May 30, 2006


That was the longest weekend I've had in a while. I went up to Chicago with two friends, fellow philosophers -- the three of us were hired judges for a high school debate tournament. The actual debates were tedious at best, and mostly just obnoxious, and the hotel thought it was perfectly acceptable not to include a complimentary breakfast with their overpriced rooms, and so on. But we did spend half of Friday and half of Sunday wandering around Chicago, including a trip to one of my favourite bookstores.

Ironically, I completely forgot that the last weekend in May is a big bicycling thing in Chicago. Rush hour on Friday was May's Critical Mass, which had a huge turnout -- easily 700 people, tying traffic up for almost an hour. But that happens every month; what's special about the last Sunday of May is Bike the Drive, where Lake Shore Drive is closed from 6-10 in the morning. Turnout is usually in the thousands, and the ride finishes up in Grant Park with a festival atmosphere -- the local NBC affiliate had three or four live bands, the biggest bike shops have clinics, and various lefty groups set up tents to pass out literature. While I didn't have my bike (not allowed on the train, even if I had remembered it), the camera goes with me just about everywhere, and there are pictures below the fold.




The vegan ice cream was quite popular, especially since it was unseasonably hot (about 80 degrees with high humidity when I took this at 9a; highs were close to 90 in the afternoon). Some vegan ice creams can be kind of sketchy, with a heavy tofu flavour, but the strawberry I had was sweet, mild, and creamy.
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