Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Chicagoland bike ride!
When I read months ago that Northwestern would play Illinois at Wrigley Field, I was determined to make the trip back to see it. This would be a historic game, bringing football back to Wrigley for the first time in 40 years. So exciting was this chance that I didn't hesitate to skip my class reunion at NU in October, knowing a far better gathering was in store the following month.
When my dear college friend Glo and her husband Mike (also an NU boy) generously shared one of their tickets to the big game with me, the dream trip was suddenly a reality.
It was a total blast. There were happy surprises around every corner. An early flight that left time for dinner with best buddy of 29 years (!) Vince. Feasting on Chicago delicacies at places worth planning your trip around (Red Apple on Milwaukee... amazing.) A visit to campus to walk along the lake shore and relive happy memories. Bumping into a Bobb Hall friend a full 25 years after the last sighting and picking up where we left off, laughing about dorm adventures and characters.
And all this was before the game even started.
But what might have been the nicest surprise of all was Saturday's sunshine that opened the door to a bike ride through the suburbs with Glo. Mike loaned his mountain bike and Glo rode her year-old, beautiful WSD road bike by a manufacturer whose name I keep forgetting. (I'll find out and update).
Our route took us past the Chicago Botanical Gardens and through parts of Highland Park, Glencoe and Winnetka. Although we traveled on surface streets as well, we mainly followed the bike trail that runs alongside the Metra tracks. It's tree-lined, evenly paved and scenic. Our fellow bikers were polite, everybody made room for strollers and joggers and the friendliness of the North Shore shone through on a gorgeous day.
We turned around at Indian Hill and headed back to Glencoe for coffee. The entire ride was about 13 miles, but Glo's pace and the chilly air made that more than enough to get my blood pumping.
It was a great way to start a very big day and the best way to see some of the prettiest residential areas in America.