Winter ride ideas

For some odd reason, I’m really excited about the upcoming Bike Winter–maybe it’s the exceptionally mild summer we’ve just had or something like that.

For Tour da Chicago races, Brent’s idea is to reward both speed and ingenuity. Thus, one part logic puzzle, one part wayfinding, and two parts race makes for a good race.

  • ER: Checkpoints at two major hospitals’ outpatient entries (maybe Cook County and University of Chicago). Start in Bridgeport, maybe.
  • Air Rage: Checkpoint at ticket counter at O’Hare International Terminal, then one or two other checkpoints elsewhere at airport ticket counters or baggage claims. Start on north side, not along Blue Line.
  • 90210: Refund $6-7 of entry fee and distribute list of movie showtimes. Ride down to checkpoint in Beverly. Require that riders return to start with ticket stub from movie matinee, then write short essay about ending of movie. Judges will grade on accuracy and effort.
  • Tic-Tac-Toe: Divide downtown into nine sectors, with checkpoint in each. Judges at each checkpoint have limited number of passes (say, half the number of riders, with fewest at the center). First one back with passes from three adjacent sectors wins, with extra points for blacking out.
  • Three Rs: Encode address of distant public library into an arithmetic puzzle, must solve before leaving (check your answer just outside the door). Ride to library and check out book (say, author named Edith), or else copy one paragraph from page number X of a certain reference title (where X is your rider number — no cheating). Maybe split group to two libraries?
  • Rat race: All checkpoints are underground, in open sections of the underground pedway, especially in Illinois Center or at Union Station, where surface access is less common. Alternately, find checkpoints along the downtown river walks.
  • Trivial Pursuit (by Brent): checkpoints at a stadium (sports), Orchestra Hall (music), etc.; answer question once you get there to collect the ticket
  • Some other checkpoint ideas: inside Lincoln Park Zoo, the IIT student center, conservatory or other Park District building

I’m also thinking of proposing a “I see dead people” mass map for October that will go by sites of notable disasters, most of which are oddly concentrated downtown (the Eastland, the Iroquois Theater, the Illinois Savings blimp explosion, the Haymarket and Lager Beer riots) or on the near south lakefront (the Ft. Dearborn massacre, the 1919 race riot, the McCormick Place fire).

For Bike Winter, my only thought so far is a Tropical Paradise route between the two conservatories and maybe the Wild Reef at Shedd.

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