I rode the Lakefront trail here in Chicago for the first time this year. With COVID-19, rising water levels in the Great Lakes, and other construction work to mitigate the eroding beaches, I was never sure as to where and when the trail was open and when it was closed.

It turns out that as long as you keep moving and don’t congregate in groups, you’re welcome to enjoy this little slice of the city.

The Lakefront Trail runs about 20 miles along Chicago’s shoreline of Lake Michigan. It’s well marked, it has exit and entry points that tie the trail into the ever-growing designated cycling routes along city streets, and for the vast majority of the trail, it separates cycling traffic from pedestrian traffic (when joggers and walkers follow their signs). There’s a couple of places where it’s particular congested, mainly near the downtown and tourist areas. Chicago’s bike share program, Divvy, is quite popular and there’s a lot of folks enjoying the availability of these bikes with their classic ding-ding bells.

I rode the trail down to the south side of the city, deciding to turn around at the 2400 block, which put me about eight miles from home (as the crow flies). People were pleasant, and when I was taking a few moments to enjoy some water and get turned around, I had a nice chat with two ladies who were out for their Sunday stroll. They were laughing amongst themselves and we exchanged pleasantries as I passed them.

My bike is nearly two decades old and has thousands of miles on it. I don’t see myself replacing it anytime soon, if ever. It does what it needs to do and I feel very comfortable on it. I swapped out the saddle a couple of years ago after my last round of surgery. I don’t need something supporting my crotch and possibly causing “trauma” in that area. The split saddle I use now is quite comfortable and it makes the rides more enjoyable.