For my final action project in the class, Policy, we had to align ourselves with an event or organization that advocated for a common that we saw being abused. I chose Bike the Drive since it advocated for cleaner transportation in the city of Chicago and world wide. I joined in and even created my own fundraising page to raise money for the two participating organizations, World Bicycle Relief and Active Transportation Alliance. Below is my documented experiences at Bike the Drive. Through interviews with fellow bikers, a couple photos and a written description. Hope you enjoy!
Bike the Drive is a yearly event in Chicago where participants get the opportunity to bike on Lake Shore Drive for a few hours in the morning. Bike the drive began in 2002 to raise funds for programs trying to expand Chicago’s biking network and promoting biking as a primary mode of transportation. Which is why I picked this for my project as action. Since I feel biking in Chicago is not safe enough for bikers and we never get enough space on the road, I had to try and help out whatever way I could. Also, who wouldn’t want to Bike on Lake Shore Drive!
Now In 1963 Richard J. Daley had Chicago’s 18.5 mile long lakefront trail officially designated for bikes which is great. But I feel they should be doing more events like this and making it easier for bikers to get around the city more often. Ciclovia for example, is an event that supports healthier modes of transportation. First originated in Colombia it is now also in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, United States and Israel. It is once a week instead of only once a year. This what I feel Bike the Drive should be like as well, a weekly event not a yearly event. We need more of a push for biking advocacy in Chicago and all around our country.
That is why I went to Bike the Drive on Sunday and it was spectacular. So many happy energetic people excited just to be out there biking the Drive. When I first hopped on the Drive I remember feeling Lake Michigan’s cool breeze almost caress my face and body. Sending shivers down my back, but throughout the bike I began to appreciate the cool breeze. Keeping me from getting too hot.
At times the sound of laughter and people around me conversing were a little too boisterous. Feeling almost naggy for thinking that I quickly tuned it out and began talking with my Dad, or listening to the lakes calming waters pushing back and forth almost like a dance. I especially liked the few times people would be playing some tunes from the back of their bicycles. Grabbing some old school boom-boxes and adding a dash of creativity. They had their own moving concert on the back of their bikes for everyone to enjoy the delightful music they were playing.
Nearing the 13th mile me and my Dad decided to call it quits. His knees were starting to hurt a lot and I was pretty exhausted myself to be honest. We made it a mission of ours to get some good grub before the long train ride home due to our aching bodies. We decided to stop by Epic Burger for some good old manly food. We both got our cheeseburgers with fries and went to work on our well deserved meals. My first bite was heaven. A barrage of cheesy meaty goodness attacked my taste buds. Commencing an all out assault of divine deliciousness that I felt was a quite adequate award for our hard work. After the battle was over I was able to quench my thirst with a ice cold soda and we were on our way.
But not before I picked up some interviews from some fellow bikers along the way. Here are the three recorded interviews I got from some bikers who go by the name of, Timothy, Abby and Steven.
This is Abby. Born and raised in Chicago she is an avid biker and has participated in Bike the Drive a few times
Timothy has done Bike the Drive a few times as well. He loves it and biking in Chicago he feels is dangerous.
This is Steven. Steven also is from Chicago and bikes to work all the team. He feels the safety of biking depends on how you follow the rules.
In conclusion I felt that this whole event was a blast and I look forward to doing more events like this one over the summer. The people were friendly and It was a new experience for me to bike on the Drive. If you would like to check out my fundraising page I will have a link in at the end of this posting so maybe you guys can help out my cause as well!