Thursday, May 31, 2012

Been Taking LSD for 50 years now


I've been riding on Chicago's scenic waterfront highway Lake Shore Drive (LSD) for fifty years now but never perched on a bicycle and peddling along with 25,000 other folks. The scene was Chicago's annual Bike the Drive Fest when LSD is turned over solely to cyclists the Sunday before Memorial Day. At 5:30 AM I steered my trusty 24 speed onto the Drive at Jackson Blvd to an amazing view of a swarm of cyclists in both directions where only two ton stinkpots usually tred. Never having biked that far in my life, the 30 mile route appeared daunting as I headed south toward Hyde Park. Circling the Museum of Science and Industry to head back north, this aging pre-baby boomer, born in the waning days of FDR's presidency, was lifted by a biker's high and thousands of fellow cyclists of all ages, sizes and backgrounds, to go the distance. An hour later I hit the northern turnaround at Hollywood for a tough, uphill push back to the starting line. It was satisfying to realize that we were traveling nearly 750,000 miles without a single carbon emission being expelled to poke holes in our decaying ozone layer.

Bike the Drive is sponsored by the Chicagoland non-profit Active Transportation Alliance, whose mission is to: make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. You can learn more about their programs at

Walt Zlotow is a precinct coordinator in Milton Township and an active blogger and Letter to the Editor writer. You can find him at Heartland Progressive

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