Critical Mass 12.29.06 pt 2

So after riding down Milwaukee, we follwed a couple of fixed gear riders down Lake Street underneath the El to Franklin, where we once again followed the El tracks, but this time south. Manouvering the Dahon amongst the supports for the El tracks and the Friday traffic was quite challenging. The Speed handled very well, I need to take it in for a dialing in, though. The brakes could use some adjusting. Overall, the chrome moly frame feels stiff and the SRAM shifter is a huge improvement over the 5 speed Sturmey Archer failure.

We got to Daley Center and there was a crowd, but not as big as I suspected for a New Year's Critical Mass. The weather was extremely mild and dry. Amazing for late December in Chicago.

We met our two groups of friends, two of the total group were Chicago CM first timers. They seemed pretty psyched. We heard rumors that the ride was going to head south to Hyde Park for a bonfire. None of our group was up for a ride down south and then all the way back north.

We headed out and almost immediately started heading south and west. We went past Greek Town and then headed west on the street directly north of 290. When we got to Ashland, the ride headed south. Our group was definiately not into going to either Oak Park (west) or Hyde Park (south) at that point. We called a group audible and decided to head back north and hit a couple of bars.

Based on a video that I posted, it looks like we are all wrong, and the ride did head north at some point, since the video shows some CM nonsense in Wicker Park at the North/Damen/Milwaukee intersection. We did see more than a few groups of riders heading both east and north as well.

Anyway, we headed north and stopped at a place called the Union Club,, on the edge of the hood. Judging by the bars around the parking lot, I felt that this was a somewhat unsafe place to park our six bikes. We used our Kryptos and some of our friends used a cable.

We mentioned to the door dude to watch our bikes, but I didn't feel that he gave it much priority. I came out the front door of the bar every few minutes to check. Everything was there each time that I checked. After we were done, maybe 45 minutes or so, we settled up and left. I was the first one out the door and was the first to notice that there were only 5 bikes!

f-ing thieves!!!

Our one friend had his mountain bike stolen. Not cool. We talked to the manager, and then we headed the 2 blocks to the police department. We dropped our friends there, they were going to file a report, take the blue line to the red line and go home.

We started heading east though the Loop. It was a great night to be out in the city on a bike. Pretty calm, and the weather was perfect. We went north on Clark, and then took the scenic route through Lincoln Park. Going through the Park at night on a bike is another cool thing to do. All of the familiar sights and smells from my childhood at the Zoo seem so much different. It is a quiet oasis between Broadway and Lake Shore Drive. I also almost ran over two rats that think that they have the park to themselves at night.

We continued up Broadway and evetually ended up at Moodys. Ths place has the 1966 beer joint down. Nothing has changed there since the 60s, a nice dark joint with free peanuts and $9.00 Anchor Steam pitchers! I will be going back.

We continued north and caught the Rogers Park train at 11.52. It was a long night of riding. I can't wait for next month.

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