This picture is our little piece of the world… or perhaps our little piece of Chicago… or our little piece of Clark Street. Yup, we live on the second floor rear of that red painted restaurant on one of the busiest streets in Chicago. Sometimes when I come home at night and the street lights illuminate the busy sidewalk and the usual crowd hangs out outside of Mia Fracesca’s waiting for a table I think that I live in a movie scene. Besides showing off our diggs, what I really want to write this post about is that little piece of heavy aluminum leaning up against the post in front of Socca. Yes, that would be our commuter bike.
When we moved to Chicago we counted on taking the train a whole heck of a lot, but we soon came to realize how accessible and fast everywhere is to get to by bike (don’t get me wrong, I will be switching to the train come first freeze). We both have light, fast road bikes and we quickly learned our bikes were not cut out for the pot holes, sandy paths, and unpredictable storms in this city. So, we pooled our REI dividends, birthday gift certificates, and my REI discount to purchase what I like to call our SUB, or sport utility bike.
It features a nice wide seat, heavy duty shocks for the city streets, a rack for strapping on odds and ends, and a handy shopping pannier for Trader Joe’s trips! We just got new commuter tires to put on it so that it goes faster than with these knobby mountain tires.
The combination of selling bikes for a living and riding a bike for transportation every day has given me a new appreciation and confidence in what a bike can do. Being a bike commuter means I exercise every day without going out of my way, save money on gas, and never have to look for parking. And it is a good thing we live in the smallest space imaginable and cannot fit anyTHING else in our apartment because I already want a touring bike and a triathlon bike to add to our fleet.