Lakefront Trail Activities September 11-13

Activities that may affect your use of the Lakefront Trail September 11-13

Friday, September 11

It looks as though they are doing some filming for a Chicago 2016 project on Solidarity Drive (which shouldn't affect the Trail much now that the underpass is open) from 6:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

The filming will also take place at North Avenue Beach during this same time.

Saturday, September 12

Mexican Independence Day Parade - Columbus Ave. in Grant Park - starts at 11:00 a.m.

Celtic Fest - Grant Park

Filming for the 2016 project continues on Solidarity Drive and North Ave. Beach - 6am-9pm

Filming for another project at 31st Street Beach - 6:30-8:00 a.m.

Eved 5k Run - Jackson Park - 6-8:00 a.m.

Oakwood Sunrise Service - 63rd Street Beach - 5:45-7:00 a.m.

Chicago Masters' Big Shoulders Open Swim Classic - Ohio St. Beach - 6:00 a.m.-Noon

Chicago Lung Run - Diversey Harbor - 7:30-11:30 a.m.

Milestones Walk to Conquer Childhood Cancer - Lincoln Park, Grove 13 - 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

ALS Walk for Life - Lincoln Park, Grove 16 - 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 13

NAMI Walks Chicago - Grant Park - 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Chicago Half Marathon - Jackson Park - 7:00 a.m. - Noon

Stride Against Violence 2009 - Lincoln Park, Grove 13 - 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Sea Blue Prostate Cancer Walk - Lincon Park, Grove 2 - 6:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Alzheimer's Memory Walk - Lincoln Park, Gove 16 - 6:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Wicker Park Bucktown CTA Bus Tracking Innovations

The CTA just posted a press release on their website regarding the official launch of their API, which allows people to use Bus Tracker information more freely. Wicker Park Bucktown SSA is using this new capability in an innovative way.

From CTA's press release: "In recent months, the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce Special Service Area #33 (WPB) has been using Bus Tracker data in an effort to expand its use beyond PDAs, computers and other mobile devices. As a result, select neighborhood businesses will install monitors that will continuously display next bus arrival times along the bottom portion of the screen, while neighborhood alerts and news items rotate above. The program is expected to officially launch next week."

This is particularly exciting because it makes CTA's bus tracker information accessible to people who do not have this option on their cell phones or PDA's.

Wicker Park Bucktown has installed these displays at Red Hen Bakery, Gallery Cafe, Caffe de Luca, Feast, Goddess & Grocer and W Grocer.

To see more photos, click here.

Metra starts accepting credit cards

Metra passengers can now buy 10-ride and monthly passes online with credit cards.

"A key feature of the new Web site will enable riders to set up "My Metra" accounts to personalize their commutes. Users will get customized information on their train lines and schedules and automated service alerts either online or via e-mail."

Car hits, kills girl in West Rogers Park

The young girl was riding her bike when a car came out of an alley and hit her. The driver was ticketed, but no criminal charges were filed. We are looking into the details of this crash.

Meet a racer: Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans doesn't look like a typical commuting physician. 

You’ll find her on her bike headed to work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

She rode throughout her childhood, on the bright red Sears bike when the training wheels came off, through high school on the Raleigh Competition racer with full Shimano 600 gruppo, to the fendered and racked Redline 925 with over 8,000 miles she now commutes on through four seasons and the best and worst that Chicago has to offer.

“I’m just happier on my bike. I love the freedom: I’m not beholden to clogged roads or train schedules or the price of gasoline,” she says. She’d rather the bike dictate her life. Her short hair, for example, was the result of too many rainy rides that left her shoulder-length hair damp for much of the day. She doesn’t own a purse, but instead five messenger bags.

She loves the way the cycling-lifestyle forces her to make those choices and while at the same time freeing her to make even better decisions. “I shop more like Europeans do, stopping each day or two for fresh dinner ingredients.”

Enter the Bakfiets. The ultimate Dutch city bike, the Bakfiets is a two-wheeled dump truck. Looking more like a dog-sled than a bicycle, Natalie and her husband use this ultimate grocery-getter to haul everything from 40-pound bags of dog food to watermelons – which right there is the very definition of freedom – to supplies for Thanksgiving dinner, recyclables, takeout pizza…

Kegger anyone?

Her interest at Northwestern is cardiovascular disease prevention, and she doesn’t know of a better way to practice what she preaches. At 37, “I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my life,” she says, and her cholesterol and blood pressure are at all-time lows, despite her family history of the disease. “When I counsel patients, I encourage them to ride their bikes.”

Natalie joined XXX Racing – AthletiCo this spring, finally realizing a goal after years of fretting she wasn’t fast enough. She had competed in a few triathlons, but then read Arnie Baker's book "Smart Cycling," and was fascinated by the idea that the smartest rider wins, not the strongest.

Incredibly, she won only her second race. On a soggy, muddy, summer morning in the Sherman Park Criterium on Chicago’s Southside, she crossed the line first in an open women’s field of more than twenty racers.

The things you find

From our Footprints Coach, Mike Erickson

I went to Working Bikes Cooperative on Saturday. I figure if I'm telling Footprints people about it I better see what's up with the new location. 15 minutes before it opened (noon on Sat.) there were 19 people in line, 24+ by the time it opened. I saw Sarah Miller, Assistant Director of West Town Bikes there shopping with a girl friend and helping people adjust seats. The friend is a bike racer who was getting a practical bike for around town. She had been doored for the umteenth time and was determined to keep riding in the city, just not on her racing bike.

Phoebe (12 yrs of age) bought a cool BMX-type bike (Haro Bikes, Dave Mirra 540 Air Signature Series). She won't ride the practical bike with fenders and basket she has any more -- "too big and bulky, out of style, everyone else is riding the BMX-type". I got a Sears & Roebuck Greenbriar Free Spirit for $55. Talk about uncool -- I look like a crazed English Country Gentleman! Sarah Miller liked it anyway, and she has the coolest bike I've seen in ages. Ask to see her custom spokes on her front wheel! I'll continue to recommend Working Bikes Cooperative – it is new and improved, and has a great variety of bikes at inexpensive prices.

So I've got this great "new" Sears bike, what next? Let me go test it out on the Old Plank Trail and get some interviews and surveys in the bag for the Footprints program! Next thing I know I'm where the trail crosses Cicero Avenue in Matteson talking to a couple of trail walkers from England. The English couple agree to try walking to their local grocery, a 3-mile round trip. It’s good for their health and the environment…they'd save almost 10.8 pounds of air pollution, most of it CO2. I handed Ed a gallon of water and explained that the weight of 1 imperial gallon (e.g. UK measure) of water weighs 10 pounds by definition, at a specified temperature and pressure. In other words, if you could bottle the air pollution that’s what it would weigh. Impressive comparison, eh Ed? Finally he laughed and said he owns a hybrid...cheeky Americans.

Hey, you don't make every sale, right?! But you learn something from every encounter. What about those two guys by the side of the trail east of Harlem? I stop and chat. Bill and Ken don't drive at all, neither have driver’s license. Both are on pretty good looking bikes. They both reside within a mile of the trail, they both work, and neither guy needs the Footprints program. We talk philosophy. Bill says no one really needs to drive, and Ken says you need a car for certain trips. A lady cyclist stops to ask if we need help. Bill is using his screwdriver to install a Schwinn bell to the handlebar of my "new" Sears bike. No thanks, all is well.

I go on to make another six "sales" for the Footprints program before evening. The trail is a great way to see so many things. I saw a large wet furry mammal run across the trail from a lake to a pond on my way home. Happy trails to you. My suggestion, as a Footprints Coach, is to get a "new" bike, ride it on a trail, and talk to a few people. Life is good.

PS. By the way, does anyone need one more reason to ride a bike or take a walk? How about 120?

You find more money. Riding home at noon last month I found a Ben Franklin sitting on a side street. I hadn't seen the likes of him in a while. I'd have missed him if I was driving a car. Cha ching. And thats not all. Walking across a parking lot two weeks ago I found an Andy Jackson laying in an access lane. I was on vacation and I spent it on Carnival tickets in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Cha ching. You don't save found money -- you do your part for the American economy and spend it. Cha ching.
Moral of the story, keep on biking and walking, and keep your eyes on the road -- scanning for pictures of famous dead Presidents. Yesterday I found a dime, and today a nickel. Cha. What did you find?

Chicago ranks fourth in commuter pain index

Chicago ranks fourth in the country for commuter pain index.


"Nearly 100 percent of the Chicago respondents said roadway traffic is negatively influencing their health. Specifically, 44 percent cited increased stress levels; 25 percent said they easily become angrier; and 12 percent said they are getting less sleep.

In addition, 15 percent said traffic congestion is hurting their performance at work or at school, the survey found."

Look, if you are one of these commuters, I will tell you the same thing I tell my friends in bad relationships: It's not worth it! You are better than this! End it right now. And then give me (us!) a call.

I love my commute. This morning I read a book. Yesterday I caught up with a friend I spotted on the sidewalk. In fact, I would go as far to say that my commute positively influences my mental and physical health.

I have an idea:. Sept. 22 is Chicagoland Car-Free Day. Take the pledge and make your plan to leave your health-reducing car at home.

Calumet-Sag Trail: If dancin' and drinkin' will get it built, we'll do what we have to do

Pilgrim, mosey on over to this link here and belly up to the biggest hoedown since Roy & Dale’s reception - the Happy Trails Jamboree on October 2, a boot stompin’ benefit at Lake Katherine in Palos Heights for this here Calumet-Sag Trail.

That feller in the ten gallon white hat, Sen. Dick Durbin, has brought in the mother lode of trail funding - but there’s what we old cowhands call a hitch: our Cal-Sag communities has got to match 20% of that to get any of it. It’s like breakin’ a horse - a horse is either broke, or he ain’t. You’re either ridin’ or laid out in the dirt, mister, there ain’t no in between.

Well, us Friends aim to sit tall in the saddle as we blaze this trail, and I reckon we’ve got a place in our posse for you. We aim to make the remaining match in one night of hoopin’ & hollerin’, and general grownup orneriness the likes that’d put legs on a snake and call it a dog.

Bernie Glim and Country Roads is our entertainment for the evening, as well as - rumor is - a cow milking contest, a Live Auction showdown, and dualing Miss Kitty’s serving shots of whiskey. This ain’t no pony ride, Ma & Pa - though we will have an indoor kid’s corral (away from the grownups) should grandma have gone out steppin’ again.

So tie your pony up to the Jamboree page and take a moment to reflect— are you just buyin’ tickets, or is your hat tall enough to step up as an auction contributor, or maybe, pilgrim, a major donor?

Better pull the trigger soon - there are only 225 tickets.
Giddy up!

—Steve “My Biscuits is Burnin’” Buchtel
Board Member, Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail


Updating regional bike map

Katie Tully and I are happy to announce that the Tawani Foundation gave The Active Transportation Alliance a grant to update the Chicagoland regional Bike Map. This will give us an opportunity to update the look of the map and include many new bike facilities that exist in Chicago and in the suburbs. We will be publishing the updated map in April, 2010 and are looking to the community to help us with some of the updating tasks.

We seek volunteers to help with the following:

  • Identify new routes
  • Field check routes and trails
  • Proof the updated map

We will be having a kickoff party on Tuesday, September 15 from 6pm-7pm at 9 W. Hubbard. Please email me at if you would like to attend or if you would like to be on the bike map committee.

Chicago Cross Cup Events posted to Calendar

The 2009 Chicago Cross Cup (cyclocross) events have been posted to the Active Trans events calendar, with links to registration.

Check it out!

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