For my bikers, there's something different
I miss the quietude of their night
07/13/2009 1:09 AM
I came home on the Red Line from my friend Richardís party really late Saturday night. Got there late, too--it was my second foray of the evening after visiting Bucktown late in the day, and staying there to eat dinner at Silver Cloud on Damen with my daughter, Molly, before we came home.
I wasnít going to go to Richardís but I figured since I live only a few steps from the Red Line entrance at Roosevelt and he only lives only a few steps from the Red Line entrance at Belmont, it was just too door-to-door convenient not to go.
So I went and his friends and I chatted on his back deck--he lives in a building owned by Alderman Tom Tunney--about everything from Jupiter, which was really bright and big in the southeast sky, to the upcoming election in the Eighth Judicial Subcircuit.
When I got on the ďelĒ to come home about 1 AM, it was really crowded. And the reason was that there were a lot of bikes. People were coming downtown for the all night bike ride, which I had forgotten was starting momentarily in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
I have always loved seeing the thousands of riders whirrrrr by going westward in the silent night of Roosevelt Road, adjacent to my house--while I watch out the window from my bed looking northward. But this year, I had a new perspective, in which I actually experienced traveling with many riders from the North Side into the Loop. They were fun to talk to--and they showed me a map of their route.
When I got off the train, and walked up to State Street, the cops had already blocked off the street, and a big mouth was outside his car yelling at them about blocking his way, as some of the first riders started riding toward State. A cop hit the top of the guyís car with something and the sound reverberated.
I stood outside for awhile until the bike riders formed the dense whirring and gliding and whizzing group that I love to see all decked out in their helmets.
But this year, I didnít get that feeling of quietness outside as they rode. There were a lot of people in their cars waiting for the bikers to go past--and a lot of them honked like mad out of impatience. The sky didnít seem as dark either. The backdrop against which they rode was busy and nerve-wracking--not quiet and serene like Iím used to.
Maybe the brightness of the moon and Jupiter were doing something to the sky. Maybe the new density of the South Loop was making things more frenetic. I missed the country-like darkness I used to feel the bikers rode within in the quiet night of my neighborhood.