Bicycle Diaries: R<i>ides</i> of March

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Rides of March

...with Chainlink

Despite Sunday night's last FU of Winter, spring is near. Change is in the air ... and on the streets. I'm SO READY to drastically increase my saddle time. While I'm an enthusiastic winter biker, I've got to confess, this winter was the toughest in the 10 years I've lived in The Windy City. But get through it I did!

Doing a lot more group rides was a significant part of my winterizing strategy. Lee Diamond, a local realtor and self-described bike freak, started leading monthly neighbor bike tours back in 2008. As he states on his website,
Chicago is made up of neighborhoods rich with history and character. Chicago is a many-layered city. While you have to work hard to not find great spots while aimlessly wandering about, some of the most special places require a tip from someone “in-the-know.”... We’ll lead you around and show you the parks, landmarks, and business establishments that make a neighborhood great while also pointing out residential buildings and properties of interest.
I found other monthly rides over at Chainlink, a new social networking site for local vélotarians. Based on Ning, it encourages like-minded bikers to connect on shared interests and issues. A lot of established rides like Midnight Marauders and Chicago Critical Mass have already set up shop there. It's spawned a whole new set of monthly rides as well. Two I really enjoy are the Full Moon Fiasco, hosted by FBC Chicago, and The Northside Critical Mass, hosted by The "far" Northside Riders.

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