A typical Thanksgiving in Chicago includes visits to with family, big dinners, perhaps serving dinner to some who are less fortunate, and hoping that the Detroit Lions get their butts kicked on national television. It usually does not include "Sunny with a high of 60" or "Great day for a motorcycle ride", but this year was exceptional, so I headed out.
I decided to take the 3 hours of free time I had yesterday and head to the birthplace of American motorsport. On Thanksgiving Day, 1895, the first American automobile race was held. The start/finish line was in Jackson Park, part of the fair grounds for the recently held World's Columbian Exposition (1893). You can read more about the race here Chicago Times-Herald Race of 1895
and here Chicago Times-Herald race - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This historic event is memorialized by a plaque affixed to a small rock.
I took advantage of the light holiday traffic and cruised down Lake Shore Drive which parallels Lake Michigan. I didn't have time to truly capture the beauty of the lake yesterday, but I did get a couple of shots from LSD:
If you ever get the chance to ride Lake Shore Drive, stop at Buckingham Fountain, Milennium Park, The Museum Campus, and Navy Pier. I enjoyed looking at these places as I passed, but did not have time to stop.
It was a bit breezy, but the CBR250r performed well under me thanks to some key advice I picked up here on riding at speed and in the wind. There was a bit of a haze, but the sunlight still glimmered off of Chicago's world-famous skyline.
LSD takes a turn to the west and, at that point, separates the Museum of Science and Industry from the campus of The University of Chicago before turning back south through Jackson Park.
I was on the lookout for this small rock, but I did not need to look too hard as a row of 10 Ford Mustangs, 10-15 Harleys, a Ural with sidecar, a couple of vintage Chryslers and a Lotus Europa had beaten me to the spot. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I missed the turn off and had to drive around the block. This led me to drive past my 89 year old mom's old high school
When I got back to The Rock, I was able to meet, and be interviewed by, a local "celebrity", Bill Wildt. Bill hosts a cable access show called Motorsports Unlimited. He's been doing that since the 1980's, I think. Funny guy and his show has just the right mix of information and good "bad" TV.
Here you can see some of the vehicles that were on site.
On the ride home, I happened to pass Music House where I took music lessons when I was just a kid. I'm thinking I was there from 1968-1975. I couldn't believe the place was still there, so I stopped and snapped a pic.
A great day. A great ride. A great city. A great history. I am thankful for it all.