A beautiful summer morning here in Chicago, and I went for a bike ride through the park.
The Lyft people maintain a fleet of rental bicycles in the city. There are several thousand bicycles and hundreds of stations where you pick one up or take it back. There is a station in the park not far from our building.
These machines are very heavy, very clunky, and very slow. It’s like pedaling a Buick. But they are good physical activity, and you don’t have to worry about maintenance or bringing them back to where you started, as you can leave them at any station in the city. They are not like riding a real bike; it’s more like an exercise bike at the gym. If you can imagine the exercise bike at the gym going out the door and through the park, you get the idea.
I rode downtown along the lakefront, intending to leave the bike there and take the bus home. However, when I arrived at the station, all the docks were full and there was nowhere to leave the bike (you are charged a per-minute fee until you return the bike to a dock).
There was a Divvy man there, and he told me “Sorry, this station is full.”
Then he asked me, “Russian cedar?”
I said “What?”
He asked me again, “Russian cedar?”
I’m thinking that I have no idea what kind of bush a Russian cedar is or why he would be asking me about one when he said, “There’s a station at the corner of Rush and Cedar,” pointing westward.
I don’t like riding on city streets, but it turned out that to get to Rush and Cedar, I pedalled through a residential area of the Gold Coast and there wasn’t any traffic.
Big fancy condo towers. And when women came out of them, I was astounded. They looked like people on TV! I had no idea there were actually people that looked like that outside of Hollywood.
But after I docked the bike at Rush and Cedar, and was walking back to Michigan Avenue, a fat sleek rat ambled across the sidewalk right in front of one of those super expensive high rises. So even the rich have the same rats the rest of us do.