This past weekend Megan and I attended the annual L.A.T.E. Ride of Chicago. This is a night bicycle ride through the various neighborhoods of Chicago design to raise money for the parks. It usually has a great turnout of 5,000 - 6,000 people. This year however seems to have a much larger number of people show up. I learned later that there was a Groupon at some point over the past several months.
Unfortunately it seems that this influx of people had a pretty detrimental effect on the overall event. Right out of the gate the starting times were excruciatingly slow. We were in the third group of riders and in the past the organizers generally late groups go about every ten minutes. This year the groups were let out in about twenty minute intervals, so we didn't even get out of the gate until an hour later.
Pace for the event was excruciatingly slow. Now this is not a race, but it seems that some of the people participating in the event didn't even know the most basic of riding etiquette, riding 6-8 across the street.
To top it off when we arrived at the rest stop half way through the course all of the water, bananas and snacks were gone. More than half of the participants must have still been on the course, so clearly there was some sort of breakdown in communication.
Overall not the greatest of events this year, and to top things off the front brake on my bike broke right when we got there. I have a decent Trek 820 that I have had since eighth grade. The bike is in OK shape, but is at least fifteen years old at this point. I think it might be time to get myself a new casual bike for riding around town in addition to a road bike for exercise.