A City Bike Ride: Oma, Gumby, Bike Parking, Historic Train Bridges, And A Barge!

Last Saturday was another of the beautiful and very un-October days we’ve had in Chicago for the last week or so. Sunshine, blue skies, warm temperatures. Mr. Ding and I were kid-free for the weekend, and took advantage of the situation to get some city riding in together on rides that are not yet apropos for Little Ding. We headed out on our bikes to the Whole Foods grocery store on Kingsbury, in Lincoln Park. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it seems like the Whole Foods stores in Chicago are the only grocery stores that pay any attention to the Chicago Municipal code as it pertains to parking for bikes – they have the most bike parking of any grocery store that I have seen in the city. Take a look!

Whole Foods Store Lincoln Park - Bike Parking

We didn’t buy much. Mostly I wanted to get a quick chair massage (awesome!) and grab some lunch. Mr. Ding paid a visit to the seafood counter to pick up something as part of the dinner he was planning for us  (Grilled Swordfish by the way – delectable!). They packed the fish on ice for us, we paid for the rest of our purchases, then loaded up the Omafiets and headed out.

Whole Foods Store Lincoln Park and My Omafiets

Mr. Ding wanted to take a ride across the Cherry Avenue railroad bridge on our way home. It’s a historic railroad bridge that was renovated as part of the construction project for the new North Avenue bridge, just west of the Whole Foods Store.  You can get a nice view of the North Avenue bridge if you walk on the Cherry Avenue bridge which is just south of North Avenue.

New North Avenue Bridge

New North Avenue Bridge

Cherry Avenue Bridge in Chicago

Cherry Avenue Bridge in Chicago

Bridge trivia for the day: The Cherry Avenue bridge is also known as The Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railway Bridge No. Z-2 and is part of the Chicago terminal railroad. It was built in 1901-02 and is a rare example of a asymmetric bob-tail swing bridge in Chicago, and so it was designated a Chicago landmark in 2007.

Across North Avenue from the bridge we saw Gumby! He was trying to entice shoppers to spend their cash on some garish orange Halloween gear.

Gumby in the City

Gumby in the City

In case you wondered – trains do still use this bridge so pedestrians and cyclists must stay alert at all times.

Yield to Trains

Oma was careful, but it didn’t stop her from pausing to admire the Wrigley Global Innovation Center ( A LEED Gold-certified facility by the way,  with secure bike parking) over on Goose Island as she paused over the Chicago River.

Oma and the Wrigley Engineering Technology Center

Mr. Ding and I rode our way south on the bridge and across Goose Island to Division Street. Once at the street we turned west to ride across the  Chicago river (again) – on the other side of Goose Island. We rode our bikes over another, less interesting bridge, as a very large barge was coming down the river. There isn’t a lot of barge traffic on this part of the river anymore so this was a bonus! I hopped off Oma and grabbed my camera and watched the barge navigate the turn around Goose Island.

A Barge on the Chicago River

A Barge on the Chicago River

A Barge on the Chicago River

A Barge on the Chicago River

All in all, a lovely and slightly industrial and historic ride through the city. If we ever did these sorts of errands by car, just think of what we would miss out on!

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