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Compassion Flows on Lake Shore Drive

By Tankboy in Miscellaneous on May 28, 2007 6:30PM

2007_05_bikethedrive.jpgWhat happens when you remove all the cars from Lake Shore Drive? It gets filled with bikes. Thousands of bikes. Even with a little drizzle enveloping the skyline. And what fills the absence of auto noise and noxious emissions? The sweet smell of the lake, clicking of gears, the squeaks of bicycle chains, the voices of toddlers being pulled along by their fathers and mothers as they ask, “How much longer until the pancakes?”

But if you listened harder. You began to hear it, you began to feel it – Lake Shore Drive was filling with compassion.

The sound of compassion was everywhere. Without being confined to cars, people began to take care of each other. Complete strangers connecting with each other compassionately. Oprah would be so proud.

“Is everybody okay? Anybody need help?” we heard one biker ask as he passed people stopped alongside the road.

“Sweetie, move to the right so you don’t get hurt,” we heard another biker instruct a younger child on the etiquette of biking.

A woman calling herself Kangaroo Kathy passed us, pointing out our helmet was on wrong. “Your helmet is on backwards. If you fall off your bike, it will do you no good,” she said.

Now Chicagoist is a child of the 70s. We didn’t wear seat belts, let alone any other safety gear. This whole helmet thing came about in-between adulthood and the Internet, so how the heck are we supposed to know when we have a helmet on backwards?

We both stopped so she could explain the proper way to wear a helmet. You should be able to see the front of the helmet when you look forward, and the straps should come together right below your ear, with the strap snug beneath your chin. If the straps don’t come together that way, get help. And riding with thousands of other helpful folks, all one had to do was ask.

Thanks, Tim!