August 9 bike forecast: near peak commute

Wednesday: good.

WEDNESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 82, low 64, light winds, a few clouds

Weather similar to Tuesday, except with an extra cloud or two to shelter us from harmful UV rays.


Speaking of Tuesday…

Flowers bloomed in Humboldt Park.

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Flowers flowering.
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Bee being.

Beneath the picturesque surface, something dastardly was afoot:P1340231 (2).jpg

Cedar-apple rust on the hawthorns. Ack!


DIVVY REPORT: Rainbow Beach station removed. Is it temporary, permanent, or a figment of the Divvy computer system? We don’t know.

Otherwise, all stations operational. Up-to-the-minute updates here.

And in other bike share news…

New Citibikes in New York have continuously variable transmissions. I.e. instead of 3 discrete gears, you get an infinite spectrum and can “slide” the shift lever into the gear ratio of your choice.

Will this hi-tech feature be coming to Divvy? Hmmm.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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3.9/4. Again! This mean ride your bike.

August 8 bike forecast: springlike, redux

Tuesday: like Monday, a springlike day, but way, way better.

TUESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Look at that! We’re approaching peak bike commuting conditions.

Overall: high 80, low 64, sunny as heck, calm winds

AM: a balmy 68, clear skies, and a bit of wind from the west-northwest

PM: 78, sunny, wind from the east at 7mph


VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF PREDICTED WEATHER:

Sunny skies, mild winds, and temperate temperature.


DIVVY REPORT: Like Jon Snow himself, State and 29th Street returns from the dead, added back into the Divvy system. Why? I don’t know. This story is tiring me out.

Otherwise, all stations operational. Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


A cautionary tale from the road…

While walking near the Blommer Chocolate Factory at Milwaukee and Kinzie, I saw, firsthand, with my own eyes, a collision between a cyclist and a driver. Luckily the cyclist was all right.

The cyclist’s poor choices led to the collision, so let us use this example learn from her mistakes.

Cyclist was riding down Milwaukee, heading onto Kinzie. She skipped through a red light and  squeezed in front of a bus stopped on Desplaines while it waited to turn left. Cyclist thought she had an all-clear route, but her view behind the bus was obscured.

Blocked from her view was a car was traveling 30 mph right into her path – and the driver couldn’t see a cyclist headed into her own path. The driver slammed her brakes and slowed the car enough that she only hit the cyclist’s rear wheel.

Confusing? Well, look at the diagram.

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This was neither the time nor the place to run a red light! Defensive riding: a good idea, especially when dealing with the dangerous diagonal intersections of Milwaukee Avenue.


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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3.9/4. Nearly perfect! Ride your bike!

August 7 bike forecast: springlike, sort of

Monday: it’s as if spring has returned, eight months early.

MONDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

No, not a fancy great spring day, but a solid, workmanlike, mediocre spring day.

Overall: high 72, low 60, cloudy-ish, 40% chance of rain, winds from the north-northeast

AM: high 60s, 25% chance of rain, partly cloudy, 7mph winds from the north-northeast

PM: 70º, chance of rain, and annoying winds of 14mph from the north-northeast

That means if you’re riding north to get home in the evening, you might wanna avoid the especially blustery Lake Front Trail.


DIVVY REPORT: RIP the State and 29th St. Divvy station, which was de-listed last week. You served us well. (Or maybe you didn’t, and that’s why you were de-listed.)

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Nearby residents can use 31st and Indiana or 26th and Indiana.

Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


In insane news (non-Trump)…

The Navy Pier Flyover began construction in March of 2014. It’s scheduled to be completed at the end of 2018. That’s four and a half years. For a bike and pedestrian bridge! Which, as John Greenfield pointed out a while ago, is longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

When did CDOT begin planning the project? In 2001. That’s seventeen years from planning to completion.

Why? According to ActiveTrans:

“[T]he flyover isn’t just about function. Because it is located in a prominent part of the Chicago, CDOT also wants the flyover to be an iconic architectural structure in the city.

“The main design feature of the flyover will be its serpentine form, curving around parks and buildings. A visually striking steel rib superstructure will support the bridge and accommodate its curves.

To further reinforce the cutting-edge design, the bridge will include cable steel railings and LED lights built into the railings. The panels along the side of the bridge will feature running and walking motifs to reflect the purpose of the bridge.”

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It does indeed look nice. But is 4.5 years of construction worth it to look good for tourists? Hmm.


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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2.8/4. Even with the prospect of rain, we welcome a cool day.

August 4 bike forecast: huh

Friday: weird.

FRIDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 71, low 58, windy as heck.

AM: high 50s, partly cloudy, wind from the west at 18 MPH

PM: 70, cloudy, wind from the west-northwest at 19 MPH


How windy is it?

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This old saw. But yeah, it’s windy. And 58 degrees! You saw that, right? Jeez.


DIVVY REPORT: The saga of State and 29th Street continues: it’s shut down again!  Huh? Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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2/4. But an unusual 2/4.

August 3 bike forecast: rain, thunder, bad

THURSDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

There you have it. RAIN. THUNDER. LIGHTNING. But quit complaining! We had such nice weather for so long, and this is how the world works.


Rain gear of the week:

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A waterproof recumbent. Maybe the visibility could be improved? Just a constructive suggestion.


DIVVY REPORT: All stations operational. Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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1.85/4 Chicago flag stars. Don’t slip!

August 2 bike forecast: like August 1

Wednesday: new day, new weather.

Just kidding! It’s the same weather.

WEDNESDAY BIKE INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 82, low 69, a little cloudy, 20% chance of rain, calm winds

15% chance of rain during commuting times, apparently.

Eagle-eyed readers will note that this is pretty much exactly the same as yesterday.


DIVVY REPORT: State and 29th Street returns! Risen from the ashes, like Chicago post 1871.  Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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3.5/4. Because Tuesday was 3.5/4, and this is the same.

August 1 bike forecast: ride bike? Yeah

Tuesday, August 1st: new month, new bike forecast. Is it good? Is it bad? Let’s find out.

(It’s good, by the way.)

TUESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 80, low 67, calm winds, mostly cloudy, 15% chance of rain, most likely around 1pm

AM: mid 70s, partly cloudy, calm winds, real nice but 10% chance of rain

PM: high 70s, mostly cloudy, 15% chance of rain


How pleasant is it?

That pleasant.


In recent bike news:

• Check out John Greenfield’s overview of Milwaukee Avenue improvements at Streetsblog Chicago

• The NYC Department of Transportation says cycling safety has improved thanks to a greater number of riders on the street. Other findings of interest to Chicagoans:

-“The vast majority of cyclist fatalities occur on streets without bicycle facilities.”

-“The launch of Citi Bike [i.e., bike share] coincided with a drop in cyclist KSI [killed or severely injured] within the bike share area.”

-“The overwhelming majority of cyclist fatalities and cyclist KSI occurred at intersections”

• On the LFT:

Seems awfully narrow. Hmmm.


Spotted on the road:P1340172.jpg

Escaped pet rabbit, caught and given to local shelter, where someone had apparently called about a lost rabbit. We assume the story had a happy ending, but we can’t say for sure.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:Flag_of_Chicago__Illinois_svg.png

3.5/4. Excellent. Ride bike!

July 31 bike forecast: lookin’ OK

Monday: the first day of a new week full of new bike forecasts. What’s in store? Let’s find out.

[Ed. note: Earlier version of this post said August 1st. But that’s wrong, because there are 31 days in July.]

MONDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 84, low 68, partly cloudy, not too humid, winds all over the place but calm.

Kinda hot.

AM: mid 70s, calm, partly cloudy

PM: low 80s, partly cloudy, winds from the east at 7mph


How windy is it?

Not very windy, according to this new Lettuce Cat.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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3.25/4. Good rideability, but a tad hottish. Enjoy!

June 28 bike forecast: a windswept Friday

More brisk winds from the north Friday.

FRIDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Sunny, nice temp, etc etc. But look at that wind!

More explanation in the frivolous visualization below:

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No matter who you are, one half of your commute will be pleasant and one half unpleasant. Unless you’re going east or west. There.


How windy is it?

Almost that windy! (No planes were harmed in the making of this gif.)


DIVVY REPORT: In the Loop, Dearborn and Van Buren closed for maintenance.  Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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2.8/4. Everything’s great, except for the wind. Enjoy!

July 27 bike forecast: good, except for the wind

(Oops! No bike forecast yesterday. Sorry. Life is busy.)

Thursday: looks all right… except for that PM wind. Oy.

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Overall: high 79, low 69, 20% chance of rain, 80% humidity

AM: high 70s, mostly cloudy, 15% chance of rain

PM: high 70s, partly cloudy, windy as heck from the north-northeast


How windy is it?

Okay, maybe not quite that windy. But 16mph is a lot, and if you’re commuting to the north in the evening, I’m sorry for your headwinds.

Our advice: consider avoiding the Lake Front Trail in the PM. Surface streets should be calmer, climatologically speaking.


DIVVY REPORT: RIP 29th and State. It’s official: station removed from the system. Other up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


Spotted on the road…

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This is Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY. The oldest bike path in the country, built in 1894. (More on this later, maybe.)


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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2.75/4. All right!