tours were 10 to 14 mile tours that used the night as a filter to highlight sites and buildings that were particularly impressive for night-viewing.  A comprehensive tour of any of these areas would be impossible due to the density of all of the magnificent sites in any of these areas, as well as the challenge of very dense and busy downtown vehicle traffic. 

LaSalle Street Bridge

LaSalle Street Bridge

I have created a Google Map with our Route, and sites of interest in each of the different Community Areas.

This year, the tour combines iconic buildings and sites of all the different downtown community areas in a combined night tour. There are fewer stops and an exciting route that offers a breathtaking view of Downtown Chicago in all its nighttime glory. All riders should bring a helmet as well as front and rear lights to see and be seen. We ride in rain, but not in storms.

I hope you can join us for a one-of-a-kind view of Chicago by bike at night.

Biking Downtown Chicago at Night

Biking Downtown Chicago at Night

Inspiration for this post’s title from the great Ohio band Orchestraville and their album, “At Night, it is Particularly Lovely”, available to listen to for free on Bandcamp here.

Downtown Chicago Night Bike Tour
Friday July 21 at 7:00 PM
Buckingham Fountain at 301 S Columbus Dr in Chicago

Buy Tickets | Facebook | Chainlink | Downtown Night Tour Map

 

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DOH! Tour of Hyde Park postponed until Saturday June 24, 2017

University of Chicago Presidents House

University of Chicago Presidents House, an 1895 Gothic Revival mansion by Henry Ives Cobb

NOTICE:  The Tour of Hyde Park originally scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed two weeks. The new date is June 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM

I have done some stupid scheduling over the last decade of organizing the Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours.  I once scheduled the Loop Night Tour during the Taste of Chicago only to discover that our starting spot was completely inaccessible on the night of the tour. I have also managed to schedule tours on the same day as Tour de Fat and Bike the Drive and brilliantly picked out dates that coincided with major neighborhood events for the neighborhood we were touring.  More than once.

My method of scheduling has changed as a result and I now consult various bike events websites, bike club calendars, city websites, and websites for neighborhood organizations and chambers of commerce to try to prevent these self-inflicted errors. This year, for the first time, I scheduled the entire year at once. This was convenient for poster printing and forward planning, but had the disadvantage of not allowing me as complete of a calendar of events to compare against, not that my immediate scheduling error was directly the result of this.

What I did NOT do in this most extreme and recent example of scheduling dunderheadedness is consult the University of Chicago’s website or calendar. This would have been a great thing to do, given that this Saturday was supposed to be the Tour of Hyde Park, but before it was that, it was already scheduled as University of Chicago’s Convocation Weekend

Since large sections of the campus, the Midway Plaisance, and numerous major streets and points of interest are going to be shut down and closed to traffic, and thousands of visitors will be coming to Hyde Park to celebrate their family member’s graduation, it is not possible to do the tour on Saturday.

As a result, we will be postponing the ride for two weeks and hold the Tour of Hyde Park on Saturday June 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM.  I will notify all ticket purchasers, send out my email newsletter, and I have updated the Event page, Facebook and Chainlink pages in addition to this post. If you are able to help spread the word to anyone you might now that was planning to come, that would be VERY much appreciated.

My apologies for any inconvenience and my sincere thanks to season ticket holder A.M.C. who alerted me to this problem. I hope to see many of you in a couple of weeks at the rescheduled Tour of Hyde Park.

I’ll be the one with the big red face.

Tour of Hyde Park
Saturday June 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Washington Park Field House at 5531 S Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Chicago

 

 

 

 

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