Next ride: Friday, April 24
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The Rides
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«   <  January, 2011 Ride  >   »
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Ride Reports:

The Polka Madness continues in the 12th Annual Polka Ride!



Report from the January, 2011 Ride:

About 150 folks gathered at the foot of the Picasso in Daley Plaza for the anniversary of the very first Polka ride in January of 1999. Several folks were pierogi-ified, including the infamous Pierogi John. There was a notably large presence of Chicago's finest, suitably dressed in Bike Police parkas and pants. I'm beginning to think that CCM is as much fun for them as it is for us during the "off" months of November through March.

After much chitchatting, sharing of Derailleurs, coupons for the Cycle Swap and other pamphlets and the like, the group whooped it up a few times and got rolling. We left Daley Plaza from the NE corner at about 6:15 pm. If you didn't get a _Derailleur_, I highly encourage you to download a copy from this website as it was an excellent issue.

The ride rolled pretty fast for much of the route which effectively split the mass up in to 3 distinct groups. Some of the cowboys headed off lickety-split, followed by the fleeter of the Chicago Bike cops. I'm not sure if they ever made it to the Lincoln Square Lanes, but no doubt they had a blast in the relatively mild January weather of 32°. The group I rode with enjoyed the fun pace, meandering through the neighborhoods (many of which are unfamiliar to this S. side girl, but were fun to check out) while chatting with fellow cyclists. I had a brief conversation with a visitor from Critical Mass ANCHORAGE. Yes, that's Alaska, guys. He had arrived via Seattle and Portland, overloading it by Amtrak to Chicago. I was hoping to hook up again with him, but I stopped to pick up a nice glove someone had dropped and lost him in the pack. (The glove was successfully reunited with it's owner at the Polka-fest, so all's well that end's well.) We got lots of happy honks from cars and trucks, a good smattering of smiles and waves from the restaurants we passed as well as the pedestrians we saw. The highlight of the ride was when some cager shouted out "get outta the road, ya Hippies!".

Once we arrived at the Lincoln Square Lanes, I noticed a large contingent of young guys congregated on the corner of Ainslie and Lincoln looking a bit lost. It was their first CCM, but they weren't old enough to get into the bar. They ended up heading out, but before they did, I encouraged them to check out future rides that were a bit more inclusive to younger riders.

Inside the bar, the Polkaholics were still getting set up when we arrived. Several arrivals coming in commented on the presence of a ton of bike police outside the entrance to the Lanes. There were about 15 police officers that I saw. I think they were wishing that they could join in the rhapsodies of polkaness, but alas, they were on duty.

The bar was populated by the usual suspects plus lots of new faces. The Polkaholics never cease to inspire one to excesses of dancing and ribaldry. We drank some beer, ate some pizza, laughed, danced, chatted, laughed and danced some more. Pierogi John was feted with due gratitude for helping to organize the event. John Greenfield led a hilarious parody entitled Lady Babka's Polka-face (Lady Gaga, eat your heart out!). We all danced to the fastest rendition of the Chicken Dance I have ever heard in my life. Everyone sang the Critical Mass Polka song ("Roll out the bicycle, We'll have a big mass of fun!"). Everyone had a bit more to drink. Late arrivals included JamiMaria in her fabulous POLKA dot dress and Julie H. coming from another event. All in all, it was great fun!

respectfully submitted by reptoJane


Add your own flyer...

Ride Flyers:

CCM Map January 2011



Designed by John Greenfield for the January, 2011 Ride
Download: MapCCM0111.jpg

The Derailleur January 2011



Designed by willow naeco for the January, 2011 Ride
Someone forgot to upload a file...

Polka Ride 2011



Designed by John Greenfield for the January, 2011 Ride

Thanks to John Greenfield for hooking up the rockin polka fun for ten years straight!

Download: CCM-Jan2011.jpg