I Love Riding in the City
NAME: Shay McAllister
LOCATION: Chicago, IL
Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
Chicago has a fantastic cycling community. I had lived here a couple of years and was still struggling to make friends when I signed up for the city’s online cycling community (www.thechainlink.org). I started going on group rides and before I knew it, I was making friends all over the place. I’ve seen it happen to others as well—it’s just a great, friendly, inclusive community. We also have a mayor who makes cycling a priority, although there’s still room for improvement.
What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I once biked from Den Haag to Delft in the Netherlands. Biking there is like being in another world: separate lanes, traffic signals devoted to cyclists, smooth bike paths. It was amazing. It was especially nice for an urban cyclist like me, who’s used to cars whizzing by pretty closely. It really gave you a sense of freedom to not have to dodge cars and potholes. It was nice to just concentrate on the journey and the scenery.
Why do you love riding in the city?
You’re right in the middle of the action as an urban cyclist. There’s no sense of being removed like you get when you drive or ride the bus or train. Everything is happening right there, in front of you! It gives you a real sense of being part of Chicago. I especially like that I use more senses—nothing beats riding past an Indian restaurant and smelling the spices, or riding past Humboldt Park and hearing musicians hanging out and playing salsa music. It’s awesome.