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Register for the 2011 South Side History Bike Tour: email David Hays.
Whether biking for recreation or transportation, sticking to the same tried and true route can become a force of habit. But on Saturday, October 1, 2011 participants in the annual South Side History Bike Tour will take the "road less traveled" through historic neighborhoods.
Even long-time South Siders are likely to discover something new about events and people that shaped Chicago-both the city and the University. Tour guides include John W. Boyer, Dean of the College; Terry Nichols Clark, Professor in Sociology; and J. Mark Hansen, Dean of the Social Sciences Division.
Bikers will get a first-hand look at historic Bronzeville, sneak a peek at the residence of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, admire the rugged limestone Union Stock Yard Gate, and learn about the Settlement House movement at the Jane Addams Hull House. For those who participated in last year's tour, the route and stops will be similar this year.
Participants, who must have their own bike and helmet, will meet at the Quad between Bartlett Dining Commons and the Regenstein Library at 10:30 a.m. In case of rain, the tour will be rescheduled for the Spring of 2012. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Bicycling Resources in Chicago
By Claire Brindley, a student in the College
Chicago is home to a lot of great landmarks--the John Hancock building, Wrigley Field, the Bean (or Cloud Gate, if you prefer). But the Windy City also has a couple of skyscrapers that are a little less family-friendly, the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants.
These edifices may not be a part of the famous skyline, but they are a serious threat to the health of Chicago's residents. Built in the 1920s, they face lenient emissions standards, are the reason that Chicago now has one of the nation's highest asthma rates. In addition to chronic illness, air pollutants from Fisk and Crawford are responsible for 500 emergency room visits and 40 premature deaths each year.
Now is the time to clean up emissions from the old coal plants--not only for environmental reasons, but also for the health of Chicago residents. On Saturday, October 10, people from around the world will gather to support clean power in their communities and political action for sustainability as part of 350.org's Global Work Party.
This will be the most widespread day of political action in history, with 6227 events in 185 countries. Green Campus Initiative Students for a Just and Secure Future will be leading U of Cers downtown to join their fellow Chicagoans in demanding a cleaner, coal-free future. We'll be meeting in front of the Reg (1101 E 57th St) on Sunday, October 10, to bike or take the CTA to the rally. If you need to borrow a bike, check out the UChicago bikeshare program.
Please come out to make the call for a clean city even louder! Get to work, Chicago!
A friend of mine once joked that you had better bring a contamination suit, signal flares and an armored bear or two back to Chicago with you for Winter Quarter—"You'll be happy to have the bear along when you still encounter those English majors getting their nic fix outside of Cobb," he said. He wears open-toed sandals year-round, which as far as I'm concerned discredits any advice he has to give about winter survival. But I'm clad in Gore Tex-equipped, North Face snow boots, and I've come up with five or so ideas for making winter easier on the student, (short of hibernating in a dorm room through January):
Shoes —a sturdy pair of heavy winter boots is essential this time of year (especially if you need to make a quick get away, what with all the armored bears around), and even more so if you plan to spend January frolicking through the snow than falling on
your ass the ice.
Fortunately, not all ice exists to trip you up—and though you probably won't be resorting to skating to class anytime soon (unless the alternating periods of warming and freezing get really extreme), there are several locations in Chicago designed just for such ice-friendly footwear: namely, Midway Rink, which is probably located just a few blocks away from where you live, and the Millennium Park Ice Rink, open through March 14.
Fitness—Speaking of exercise, Winter doesn’t have to be a bane for hardcore runners like myself; I take the sleet as an invitation to cross-train, which can sometimes mean pool workouts and yoga at Ratner, but also leaves a lot of room to go exploring indoors: the north and south sides both have fantastic rock climbing gyms, one at the Formula Fitness Club's Red-line/Division location. The other, ">Climb On, is right across the street from the Homewood Metra Station. Many Chicago gyms like FFC and Equinox offer free, week-long trial memberships with complementary group fitness classes. Nothing says Winter like aerobics classes that sound like they came from a cereal box ("Cardio Crunch" much?).
Transit —Winter can be a frightening time to be a biker or El commuter, and this year is no different. With more than 1000 employees scheduled for layoffs this February, and other CTA workers being fored to take up to 18 unpaid days off of work in early 2010, factor serious delays into your travel time. Biking is also an option, if you have the right mindset, equipment, and built-in wind resistance, as this Columbia College article suggests.
Food—For the first time this year, The Green City Market is open year round, and Jan. 16 is the next date. While you probably won’t find the summer’s gorgeous Sun Gold tomatoes, take advantage of the organic jarred jams, tomato preserves and all manner of berry compotes and nut butters to remind you of the fleeting taste of summer.
Arts—In the spirit of indoor exploring, many of Chicago's museums are attracting locals in the tourism off-season with a slew of free admission days, including the Art Institute and Shed Aquarium, though you may have to wait until February to take advantage of it. The most up-to-date list I've seen can be found here.
One of the sixty-foot articulated buses that Hyde Parkers recognize from rush hour on the #6 Jackson Park Express cracked while in use. No passengers were on board, but as a precautionary measure all 226 buses of this model are being pulled from the fleet until they can be inspected for safety.
CTA, Metra, and PACE are all facing nasty budget shortfalls. Internal budget trimming may not be enough to stave off the dreaded fare hikes and possible service cuts entailed in every CTA doomsday package.
A paperwork slip-up led to the temporary deactivation of all DePaul students' U-Pass farecards. Service is expected to return this weekend.
On Wednesday a woman was sexually assaulted at knife point off the Western Blue Line stop.
A passenger accused of boarding a bus without paying was very forcibly ejected by a Chicago police officer. I'm keeping my eyes peeled to see if brutality charges are pressed. Check out the video taken by a passenger. Trigger warning and foul language.
The Blog that Works is out of winter hibernation at just the wrong time-- today's subzero temperatures are making any activity that doesn't involve hot chocolate and my living room seem entirely unappealing. This morning my car refused to budge out of its iced-in parking spot, giving me a personal snow day and lots of time to think about how to get around without it. Here's a roundup of Chicago transit and winter news, brought to you by my temporary homeboundedness.
Hyde Park Progress considers the pros and cons of adopting various parking meter rate schemes. Chicagoist analyzes last year's big increase in CTA ridership, but a commenter suggests an alternative interpretation. The Tribune documents some clever techniques for maintaining a parking space-- if only they'd published yesterday, I might have made it out of Hyde Park today! A fourth-grader in Hammond fell victim to a triple-dog-dare and ended up with a tongue injury. The Chicago Foundation for Women is honoring an important anniversary this week with a spoken word event. And for a nice healthy dose of winter escapism, check out these nifty shots of fractal river deltas near the Mediterranean coast.