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An electric boost made a long-distance bike trip to the ‘burbs a breeze – Streetsblog Chicago

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An electrical increase made a long-distance bike journey to the ‘burbs a breeze – Streetsblog Chicago

On Wednesday I accomplished my first century (100-mile) journey. An affiliate of mine who I do know by means of my work in different medication was providing free bodywork periods for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Folks of Shade.) She lives in north-suburban Grayslake and infrequently posts nice images from her bike rides within the space. I initially deliberate on taking my electrical cargo bike bike aboard Metra commuter rail however as soon as I seemed additional into their insurance policies relating to bikes, it was clear to me I used to be going to need to bike the 40-plus miles from my residence in Rogers Park.

Metra’s bike policy states that “Bicyclists and e-scooter customers should be capable to board and detrain with out help from conductors.” Provided that my bike is over 60 lbs, it could be fairly tough for me to raise it onto the prepare on my own. Moreover, Metra’s bike coverage states, “The wheelchair raise can’t be used to load or unload bikes or e-scooters.” And even when you’ll be able to carry a cargo bike onto a Metra prepare, its size is likely to be a difficulty, for the reason that guidelines state that “Bikes and e-scooters are to not exceed 70 inches.” In a perfect world Metra’s trains would simply let you roll a motorbike of any frequent measurement or form bike on board, however we’re not there but. Because it stood, I used to be going to want to get to my vacation spot by a mix of battery and muscle energy.

Courtney Cobbs with her new electric cargo bike at 5 Star Family Cycling.
Courtney Cobbs together with her new electrical cargo bike at 4 Star Household Cyclery.

On the morning of my journey I used to be excited but in addition a bit nervous. Would I be injured? Would I make it residence alive? Would I get misplaced? Would I encounter indignant drivers? I’m pleased to report my journey was general nice. The climate was good: sunny and 80 levels. I encountered smiles, nods, and “hellos” alongside the paths. Nevertheless, I’d have to offer the journey a B- score because of a detailed name with a dump truck driver who honked at me as I used to be using to the best on a street with “Share the Highway” indicators and sharrows (bike-and-chevron symbols), Previous Inexperienced Bay Highway, if I recall accurately. I used to be so startled and afraid he’d run me over that I fell over to the aspect of the street. Fortunately I didn’t maintain any accidents, however I used to be left considerably shaken.

A bike route from Rogers Park to Grayslake (not Courtney's exact start or endpoints.) Image: Google Maps
A motorbike route from Rogers Park to Grayslake (not Courtney’s precise begin or endpoints.) Picture: Google Maps

I loved the bike paths I took: the Inexperienced Bay Path, the Skokie Valley Bike Path, the Desplaines River Path, and the Casey Path. Nevertheless, as a lot as I really like trails, they can’t be an alternative choice to on-street protected biking infrastructure. It was clear on my journey again that these trails have been solely constructed with recreation in thoughts. My expertise on the Inexperienced Bay Path on the journey residence was considerably scary as a result of there is no such thing as a lighting alongside the path. I had the sunshine of my bike to assist me navigate, however I might have simply been attacked by somebody lurking at the hours of darkness. I did encounter a number of people alongside the path and solely certainly one of them had a light-weight. It was a bit unnerving. The Sheridan Highway bike lane in Winnetka was good through the day however at night time I felt unsafe biking within the painted lane. I principally took the sidewalk alongside Sheridan Highway and noticed drivers hugging the road of the painted bike lane.

As soon as I made it residence I had logged 82 miles on my odometer. So I charged my battery up a bit and went again out to log 20 extra miles to interrupt 100 miles. I loved the quiet of the streets with little automotive visitors and imagined a world during which we are able to all really feel calm in our nervous techniques once we journey. 

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