A Family Biking & Adaptive Sailing Saturday

The weekend before last we hopped on our bikes and rode down over to Burnham Harbor near Soldier Field for an opportunity to check out an adaptive sailing program that offers lessons and competitions for kids and adults.

It was a great day for a bike ride in the city! We rode through the loop to Grant Park and made a stop by Buckingham Fountain.

Parking our bikes near the fountain cafe

From there we headed through the Museum Campus over to the harbor for the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Open House. The Goldman family started the program back in 1990 as as public/private partnership with the Chicago Park District.  On this Saturday they were serving lunch, showing off their trophies, signing folks up for lessons, and most importantly, offering anyone who was interested, a ride around the harbor in one of their adaptive sailboats.

The Open House at the Burnham Harbor Boathouse

Once we arrived and locked up our bikes (lots of bike racks), we walked around, talked to some of the volunteers, and enjoyed the day. While we did bring our own life-jackets (just-in-case), we weren’t sure if LD would be interested in taking a ride in a sailboat or not.  At some point he decided he wanted to take a ride, so he and his dad signed up.

LD signs up to go for a ride with his Dad

They had to wait in line, as the boats loaded and unloaded passengers for their harbor tours.

Waiting in line to take a ride in a sailboat

While they waited in line, I walked around snapping photos of the adaptive sailboat fleet.

Some of the adaptive sailboats that belong to the program.


An extra handhold on an adaptive sailboat


Eventually my guys got their turn to take a boat ride.

Heading out for a ride

During the ride they offered to let Little Ding steer the boat! He declined however, stating that he would wait until after he took some lessons. Ha! After the ride we met the lead sailing instructor, and talked about the adaptive kids programs, and lessons, and how it all works. They’re pretty flexible, with all-day hours during which you can come by for your lessons. Check out their website for more information. Once sailing lessons start I’m sure I’ll have at least one more post since I’m sure the guys will ride the Yuba Mundo to the lakefront.

One note for you gourmet cookie-lovers out there. Are you familiar with the gigantic and delicious Carol’s Cookies?  They rock. Turns out that Carol is part of the Goldman family. She donated a boatload of cookies for the event and was super nice and friendly.

Carol of Carol’s Cookies!

On our way home we stopped by the lovely and rarely crowded 12th street beach – right behind the Alder Planetarium.

Being a boy, Little Ding dug a rock out of the ground. I don’t think he realized how big it was.  Then he kindly washed it before putting it in the panniers to bring home.

Using the outdoor shower to wash off a rock

We eventually decided to head back towards home.  We rode back west through Grant park, and stopped for dinner in the Printer’s Row neighborhood before making our way further west through the city. All in all, a great day of riding, sailing, and enjoying the city.

Dearborn Station in Printer’s Row


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