Friday, July 22, 2005

Columbus and Chicago

Thoughts on Columbus: Ecclectic, neighborhood feeling, artsy, liberal

Thoughts on Chicago: Friendly people, lake, potholes and bad roads

Thursday, July 21

I finally got down to the bike path along Lake Shore Dr. in Chicago. I haven’t had a chance to get a new bike tire for my road bike, so decide to just ride my mountain bike on the bike path. I got in a good ride, then went and hung out on the beach with Kim, grabbed some food, and bumped around the volleyball. Kim and her team had a game, and the other team didn’t have all of their players, so I was able to jump in and play, which was fun. Chicago has a ton of volleyball nets on the beach, with league play every night. It was amazing to watch 100s of games going on at once. After the volleyball, it was off to the sponsoring pub for drinks and karaoke…good times with the volleyball team!

Wednesday, July 20

We spent the first half of the day trying to find my car that had been towed to the other side of the town. Major headache…and $150!! Geez! There goes my budget for Chicago!! At least it was in 1 piece, and my bikes/gear were secure.

Just as I was about to head out on a bike ride, it rained like crazy. I used the free time to catch up on some e-mails…then headed back out after the rain subsided. After only 30 min of riding, I flatted with a tire and tube puncture…dag! 2 flats in less than a week…after nearly 2 years of no flat tires…bummer! Kim came and picked me up and I scrapped the ride for the day (need to head to the bike store for a new tire). I headed downtown to meet up with my buddy Frank who was in town on business, and we grabbed pizza at Giordano’s (cheesiest pizza…EVER)! We then met up with his business partner and headed down to Rush street where we hung out at a cool little spot for the night.

Tuesday, July 19

Time to head over to Chicago…the windy city! The drive was great, I had a sense of pure freedom along the route (this was my first day of driving when I was supposed to be at work). It felt great…I was lovin life! BUT, then a work call came in…I knew I should have changed my phone number ;) Ah well, it provided me with about a half hour of entertainment on my drive, so no big deal. So, I thought this would be all the excitement for this drive…but the most ridiculous thing happened about an hour from Chicago. I was driving along on a 4 lane highway, hit a somewhat large pothole and in my mind think “that is not good.” I quickly look in my rear view mirror to make sure my bike didn’t some how get knocked off…and I see my front wheel bouncing down the highway (the front wheel was on a wheel holder rack on my roof). OH GOSH! NO GOOD! As I am pulling off onto the side of the road, I see one car dodge the wheel (phew!). The tire starts to head to the side of the road…but then it takes an unexpected turn back into traffic…where 2 more cars dodge it. At this point it is slowing down, and I am sure it is going to get hit (and hoping for no car damage)…when it makes another unexpected turn and starts heading back to the side of the road, where it lands in long grass after crossing 3 lanes of the highway with cars speeding by. I had visions of my having to scramble to find a new wheelset in time for the race this weekend…yikes!

Got to Evanston (just north of Chicago), luckily my bike was in one piece, and met up with Kim. We headed into the city to grab dinner and watch a free movie at Millinium Park. We met up with a few of Kim’s friends at the park, and then went over to grab a few drinks at an Irish pub in the Lincoln Park area. Good times (especially b/c we won a few free rounds by winning on the pool table)!

Got home that night, looked at my friend Kim and said “uh, where is my car?!!?”). I had parked in her spot at the apartment, but we saw 2 nasty little marks on the pavement…clearly an indication of a tow truck. DAG. Oh well, deal with it in the morning.

Monday, July 18

Spent a few hours this morning just exploring Columbus (the Short North area). Very cool area, tons of art shops, coffee shops, etc. I dropped into a coffee shop (Cup of Joe) to try to get my wireless card working…and was finally successful. Across the street are really cool loft condos being developed, starting at only $90-130k…and right on the main drag…pretty cool little project. I tried to get in to see the model home, but they were all booked. Took off after lunch on a 2 hour road ride along the river out into the suburbs of Columbus. Beautiful day, good times. I met up with Becca Brown (good high school friend) that afternoon and we spent nearly 2 hours walking around the city, eating ice cream, and just hanging out. We shot over to German Village to grab some dinner, and then went to watch The Wedding Crashers (funny). We were going to go out after the movie, but a nasty thunderstorm had moved into the area, and we became unmotivated for the trek out in the town. After coming home, we had a few drinks, and ventured out for my first trip ever to a White Castle!! This was the first of many great moments on this trip…ha ha!


At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job on the Blog, man. I can't believe all of the tire and wheel mishaps - surely your bike is possessed. You gotta tame that demon.

Good luck on the next round.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tucker - your stories are great! Helping me to get through a slow work day. That stinks about the $150 and hysterical about losing the tire on the highway! Haha, keep them up!

- Steph

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

Hey Tucker - I understand the highway wheel problem! I've been there before, but never recovered the wheel. Good luck with the riding!


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