Have Bike, Will Travel: Jennifer’s General Carlessness

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(Photo credit: Jennifer.)

This content originally appeared on my former Chicagosphere online-media blog, hosted on the Chicago Tribune‘s ChicagoNow network.

Jennifer, scribe of the blog, General Carlessness, is one of those Chicagoans who rides her bike year round and lives to tell the tale. Irrespective of the autumnal weather Chicago’s been under since Memorial Day, technically we’re in the heart of cycling season. As always, with the coming of allegedly warm summer temperatures, out roll this town’s less-stalwart cyclists who’ve spent the Windy City’s chillier months taking transit to work. These seasonal pishers just crowd the beloved bike lanes Jennifer plys year-round.

Her blog follows her life as a young female cyclist in the Windy City, through trials and tribulations of traffic, touring, policy, and fashion. For a good cross-section of her story, consider: a highly interesting tour of forgotten lakes and failed industry south of Lake Calumet; the pyrrhic Huge Purse Curse bike bag search; tongue-in-cheek guides about Bike Touring for Weenies and accidentally going car-free; a diatribe against small-minded traffic policy; a call to action for winter bike commuting; and the timeless lakefront battle between cyclists and pedestrians.

And of course, there’s the obligatory flickr chronicle of her many rides. (Check out the bucolic Joliet to Lemont and Joliet to Lockport canal-ride sets.)

The blog is more than merely interesting. It’s a good example of how any Chicagoan with two wheels can live a life off the gas pump. If you ever browsed the Active Transportation Alliance (the former Chicagoland Bicycle Federation) and wondered whether you had the chops to pedal your way around Chitown, Jennifer’s General Carlessness may be just the inspiration you’re looking for.

Wear a bike helmet folks. Becoming a statistic is for pishers, too…

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