Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: email@example.com
We bicyclists here on the 13th Floor are lucky because our building offers a shower. That allows the seven or so of us who commute on two wheels, whether daily or from time to time, to bike in all kinds of weather.
The city of Chicago has provided that home away from home at a "cycle center" on the edge of Millennium Park. The facility provides showers, lockers and parking for 300 bikes. (It is now sponsored by McDonald's under a $5 million deal with the city.) And it's NICE. Glistening modern sinks, pristine locker room, indoor bike parking. Even a repair shop.
I was in Chicago last week, so I rented a bike from the cycle center. I rode north along the lake at 7 am on a weekday morning to check out who might be commuting in. Hordes of cyclists came at me with packs on their backs or bikes. In just 15 minutes, I counted 126 people rolling toward me, including three inline skaters. I decided to stop counting after that and just enjoy the view of Chicago architecture on one side and Lake Michigan on the other.
If Chicago is any example, if you build the bike facilities, they will ride.
Lots more pictures after the jump.
clean locker room
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.