Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Route Change

I decided to mix it up on my morning bike commute today. Sheridan Road through Evanston and Chicago is not a very smooth ride. Add all the cars and it makes sense why I don't see many people biking that route. The City of Chicago Bike Map (available at City Hall, the Millenium Bike Station and here) suggests taking Clark Street south from east Evanston rather than Sheridan Road. I got an early start today, so I figured I had enough time to experiment. I took Hinman from downtown Evanston rather than the main thoroughfare of Chicago Avenue. Once I hit South Boulevard (which isn't a boulevard at all) I biked west to Chicago Avenue which turns into Clark once you cross the city line. Clark Street in Rogers Park during normal working hours is a congested mess. Cars are constantly double parked and turning in and out of strip malls. At 6:30 am, Clark Street is relatively quiet though. This stretch of Clark Street is pretty smooth for biking as well. On top of that there is no parking on the west side of the street on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Driving Clark Street has always been a pain, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found biking it was a breeze. The Chicago Bike Map's suggestion of taking Granville east from Clark to get the lake was a pleasant surprise as well. It has a smooth surface and no traffic lights until Broadway. This route change also seemed to be a half mile shorter and five minutes quicker.

At Sheridan Road and Ardmore, I met up with my drafting pal from the Monday morning ride and we exchanged pleasantries. He said he was having a slow morning. Too bad. I was hoping to glom off his wake again. Oh well. We hit the Lakefront Path and that was the last I saw of him.

Distance Traveled: 24.2 miles
Distance to date: 249.2 miles
Price of gas: $3.25

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