I hope this doesn’t sound too weird, but I get a lot of comments about the background of my profile picture. (Don’t worry, I don’t make a habit out of sticking my photo in blog posts.) Some want to know where the sunset photo was taken. I agree it looks like a beautiful sunset. But, my friends, it happens to be sunrise. Yes, and I’m about to explain.Of course, right? You know me too well.
Some years ago I did what is called the L.A.T.E. Ride—Long After Twilight Ends. It takes place in Chicago, Illinois. This year it took place on June 29th. Oh, that was my birthday. One day I will do this bicycle ride again. The ride is twenty-five miles through downtown Chicago and surrounding neighborhoods in the middle of the night. Freaking awesome!
When I did it, there were 10,000 participants. Don’t plan on riding when you start. You can’t ride a bicycle amidst 10,000 people. Sit on the seat with your feet on the ground and every now and then you might get a pedal cycle in. Usually not for miles though until it starts to thin out. The first year I left in the fourth wave. Next year, I started between the second and third wave. (Broke the rules a little and took off early.)
This is also the best way to run a traffic light in downtown Chicago! Hey, the police encourage it. For participants only and while the police still have roads blocked off. Otherwise, be prepared to stop. Oh, and hope the people behind you stop, too. Ouch, pileup. Tip: Yell out that you’re stopping or slowing down. Please do that! Another tip: Biking gloves, helmet, and a padded seat. No thongs. ← I mean, really? 0|0 Really.
The sunrise happened on the last stretch. When we arrived, the sky had just begun to lighten and then there was a pink glow on the horizon, gradually lightening and taking on more colors. Awe-inspiring. Notice the few minutes difference in the large photo and then in my photo when the sun is higher. To the right of where I’m standing you can see the downtown skyline, well, not in my photo, but if you were there with me, you’d see it.
Visit L.A.T.E. Ride if you’d like to learn more. Their Facebook page has a photo of the sunrise. You’ll see how many people have to stop due to the beauty coming over Lake Michigan. In my state of Michigan I’ve seen many outrageous sunsets going down over Lake Michigan, so to be able to view the sun coming up over the same lake, I thought was totally cool.
I’ve done the ride twice, and both times stopped to watch the sun rise. It’s a nice place for a break with still about five miles to go. Don’t quote me on that! It felt like another twenty by time we rode over the finish line.
If you’re anywhere in the vicinity, I recommend the fun.The website has so much more to say about it. Go ahead. Try it next year.
Speaking of bike rides, my son and his girlfriend did sixty miles in northern lower Michigan this past weekend along the Lake Michigan shoreline. That’s a little much for me. So, congratulations to them.