Born Already Ruined was uploaded to Flickr

Cruising on Highway 41 (aka LSD)

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I took Born Already Ruined on September 25, 2016 at 11:34AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on November 23, 2016 at 09:22AM

A Photo For All And None was uploaded to Flickr

Spadina, and Dundas, Toronto

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I took A Photo For All And None on September 20, 2014 at 11:09PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on November 28, 2014 at 05:32PM

Toke Up On The Terrace was uploaded to Flickr

West Loop

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I took Toke Up On The Terrace on September 29, 2013 at 01:41PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 28, 2014 at 01:57AM

No, You Go First was uploaded to Flickr

Biker on Wacker Drive, waving to a truck to go ahead and turn right…

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I took No, You Go First on January 06, 2014 at 01:40PM

Divvy Bike-sharing Program Off To A Good Start

Yayyy, got my DivvyBikes key today
Yayyy, got my DivvyBikes key today

Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune reports:

The Divvy bike-share service, less than two months old, surpassed the 150,000-trip mark Friday, according to CDOT. About 5,000 annual Divvy members are enrolled, at $75 each, and more than 37,000 24-hour passes have been sold, at $7 each.

More than 458,000 total miles have been logged on individual trips since the service was introduced June 28, and the trips have averaged roughly 18 minutes each in recent days as more docking stations have opened, according to city transportation data.

Also, the three-speed bikes painted “Chicago blue” have logged more than 11,000 miles a day in recent days this month, with some weekend days exceeding 25,000 miles, the data show, based on the start and end points for each trip.

The service, dubbed Divvy to reflect the divide-and-share nature of bike-sharing, is not designed or priced for users to hog the bikes on leisurely, hourslong trips. Customers are supposed to use the bikes for 30 minutes or less on each ride. Riders get unlimited trips lasting up to a half-hour; after that, overtime fees are charged.

While on the one hand calling the public response to the Divvy program “beyond expectations,” city officials have set a high bar for ultimate success.

(click here to continue reading Divvy bike-sharing program, almost 2 months old, getting in gear, data show –

You Always Have Options
You Always Have Options

I signed my company up for Divvy Bike membership about two weeks ago, wanting to wait until the opening night jitters were worked out, and have been using the bikes for short trips around my office. I’ve taken more than ten rides so far, experiencing only one incident of faulty station – but a Divvy Bikes employee was on hand and took my bike to a different location for me. Also once the station I was planning to use didn’t have any bikes in it, but the next station was less than 2 blocks away. One other minor issue I encountered was that the amount of force you have to use when docking a bike surprised me, and at first I couldn’t get the bike to dock, but eventually a fellow Divvy-rider did it for me. I returned to favor to another rider the next day.

I own a bike of my own, but having a Divvy bike membership encourages brief bike rides; times where I might have taken a cab, or walked, instead I’ll jump on a Divvy bike. Of course, it’s summer right now, and Chicago has been having a beautifully mild season, the real test will be in mid-January. I’d also like to be able to travel farther, this will be possible when more stations are installed. Currently only 160 out of a planned 400 are active, less than half.

Regardless, I’m happy to support the idea of more bikes in Chicago. More bikes on the road means less cars, in general, and also encourages the government to install more bike lanes, which encourages more bikers, and so on. 

Reading Around on March 2nd through March 6th

A few interesting links collected March 2nd through March 6th:

Reading Around on May 28th through May 30th

A few interesting links collected May 28th through May 30th:

  • Transportation: Dark and moody ways we get around. | Today's Photos: Today's best Chicago photos, handpicked by our editors. in Chicago – Traffic

    by: swanksalot

    two versions of I-90/94, southbound.

  • Photo Essay: 20 of the Freakiest Custom Bikes on the Road – "“No idea about who this is riding the chopper, just happened to snap it on Wells Street. I think he is part of the Chicago Critical Mass group.”
    Photographer: swanksalot"
  • Bill Simmons: Blowing the whistle on the NBA's flaws – ESPN – "Danny Biasone, who owned the Syracuse Nationals at the time. An Italian immigrant who arrived on Ellis Island and made his money by owning a bowling alley — no, really, a single bowling alley — Biasone wore long, double-breasted coats, smoked filtered cigarettes and wore Borsalino hats. (Note: I don't know what Borsalino hats are, but they sound fantastic.) For three full years preceding the catastrophic 1954 playoffs, Biasone had been unsuccessfully trying to sell the other owners on a 24-second shot clock that would speed up games.

    How did he arrive at 24? Biasone studied games he remembered enjoying and realized that, in each of those games, both teams took around 60 shots. Well, 60+60=120. He settled on 120 shots as the minimum combined total that would be acceptable from a "I'd rather kill myself than watch another NBA game like this" standpoint. And if you shoot every 24 seconds over the course of a 48-minute game, that comes out to .. wait for it … 120 shots! "

Dempster Bike Ride

Took the opportunity to get dropped off at a forest preserve on Dempster near Lehigh Road. From there, biked home. The most challenging part was getting from Devon (where the park ended) to the lakefront park. There really isn’t a good route, especially on a busy Saturday afternoon. There were some streets with bike lanes, but Chicago drivers only begrudgingly acknowledge bike lanes, and bikes, so resorted to pedalling on the sidewalks sometimes to avoid being run over. Not ideal; for all of Chicago’s self-proclaimed bike friendliness, there are lots of areas of the city that are downright bike-unfriendly.

Also make the mistake of trying to go east on Devon: ended up on a 4 lane bridge just east of Milwaukee Avenue that had absolutely no shoulder, no sidewalk, and no mercy. Made it about halfway across before chickening out, and limping back to reverse course. Scary.

Beautiful along the lakefront of course, and surprisingly not that crowded. Must have been fortuitous timing. Not so good timing, though, when I ended up on the Michigan Avenue bridge (one side closed, making it even more of a cluster), merged in with the million shoppers on the Million Dollar Mile. Yikes, bad planning on my part. There really isn’t that good of a route from the lakefront bike path to the West Loop: next time perhaps I’ll try zipping over to Wells Street sooner.

Dempster back to West Loop

Widget powered by EveryTrail: GPS Geotagging [click to embiggen the map and gawk at the photos]
Home to a stint in our personal sauna, shower, and glass of wine. Wish I had time to take this long of a bike ride every day…

Reading Around on May 12th through May 14th

A few interesting links collected May 12th through May 14th:

  • Ivory sculpture in Germany could be world's oldest – The Boston Globe – "BERLIN – A 35,000-year-old ivory carving of a woman found in a German cave was unveiled yesterday by archeologists who believe it is the oldest known sculpture of the human form.
    The carving found in six fragments in Germany's Hohle Fels cave depicts a woman with a swollen belly, wide-set thighs, and large, protruding breasts.

    "It's very sexually charged," said University of Tuebingen archeologist Nicholas Conard, whose team discovered the figure in September."

  • High-end Bicycles | – (Photo courtesy of swanksalot on Flickr)
  • Chicago Reader Blogs: Chicagoland – Local News – "This has historically been one of the advantages of the newspaper model – you can use profitable bottom-feeding to float much less popular beat reporting that's only of interest to a small audience. But as newspapers move to the Web, courting the social networking audience and zeroing in on the traffic generated by specific stories, I'm terrified that reporters on such beats will feel pressure to abandon them.

    I am impressed that the Trib, which is upending its business model as quickly as any major media organization and has been pilloried for some elements of that, is doubling down on local watchdog info, going so far as to court the FOIA-filing crowd."