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Glorious Boulevard Lakefront Tour
We had a truly beautiful day for our annual fundraiser, the Boulevard Lakefront Tour. We experimented with a new start/finish line due to the conflict with the half marathon happening just east of our normal festival area. We made the switch in consulation with the City of Chicago, and while some participants struggled to find the new location or went to the old location looking for us, it was the right thing to do. It cut down on traffic and allowed cyclists to not be impeded by marathoners walking to and from their car. We are examining possible new locations for 2010 that may open up more opportunities.
I want to thank all of our passionate volunteers who spent hours before, during and after the event. I heard some great stories I'd like to share:
1. Long time volunteer Anne Alt, who after seeing a particular rough part of the route over the 100th Street Bridge over the Calumet River, emailed her concern into the City. The City Department of Transportation came through in only one day notice to quickly solve the problem.
2. One of our participants was following another cyclist along the route and got away from the rest of his family — only to find out that the person he was following wasn't on the BLT. Now complete lost, broke and discouraged, a cab driver gave him a free cab ride all the way back to Washington Park. He then started back on the same route riding fast until he caught back up with his family.
3. …and of course, the stories of people who have never ridden a bicycle in the City of Chicago who got the chance to experience new neighborhoods and the joys of the emerald necklace that embodies Daniel Burnham's dream.
Thank you to our event staff for another great day: Christinie (Event Director), Daaron (Event Registration manager), Cynthia (BLT Volunteer Manager), Ethan (Marketing Director), Chris (Web design), Mitch (graphic design), and all of our regular non-event staff who made the say so wonderful. Thanks also to the Webstirs, our band, who contributed the music and sound system. Thanks to Howard for a day of announcements and south side history/trivia. Thanks to all the sag drivers and Jim Kreps (Sag Manager) for driving around the City picking up riders who for whatever reason had trouble finishing the route. Thanks to the unheralded route markers who go out early in the morning in the dark on bicycles and marked all 77 miles of routes so people could find their way. To the sign putter-uppers and the sign-taker-downers (by the way, if you happen to see one we missed, feel free to cut it down for us and drop it off in the office some day).
Finally, thank you to all the participants. Your registration fees go to support our work to improve biking, walking and transit throughout Chicagoland.
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