Joining lakefront trail mix? Beware the nuts

Four times a week, Christine Kreitzer runs, cycles or Rollerblades Chicago's lakefront trail, typically from Irving Park Road to North Avenue. Full Story
First Prev
of 10
Next Last
Tribune Reader

United States

#1 Jul 23, 2008
It amazes me how many people place so little value on their brain. It can be pretty dangerous at times, and I never, EVER ride without a helmet. And I especially don't listen to music while biking.

Simple - no helmet, no brains.

If you think a helmet is unnecessary or will mess up your hair, you clearly don't have a brain worth protecting.
Lakefront rider

Chicago, IL

#2 Jul 23, 2008
It is just another example of how people think that they are the center of the universe and they do not need to think about anybody else that may be using the trail. Yes, the people walking many abreast are annoying, but are typically not hazardous. My chief complaints are with the roller bladers flinging their legs out 3x their body width - just had that happen to me that last night - and those that think they are in the Tour de France! While it would be nice to think that you could have the ultimate cardio workout along the lake - you can't - you have to get off the phone, pull out the ear plugs and have a leisurely ride/roll.
Vicroy 27

Crest Hill, IL

#3 Jul 23, 2008
Beware of the idiots who think that they are Lance Armstrong in their bike tog finery. I think that the Spandex has cut off the blood flow to the brain because they have no common sense.

These fools refuse to yield or even slow down in the rain. The path is very dangerous especially at the choke points at Fullerton, the North Ave bridge and yes Shedd.

The Spandex gang must be policed before someone on the path is killed. In NYC you run in the direction of the traffic which, I think is much safer and efficient way to accommodate the heavy ped, bike and all other forms of traffic on our crowded lake front.
Reality

Glen Ellyn, IL

#4 Jul 23, 2008
Vicroy 27 wrote:
Beware of the idiots who think that they are Lance Armstrong in their bike tog finery. I think that the Spandex has cut off the blood flow to the brain because they have no common sense.
These fools refuse to yield or even slow down in the rain. The path is very dangerous especially at the choke points at Fullerton, the North Ave bridge and yes Shedd.
The Spandex gang must be policed before someone on the path is killed. In NYC you run in the direction of the traffic which, I think is much safer and efficient way to accommodate the heavy ped, bike and all other forms of traffic on our crowded lake front.
The more colorful the Spandex the more selfcentered (stupid) the bike rider. It's a multiuse path, not a tour da france raceway!

“Witch King of Angmar”

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

#5 Jul 23, 2008
I find it ironic that the article quotes Mike Swisher, training program manager for the Chicago Area Runners Association. CARA runners are one of the WORST hazzards along the lakefront. I cannot tell you how many times I have been rollerblading and come up on a group of CARA runners and they are running three or four abreast and idly chatting with each other. I slow down and call out (in a loud yet polite manner), "On your left!" I call this out several times. Never, in dozens of encounters with them this year and last year have any of them ever bothered to look back over their shoulder at me or even move to the right to allow faster users of the path to pass them. They're truly horrible. I've even seen them running in the oncoming lane and they don't even move out of the way for those who are supposed to be in that lane!

As for Elliot Schiffer, he must be a magnet for bad luck. I have rollerbladed almost 350 miles on the Lakefront Path this year. Last year I bladed nearly 800 miles and I hit 950 the year before. Not once have I ever had my blades hit others while going about my exercise. Not once have I ever seen any other blader hit someone with their blades. He sounds like he is nothing but one of those uninformed persons who still uses the term "Bike Path" and clings to the erroneous belief that the Lakefront Path is for cyclists only.

As for the cyclist speed demons on the path, I have found that most of them are careful riders. Sadly, you don't tend to notice the people who are careful. You only tend to notice the ones who are jerks and who are clueless. The simple fact of the manner is that the path gets congested in certain areas (rounding the bend around the old shooting club at Fullerton), passing the Lifeguard Shack down at Oak St. beach, the bridge South of Navy Pier, and just about the entire path on Saturdays, Sundays, and weekday evenings. People who use the path on a regular basis know this. You have to be a fool to not know this if you've used the path for a month or more. EVERYONE who uses the path in these areas and/or during these times and who still insists on being a speed demon is a moron. I once gave first aid at an accident between a cyclist and a runner and the cyclist was complaining that he HAS to go 20 mph in order to get a good work out, and he was doing this on a Saturday afternoon! If you HAVE to go that fast do it when the path is NOT congested.

“Witch King of Angmar”

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

#6 Jul 23, 2008
Lakefront rider wrote:
It is just another example of how people think that they are the center of the universe and they do not need to think about anybody else that may be using the trail. Yes, the people walking many abreast are annoying, but are typically not hazardous. My chief complaints are with the roller bladers flinging their legs out 3x their body width - just had that happen to me that last night - and those that think they are in the Tour de France! While it would be nice to think that you could have the ultimate cardio workout along the lake - you can't - you have to get off the phone, pull out the ear plugs and have a leisurely ride/roll.
3x their body width? Really? In order to achieve that incredible feat their legs would have to stick out nearly horizontally! If this supposed event actually happened to you and if you were the one passing the blader then the fault is yours. The person being passed has the right of way. You didn't give them enough room.
Biker27

Vernon Hills, IL

#7 Jul 23, 2008
I often ride on the lakefront trail in the evenings. I also often get annoyed by the "Lance Armstrong wannabe's" dressed head to toe in spandex. However, I think i find myself almost hitting and getting even more angry with mothers with small children, families, and strollers just walking across the trail without looking first. I have had to slam on my breaks more than once because of this. I understand that the trail is for everyones use and it does become busy, but some people need to use some common sense. Don't walk in the center of the path with small children and except everyone to be happy to slow down to a near stop....
Joe Jones

United States

#8 Jul 23, 2008
Mock26 wrote:
<quoted text> 3x their body width? Really? In order to achieve that incredible feat their legs would have to stick out nearly horizontally! If this supposed event actually happened to you and if you were the one passing the blader then the fault is yours. The person being passed has the right of way. You didn't give them enough room.
Huh? Many bladers use at least 3x their body width, perhaps more. It isn't that they take up 3x all at once, but they use up an area that wide moving back/forth.
Lifelong city dweller

United States

#10 Jul 23, 2008
Does anybody remember the path when it was EMPTY? The good old days, say in the late 70s and early 1980s?

I was a runner and used the paths regularly at all hours--early morning, late at night, early evenings and on the weekends. There were few cyclists back then and virtually no roller bladers. You'd be all alone out there. I remember running from Wilson Avenue to North and encountering no more than half a dozen people. It was heaven.

An earlier poster blaming runners is a fool. It was the running community that kept those paths viable and in use well before the communities "gentrified". The only people out there with any regularity were runners. But then, that's well before running or cycling was "cool".

If you want a 20 mph cycling workout, do what my friends and I did 30 years ago---GET UP EARLY. We'd ride out from Wilson to the South Shore Country Club without seeing a soul. While that may be impossible now, I'm sure that the trails are still less traveled at dawn.

Oh, but then, No one would SEE you. I guess that's the real issue for the self-professsed "elite athletes".

Those paths belong to everybody. If you are cycling or skating you have an advantage against walkers and runners. S-l-0-w down.

And I don't believe for a minute that any runner with any brains would refuse to yield right of way. Your helmet must be too tight.
DBX

Lake Zurich, IL

#11 Jul 23, 2008
When people use the trail as a social thing as opposed to individually, they forget or else just plain don't care about the width they take up. The picture with the article is an absolute classic; two people cycling together are passing WITHOUT GOING INTO SINGLE FILE, forcing the passee and the oncoming traffic almost off the trail. In congested situations, runners and cyclists should instinctively go single-file; all too often they don't.

I actually find the spandex crowd among the safest of the trail users; though they go fast they generally don't make sudden movements and they generally give some kind of signal.

My one major wipeout on the trail was caused by a recreational cyclist who swerved in front of me when I called out that I was passing on her left. Fearing that people will instinctively turn left when I say "passing on the left" -- assuming that we're basically just dealing with two-legged deer, at least that's how much traffic sense they show -- I now just yell out "passing" if necessary, or nothing if the person is holding a line and/or obviously aware of me; I fear there's such a thing as "too much information."

The vast majority of the runners I've encountered are good trail users -- but I'll admit I don't seem to use the trail at the same time as group runs. The bladers are up there with wobbly cyclists for scare factor.

As a faster cyclist I feel an obligation to use the trail at less busy times of the day; it simply isn't realistic to do 20 mph in the afternoon or early evening.
Rob

Skokie, IL

#12 Jul 23, 2008
They ought to ban those god awful double wide bikes they rent out of Navy Pier. I have never seen anyone riding those but clueless, idiatic tourists. Those things are a true danger on the path.
DBX

Lake Zurich, IL

#13 Jul 23, 2008
Also, more improvements in infrastructure are needed given the level of use. I was concerned that the stretch between Belmont Harbor and Recreation Drive wasn't widened more than it was. And WHEN are they going to do something about the Chicago River crossing?

I personally think that from Addison to Wacker, there may be justification for a "four lane" trail. It really is that heavily used. And these are also some of the older parts of the trail where the width and maintenance are lacking; for example the S curve around Fullerton Pavilion; Belmont to Diversey Harbor; North Avenue beach and the pothole-ridden Oak Street curve.
Marathon Man

Buffalo Grove, IL

#14 Jul 23, 2008
Mock26 wrote:
I find it ironic that the article quotes Mike Swisher, training program manager for the Chicago Area Runners Association. CARA runners are one of the WORST hazzards along the lakefront. I cannot tell you how many times I have been rollerblading and come up on a group of CARA runners and they are running three or four abreast and idly chatting with each other. I slow down and call out (in a loud yet polite manner), "On your left!" I call this out several times. Never, in dozens of encounters with them this year and last year have any of them ever bothered to look back over their shoulder at me or even move to the right to allow faster users of the path to pass them. They're truly horrible. I've even seen them running in the oncoming lane and they don't even move out of the way for those who are supposed to be in that lane!
As for Elliot Schiffer, he must be a magnet for bad luck. I have rollerbladed almost 350 miles on the Lakefront Path this year. Last year I bladed nearly 800 miles and I hit 950 the year before. Not once have I ever had my blades hit others while going about my exercise. Not once have I ever seen any other blader hit someone with their blades. He sounds like he is nothing but one of those uninformed persons who still uses the term "Bike Path" and clings to the erroneous belief that the Lakefront Path is for cyclists only.
As for the cyclist speed demons on the path, I have found that most of them are careful riders. Sadly, you don't tend to notice the people who are careful. You only tend to notice the ones who are jerks and who are clueless. The simple fact of the manner is that the path gets congested in certain areas (rounding the bend around the old shooting club at Fullerton), passing the Lifeguard Shack down at Oak St. beach, the bridge South of Navy Pier, and just about the entire path on Saturdays, Sundays, and weekday evenings. People who use the path on a regular basis know this. You have to be a fool to not know this if you've used the path for a month or more. EVERYONE who uses the path in these areas and/or during these times and who still insists on being a speed demon is a ****. I once gave first aid at an accident between a cyclist and a runner and the cyclist was complaining that he HAS to go 20 mph in order to get a good work out, and he was doing this on a Saturday afternoon! If you HAVE to go that fast do it when the path is NOT congested.
Sounds like you're part of the problem...All those miles - let someone else have an opportunity to enjoy the lakefront....
chicago j

Aurora, IL

#15 Jul 23, 2008
You all sound very cranky about each other.

No wonder there is so much conflict on the trail.
El Famous Burrito

Chicago, IL

#19 Jul 23, 2008
1. Stay as far to the right as possible.

2. Check over your left shoulder before making any leftward movement.

3. When passing, accelerate and make a short, snappy pass so you can quickly get back over to the right.

There has never, in the history of the path, been a mishap where one of the above rules hasn't been broken.

Slow people, keep right. If you aren't sure if you're one of the slow people, let me help: you are one of the slow people. And you're most definitely too far to the left.

Thank you.
Jack

Chicago, IL

#20 Jul 23, 2008
Sam, assuming you are not some frat boy wannabe--you should know that you are advocating criminal activity. I'd like to see how tough your Bollingbrook attitude would be in County. Maybe you'll get lucky and send you to Will county with your neighbor, Drew Peterson.
John

Chicago, IL

#21 Jul 23, 2008
Mock26 wrote:
I find it ironic that the article quotes Mike Swisher, training program manager for the Chicago Area Runners Association. CARA runners are one of the WORST hazzards along the lakefront. I cannot tell you how many times I have been rollerblading and come up on a group of CARA runners and they are running three or four abreast and idly chatting with each other. I slow down and call out (in a loud yet polite manner), "On your left!" I call this out several times. Never, in dozens of encounters with them this year and last year have any of them ever bothered to look back over their shoulder at me or even move to the right to allow faster users of the path to pass them. They're truly horrible. I've even seen them running in the oncoming lane and they don't even move out of the way for those who are supposed to be in that lane!
As for Elliot Schiffer, he must be a magnet for bad luck. I have rollerbladed almost 350 miles on the Lakefront Path this year. Last year I bladed nearly 800 miles and I hit 950 the year before. Not once have I ever had my blades hit others while going about my exercise. Not once have I ever seen any other blader hit someone with their blades. He sounds like he is nothing but one of those uninformed persons who still uses the term "Bike Path" and clings to the erroneous belief that the Lakefront Path is for cyclists only.
As for the cyclist speed demons on the path, I have found that most of them are careful riders. Sadly, you don't tend to notice the people who are careful. You only tend to notice the ones who are jerks and who are clueless. The simple fact of the manner is that the path gets congested in certain areas (rounding the bend around the old shooting club at Fullerton), passing the Lifeguard Shack down at Oak St. beach, the bridge South of Navy Pier, and just about the entire path on Saturdays, Sundays, and weekday evenings. People who use the path on a regular basis know this. You have to be a fool to not know this if you've used the path for a month or more. EVERYONE who uses the path in these areas and/or during these times and who still insists on being a speed demon is a ****. I once gave first aid at an accident between a cyclist and a runner and the cyclist was complaining that he HAS to go 20 mph in order to get a good work out, and he was doing this on a Saturday afternoon! If you HAVE to go that fast do it when the path is NOT congested.
You know, I've experienced the same thing. He's absolutely right about this one.

I'd also like to add that so many accidents could be avoided if people would simply turn off the iPod. I can't believe people are stupid enough to run or cycle in this city with headphones in. I don't know about running, but I know that it's illegal to cycle with headphones.
runner

United States

#25 Jul 24, 2008
I run on the path 5 days a week and the "families walking five across" comment hits it right on the head. People need to treat the path no different than driving (no, not on the Dan Ryan or the Eisenhower).

I generally find that bikers and runners follow path courtesy rules exceptionally well. It's the walkers (read: tourists) and rollerbladers (too wide of a stride) that create problems. You should try running on the South side of the river near Michigan Ave!- Tourist paradise!
annjilly

Chicago, IL

#26 Jul 24, 2008
I was walking my 2 year old grandson on the path at Belmont Harbor a biker goes joyriding by and practically hit him when he was right next to me I turned and looked at her she put her hands up in the air and gave me a cocky look. This was on the inner walk for pedestrians. When will bikers be held accountable? I say license them and make them insure their bikes maybe they would be more responsible.
Go Chicago PD

AOL

#27 Jul 24, 2008
tripleydot wrote:
What does it matter what people are dressed in? Because you wear spandex doesn't mean youre a "lance armstrong wannabe"...spandex has been proven to be the best clothing to ride in for long distances. It could be that you've just seen someone riding a 100 mile tour around the Lake in their outfit.
harden up and worry about yourself.
The real crime here is that the LFP, which carries far more individuals than one lane of LSD, has no room for growth. In this "green" city, how about taking out a lane of traffic on LSD and segregating runners from rollerbladers from cyclists?
Why Not??? Lets just close them all.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 10
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Wicker Park Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Bruce Rauner tested by... Feb 22 reality is a crutch 1
At Least 27 Shot in Chicago Over Father's Day W... (Jun '14) Jun '14 reality is a crutch 4
Erin Ruberry: If You Only Have a Weekend in Chi... (Apr '14) Apr '14 snitchin hero 1
Is Chicago the Bermuda Triangle of stolen band ... (Apr '14) Apr '14 bensley reality 3
Chicago's Episcopal Church of the Mediator clos... (Dec '07) Nov '13 RevKen 20
High Demand: First Marijuana Clinic Opens In Ch... (Aug '13) Aug '13 medical 2
Chicago Dentist Treats Children with Autism and... (Dec '12) Jan '13 LifeasIknowit 9
Chicago Dating
Find my Match
More from around the web

Wicker Park People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]

NFL Latest News

Updated 5:40 pm PST