Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bike Adventure

     Yesterday I took my bike on the Metra to Lake Forest to visit a friend doing an artist residency at Ragdale. It was the first time I’d attempted this. What an adventure!             
     I rode my 1960 Raleigh Sports because my dutch bike would have been too heavy. Glad I did because there were lots of stairs to get up to the Metra platform and also big steps to get the bike onto the train.
My Raleigh at the Lake Forest train station

    The down side to taking this bike is that it has no rack so I had to carry my computer and stuff in a backpack. Sigh. I love my panniers. Then it started to rain like crazy as I rode, thundering and lightnig. Turns out my coat, contrary to what I thought, was not waterproof. It was a cold, wet ride on the train.
   For others of you thinking of bringing a bike on the Metra, don't make the mistake I made. I didn’t realize that you need to bungee your bike in the bike area, and for a while I teetered unsteadily while I leaned against my bike during the train ride.

Luckily another bicyclist got on and insisted that I take one of his extra bungee cords so that I could secure my bike. Many thanks to the unknown biker! 
    All was well once I disembarked the train because the sun reappeared and Ragdale has dryers.
Raleigh at Ragdale

      My artist friend popped my clothes in the dryer and in half an hour I was able to change out of her borrowed sweats.
    I spent a lovely day writing with her in her studio. “Everyone needs a mini retreat sometimes,” she told me. It was awesome to have all that time to write, enjoy nature, and a good company.

    Too soon it was time for me to go. Back at the Lake Forest station this sign hung in one window,

                                             followed by this sign in the next window. Ha!

Ominously the clouds gathered once more. Sure enough, after I got on the train, the heavens opened up and it poured down all over again. My arms and legs were soon soaked, but the knowledge that I had lots of dry clothes waiting for me at home made riding in the rain, even with water dripping off the tip of my nose, fun.
My Raleigh at the charming Lake Forest station

All in all, the trip was stressful at times but I was glad I did it. Has anyone else had a bike adventure?


Daniel said...

Although I've never taken my bike on the Metra, the recent Chicago weather has made me ride through hail, tornado warnings, and torrential downpours (sound familiar?). Those were adventures of a different sort, and each fun in their own way.


J.Tuttle said...

Sounds like you've had lots of adventures!

Dottie said...

Sorry to hear you got stuck in Monday's storm - twice. I took the L to work that day. But glad to hear your Metra trip was a success. I use my u-lock to secure my bike while on the train, but a bungee cord would work even better, I'm sure. Those big steps are a pain. I don't think I'd ever try to take Oma on board. :)

J.Tuttle said...

The Oma would have been too heavy for me to lift up the Metra steps. But I bet you could take your Betty Foy. the bungee cord seemed to secure it just fine.

Glocal Girl said...

Wow what a bike adventure you had! I had one today in Amsterdam.. which resulted in me falling rather ungracefully in a patch of icy snow. Embarrassing but I'd rather bike than drive :)

Glocal Girl

J.Tuttle said...

I'm sorry to hear about the spill!I hope you are alright! Did you have regular tires on your bike? Do the Amsterdammers consider studded tires for the snow? I'm considering that here if I want to keep biking. It gets very snowy and icy in Chicago.