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Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

Rain doesn't slow down this bike commuter

The following Bike to Work Week guest blog post is from Liz LeBreton, a member of the Bike Commuter Challenge team at Region 5 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She wrote about her commute on Thursday morning.  

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services bike to workers Liz LeBreton and Bryan Schulz

This morning’s weather report said rain, but the sun was shining as I packed my bag and headed out the door for work. I am, admittedly, a fair-weather bicycle commuter. I don’t mind extreme heat or cold, but I tend to opt for the CTA when rain is likely.

This week however, in honor of Bike to Work Week, I was willing to risk a damp arrival at the office for the sake of bike commuter pride.

I started commuting by bike as a poor graduate student in 2006 after several years of reverse-commuting to the Northwest Suburbs, and it undoubtedly changed my life. I quickly became an enthusiast, even an evangelist, taking any opportunity to tell people how great it feels to explore Chicago on two wheels.

Commuting by bike appeals to my practical side: I save money, time, and I sneak in some enjoyable exercise. I also love how cycling gives me an intimate view of Chicago’s neighborhoods and people.

I stopped to savor my ride this morning as I pulled up to the stoplight at Milwaukee and Kinzie along with the usual crowd of cyclists. The new bike lane made my previously-hairy turn onto Kinzie a breeze; I can’t stop singing the praises of the brand new protected bike lane. I’m so proud of Chicago for taking steps to make the streets safer and more enjoyable for cyclists.