The weather was glorious this weekend and perfect for a 7-mile run (and walk) on Saturday and the inaugural road ride on Sunday of just under 30 miles. Finally.
After a disappointing low-snow winter with no chance for cross-country skiing, it was great to exercise outside.
Of course, running and riding outside, I find myself ruminating on the same themes year after year.
Running on the Evanston lakefront I counted 20 responsible riders compared to 19 fools without helmets. In addition to the 19 fools, I counted two dads as d#*$!n fools: one wore a helmet but carried his son on his handle bars; the other's daughter wore a helmet but he did not. She will grow up believing (incorrectly) that helmets are like training wheels and you outgrow the need. You do not. Bikers with brains wear helmets.
Riding north on Sheridan Road, the northern half of Winnetka is as decrepit and unwelcoming as ever, leading me to wonder if potholes are part of the village's strategic plan: the risk of flat tires and accidents will limit unwanted traffic in the area.
As we continue north and into Highland Park, we cruise past several lakefront mansions that (it seems) have been on the market for several seasons. I can't help but wish that the City of Highland Park would buy the property and remove the homes, restoring the lakefront as a public asset. Evanston and Chicago got it right, with the majority of the lakefront, forever open, clear and free.
Downtown Highland Park is a treat - and is as welcoming to bikers as Winnetka is not. It's always a pleasure to pull up to Perfect Blend, hop off the bike, refill the water bottle and chat with fellow cyclists, all of whom, not surprisingly, wear helmets.