Continuing on with my posting frenzy of the past couple of days, I have to share what the four of us did on Sunday!

We hauled our butts out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and headed to Chicago (the fifteen-year-old drove…and did well!) for “Bike the Drive”, an annual bicycle event which is, as of last year, our family’s tradition. On this morning, Lake Shore Drive (or, LSD) gets closed off to automobiles from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., which is a big deal because it’s one of the major downtown roads, and it gets swarmed with people on their bikes. It’s a 30-mile ride, starting in Grant Park and heading 7.5 miles south to the Museum of Science and Industry. There, you get snacks, have a potty break if you need one, and then ride 15 miles north on LSD to Bryn Mawr Avenue. More snacks and potty break, and then back 7.5 miles south to Grant Park. This year’s ride was awesome; not only was the weather beautiful (last year it rained until we got back in the car to go home!), but the younger boy did not complain at all (last year he was all about “Are we done yet?”); just an all-around great morning. And it felt great to get 30 miles in before many sleepy-heads were even out of bed!

Before the ride, we found the lot we parked in last year, which gave us easy access to the starting line. Here’s the thirteen-year-old in full bike regalia. He’s got the spandex, padded bike shorts underneath the corduroys, but was feeling modest. I’m loving the bike hat. (The helmet goes on top, of course!)

The fifteen-year-old–who, on our bike ride last weekend ALSO wore another pair of shorts over the spandex–was overheard saying to his brother (at 4:30 a.m.), “Come on, J! The place will be crawling with bikers! Just forget about your modesty!” Here he is, putting on the Bullfrog sunscreen.

The younger boy has had a few near-accidents when his shoelaces have gotten caught in the chain, so he came up with a creative way to eliminate that problem, and his brother followed suit (Duck Tape fixes everything!):

You just can’t get this kind of skyline view any other way, really.

Headed north from the Museum of Science and Industry. I love this city.

Even the color of Lake Michigan was totally, unbelievably “yummy”, though I bet up close it probably didn’t sparkle blue as it seemed to from LSD.

My guys:

Coming back south towards the John Hancock Building (approaching the Gold Coast area, Oprah’s ‘hood):

I honestly considered finding a way to attach my tiara to my helmet, even just for a photo opportunity, but ran out of time. At least I wore pink: they could spot me a mile away.

When headed back south, I decided to try and be fancy so you could experience “riding” down LSD with me. As you can see, I really risked my life to take this video for you:

After that scary experience, I pulled over and took a smoother shot.

Towards the end of the ride, making our way back into the skyline of Chicago, I sped up and really, really took it all in. What a great ride! I took it even further by imagining the voices of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen in my head on the home stretch.

After the ride, we ended up back at Grant Park for the post-ride festival. I didn’t care much about walking around to the booths after we picked up our event t-shirts, but enjoyed the festival for a while (and the sounds of the Beatles’ tribute band “American English”) from this position:

After laying around for a bit, it was time to get to the car and make our way back to the burbs…but not before stopping at one of my all-time favorite places in the whole wide world, Buckingham Fountain.

You might know it from the opening of the show “Married with Children”. This fountain is amazing. At night, there is a beautiful light show…ahhh, the city. I love it.

We headed home, grabbed lunch, napped for 90 minutes, and still had half a day to enjoy! Can’t wait til next year!