Chicago - Cycling
Chicago is on the right track to increase its cycle-friendly popularity. As a cycling advocate I wanted to test it myself by taking a 50 Km (32 mi.) ride along the Lakefront Trail and a few shared roads.
I had my own bicycle but those in need could rent one or take advantage of the recently introduced (June 2013) "Divvy" bike sharing system with hundreds of stations across the city. Yearly, monthly or daily passes can be purchased directly at any station through credir card payment.
A good central location for rentals is the McDonald's Cycle Center located at the northeasternmost corner of Millennium Park.
I was going to experience some riding by myself on the day following Memorial Day as I was visiting local friends. Totally casually, a couple of days before I learned from a thread in VT's Misc Forum that Rich (member "riorich55") was set for a photo essay on the very same day. We could arrange a joint ride and met near Montrose Park for a few hours of pure fun before my commitments urged me to hit the road back to Cleveland.
I had an early start among several commuters-by-bike and casual riders during the following hours. The Lakefront Trail stretches for 18 miles along Lake Michigan and is the obvious choice for those who want to avoid shared roads or urban cycling lanes. The trail is anyway connected to the Millennium Park and the main attractions along the shore, therefore a great opportunity to enjoy a day in the city.
My recorded GPS track hereRelated to:
- Skiing and Boarding
U.S. Cellular Field
Home of Major League Baseball's Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field was designed by the architectural firm of Populous and constructed between 1990 and 1991. It replaced the original Comiskey Park which was home of the White Sox from 1910 to 1990, and was demolished to make way for the new Comiskey Park. It had been the oldest ballpark in baseball before it was torn town.
When built, U.S. Cellular Field was still called Comiskey Park, but U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights to the field in 2003 and changed its name. However, most fans still refer to the new field as Comiskey Park, and although it is one of the most modern and high-tech ballparks in the country, many White Sox fans preferred the intimate charm of the old Comiskey Park.
Since 2001, U.S. Cellular Field has undergone numerous renovations in response to fan complaints. Major changes included the addition of a new multi-tiered concourse beyond center field, the adjustment of the outfield fences to make the outfield less symmetrical, and the removal of more than 3,700 seats from the top of the upper deck. The upper deck had been one of the highest upper decks in baseball, and its pitch and angle caused vertigo in many fans. Removal of the seats reduced the ballpark's seating capacity from 44,321 to 40,615.
Home of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field was designed by architect Zachary Taylor Davis and built in 1914. It is the oldest ballpark in the National League and the second-oldest in baseball, after Fenway Park in Boston.
Wrigley Field was originally called Weeghman Park and was home of the Federal League's Chicago Whales baseball team. The Federal League folded in 1915 and a deal was soon made for the Cubs to move from their West Side home into the ballpark. The ballpark was called Cubs Field between 1920 and 1926 before being renamed for the then-team owner and chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr.
Wrigley Field was also home of the National Football League's Chicago bears from 1921 to 1970, at which time they moved to their new home at Soldier Field.
The 41,009-seat ballpark is one of the most traditional ballparks in baseball, and has changed little over the decades. It is known for its iconic ivy-covered brick outfield walls, its manually operated scoreboard, and red marquee over the main entrance. Lights for night games were not even installed until 1988. Prior to that, all games had to be scheduled for the daytime.
Attending a baseball game in the "Friendly Confines" of Wrigley Field is like revisiting another era, when baseball truly was "America's pastime."
Originally called the Municipal Grant Park Stadium, Soldier Field is now home of the National Football League's Chicago Bears. With a seating capacity of 61,500, it is the smallest stadium in the National Football League.
The stadium was built between 1922 and 1924 in the Greco-Roman style of architecture. It is perhaps best known for its Doric columns on the east and west sides. In 1925 the name was changed to Soldier Field to commemorate soldiers killed during the First World War but now honors American soldiers killed in all wars.
Between 2002 and 2003, Soldier Field underwent an extensive and controversial renovation which involved demolishing most of the previous structure and rebuilding from the ground up. Although the stadium was radically altered, the beloved Doric columns were incorporated into the new design. (The picture was taken during the construction of the new stadium. I left Illinois before it was completed and therefore have no pictures of the stadium as it appears today).
In addition to hosting National League Football games, Soldier Field has been the venue for numerous sporting events such as soccer matches during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is also the venue for large concerts featuring such acts as the Rolling Stones, U2, and the Grateful Dead. During these concerts, up to 100,000 people can be accommodated.
Located in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, Arlington Park is a race track that has hosted many of the great thoroughbred race horses, including Secretariat (1973), Spectacular Bid (1980), and Cigar (1996).
Arlington Park was founded by California businessman Harry Brown. The track opened in 1927 and drew a crowd of over 20,000 to experience the grand opening. Since then, Arlington Park has been one of the world's most innovative race tracks, introducing the industry's first public-address system, electric totalisator, photo-finish camera, electric starting gate, and trifecta wagering. Horse racing's first million-dollar thoroughbred race, The Arlington Million, was run here in 1981.
The track's grandstand was completely destroyed by a fire in 1985. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1989. The new six-story grandstand can accommodate up to 50,000 spectators. Other features of the track include a one-and-one-eighth-mile (two-kilometer) dirt oval, a one-mile (1.6-kilometer) turf oval, and stables on the backstretch for up to 2,000 horses.
I was present at the Arlington Citation Challenge on July 13, 1996 when Cigar raced to his record-tying sixteenth consecutive victory. Although I am not a bettor or a racing fan, it was an exciting, history-making event and an enjoyable afternoon spent at the races.
The United Center
Home of the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls and the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks, the United Center was built between 1992 and 1994. It was designed by Populous, an architectural firm that specializes in designing sports arenas and stadiums. The United Center replaced the antiquated Chicago Stadium which was demolished to make way for the new arena.
Named after United Airlines, its corporate sponsor, the 960,000-square-foot (89,187-square-meter) United Center is the largest arena in the United States in terms of physical size but not capacity. Seating capacity is 20,917 for basketball, 19,717 for hockey, and 23,500 for concerts.
The United Center has hosted numerous sporting events, including University of Illinois basketball games, Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournaments, Men's NCAA Basketball Tournaments, and professional wrestling matches. It has also been used for such large-scale events as circuses, ice shows, rock concerts, and the 1996 Democratic National Convention.
Cubbies!!!! Chicago Cubs Baby!
Those Cubbie Fans are so so loyal. You'll never see anything like it. Regardless of the Chicago Cubs record, there will be a ton of fans at the ball park.
They love the sport.
They love the beer.
They love the neighborhood.
They love the bars like hanging out at the Cubbie Bar across from Wrigley Field.
Easy transportation in from the Burbs or Downtown if you choose to take the Train.
Good security provided by Chicago's Finest!!!!
Equipment: Come hungry.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
The further adventures of trying to visit every Major League Baseball stadium...
I have not yet been able to attend a game at Comiskey Park, or whatever the heck they're calling it nowadays but I have seen it from the outside and it looks nice and has a cool bridge from the parking over to the stadium so I look forward to visiting some day soon.
As for Wrigley Field, I visited in the Fall of 1999 and it was a real thrill to attend a game in one of the high holy houses of the sport.
1)Arrival & Departure
As much as I hate to do it, I have to give Wrigley, on a scale of 1-5 where 5 is awesome and 1 is sucky, a low score of 2. I thought about giving it a 1 but the only thing that saved it is that although I had to park approximately 6 blocks away, those blocks were in a nice neighborhood full of those pretty little row houses Chicago is known for, making for a pleasant walk to and from my car. But seriously, where are the parking lots? I didn't see any. Evidently there is an El train you can take but I don't believe it stops at the stadium, you still have to walk a ways - hence the low score.
2)Food. I had a hot dog and it was good. Score: 4.
I have to give this a 4. It's an old stadium and like another old stadium we won't mention right now, the rows are kinda tight but, the seats themselves are fairly comfortable. Also, there is a large overhang if you sit on the bottom level so sun isn't too much of a problem.
Can I give a score higher than 5? I guess not, so I'll give it a 5. Just walking up and seeing that familiar red exterior was exciting. Inside, there is a real crowd comraderie and the balls flying over the spectators sitting on top of the nearby houses makes for a fun game.
Overall, I give this visit to the second oldest stadium an average score of 4. Technically, I think a true average would be 3 or 3 1/2 but just being in the same stadium that Babe Ruth made his "called shot" and other historical moments gives it some extra points.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Before going in
get a map, navigate first and note warning signs. We didnt know that a bouey with a + sign inside a diamond meant: "BOATS KEEP OUT". Needless to say, our prop got chewed pretty bad we had to replace it.
Antioch Golf Club, A Real Value
When we lived in Antioch, Illinois, our home was on the golf course, which, at that time, was called Harbor Ridge Golf Course; today, it is called Antioch Golf Club. The course has been revamped and a brand new brick club house and restaurant have been recently completed after demolishing the old frame facility.
This golf course was built in 1954 on rolling to hilly terrain, so there are many uneven lies. On six holes, water hazards come into play. Green Fees are:
plus cart fees
It's a great value for this challenging 18-hole public course. Some of the fairways are quite narrow because there are homes and townhouses bordering it. If I were to pick one word to describe it, I would use Sporty.
No cutoffs or tank tops are allowed; neither are metal spikes.
Call for Reservations at:
OPEN YEAR ROUND
No Metal Spikes
You Will Need:
Golf Balls and Tees
Sun Screen Lotion
The photograph was taken in December of 1984. It shows the 7th Fairway beside our home on what was then Harbor Ridge Golf Course (now called Antioch Golf Club).Related to:
Three Golf Courses in One Small Town......
For a town of only 7,000 people, Robinson has more than its share of golf courses!
1. Deer Run Golf Course
700 North Prairie Street
Deer Run, a par 3 course with a twist...It is lit for night play! It has narrow, rolling, tree-lined fairways, & there are many beautiful & colorful flowers. It's an easy course with short holes & moderate undulating greens. It cost less than $20.00 & is open to the public. I feel it's a good course for beginners.
There is no dress code, and is a Par 27 course. Open from April 1 until November 1.
2. Oak Glen Golf Course
This is an 18-hole golf course that includes a new back nine with newly-planted trees, four lakes that come into ten out of eighteen holes. Be forewarned: several dog leg fairways. Greens are Bent Grass, & the Fairways are Bluegrass. The cost is less than $20.00 & is open to the public. It's a Par 71 course. Shirt & shoes are required. Open from April 1 until Nov. 1, this course provides a challenge for golfers of all levels.
2. Quail Creek Country Club & Resort
1010 East Highland Avenue
Robinson, IL 62454
Quail Creek rates well with most golfers, but it's rolling terrain results in some uneven lies. Out of eighteen holes, fourteen of them deal with water hazards! The greens are undulating & vary in size & shape. Three of the fairways are doglegs.The marvelous thing about this course is the 100-year-old trees that line many of the fairways!
Water plays a big part in the layout because Quail Creekmeanders through both nines. This is a course that once hosted PGA tour events; thus, you will find it more of a challenge than the other two courses.
Lee Trevino once said, "I have played all over the world, and Quail Creek is one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever played."* A Par 72 course. The dress code indicates collared shirt, no cutoffs, denium is OK. Open from March 1 until November 30.
Equipment: You will need to adhere to the dress codes, and bring clubs, balls, glove, tees, hat to ward off the sun, sunscreen, and a great attitude....this is golf country!Related to:
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2139 CityGate Lane, Naperville, Illinois, 60563, United States
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