Last year, I saw people biking on Lake Shore Drive when I was doing my usual Sunday biking – I didn’t know anything about Bike the Drive! Since I learned about it, I did not miss my chance to participate.
As it was my first time, I didn’t know how things worked, and I thought I could bike as far as I felt comfortable and get off the Drive any moment. Only when I received the “day of the event” package in the email I realize that there were just a couple of opportunities to get on and off the course.
Judging by my usual long rides, I decided to turn back at Oakwood, which was one of the designated turning points, but when I reached it I didn’t see any opportunity to turn around. Most likely, I would be able to go to the most Southern point of the Drive – the Museum of Science and Industry, but then it would take longer than I planned to spend on this event. So I looked to my left, and when I saw a gap in the median, I moved to the left and merged into the stream of bikers going north.
When I reached Millennium Park, I stopped for activities and a pancake breakfast and then continued to the northern end of Lakeshore Drive.
I covered a total distance of 32 miles, and I didn’t feel tired at all – and that’s what I am most happy about.
When we were approaching the end of the Drive, one gentleman on my right said – you are always catching up with me, no matter how much I try to get ahead! I told him, sorry, that was not intentional (to be honest, I didn’t even register his presence). I said – I am just consistent. It didn’t feel like I stretched myself; I could do more (and I was not sore the next day).
Another thing that I need to think more about is that I didn’t eat anything before the ride and didn’t drink anything. Initially, I planned to each some fruits before going, but I didn’t feel like I wanted any, and I left the house at 6 AM without food or drink. I thought that I might feel too hungry in the middle of the ride, but I felt great. At 8 AM, when I stopped at Millennium Park, I went to find breakfast. I’d already covered 21 miles by that time and thought I would be very hungry. However, I ate just two pancakes and two breakfast sausages and didn’t want more. I had a great feeling in my body, not needing to process any food and focusing on the ride.
There should be at least two of my photos from the ride, but I found just one on the event website. I will try to find more later 🙂