Bicycle City

By Zach Christman
|  Sunday, Aug 29, 2010  |  Updated 12:46 PM CDT
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Bicycle City

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If you're out and about Sunday, you might happen across a few thousand bicyclists all over the city.

Remain calm. This isn't a takeover by a two-wheeled army of carbon-neutral transportation enthusiasts. There are actually two big cycling events going on today.

More than 10,000 athletes are taking part in The Chicago Triathlon today.  The event takes over the lakefront, from swimming in Monroe Harbor, running from Buckingham Fountain to just south of McCormick Place, and, of course, bicycling along Lake Shore Drive. One lane in each direction is marked off with cones for riders all the way up to Foster on the north end.

But be warned -- these cyclists are jockeying for position, and some have been known to dart out of their lane into traffic in order to pass. So if you're driving by them, please go slowly and use caution.

The second event is the annual Boulevard Lakefront Tour, part of the city's Bike Chicago initiative.

The ride starts at Morgan and Taylor, on UIC's campus, proceeds south and west through neighborhoods like Pilsen, Kenwood, Bronzeville, Chinatown, Little Village, and out into the surrounding cities of Cicero, Berwyn, Riverside, Forest Park, Oak Park, River Forest, Elmwood Park, and then back into Chicago at Riis Park. The 62-mile ride then continues through Logan Square, Palmer Square, Humboldt Park, the Ukranian Village and Near West Side. Whew!

Both rides start and are intended to finish early, but stragglers usually take hours to finish, particularly the Boulevard Lakefront Tour.

So keep your eyes open, drive safe, and don't be surprised if you get overrun by a pack of bicycles.

If you have images of either event you'd like to share, e-mail them to isee@nbcchicago.com.

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