Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I Am Your Neighbor Episode 7 - Midnight Bike Ride

I'm one of those nerds that reads my college alumni rags. Since I shuffled through three institutions before graduating, I have multiple periodicals to choose from the basket next to the toilet in the "reading room" whenever I decide to go rogue and read an actual magazine instead of scrolling through the highlights online.

Leafing through an old Loyola Magazine last year, a reference to Professor Timothy Gilfoyle's Midnight Bike Ride stood out among the glossy pages of articles and snippets dedicated to service, social change and education. Turns out this cool cat has been illuminating history, urban planning, and architecture through a nighttime lens for this students and friends since he joined the institution in 1989, where he still teaches history.
I Am Your Neighbor Midnight Bike Ride - StacySaysIt - Stacy Snyder
My "buddy" Chaya

I added the biannual ride (April and September) to my bucket list and by the time I looked up the specifics, the next ride was scheduled for the following week, just enough time for me to order my helmet camera equipment, air up my tires, and clear my schedule for the night!

I Am Your Neighbor Midnight Bike Ride - StacySaysIt - Stacy Snyder
Me and my head gear
Meeting at 9pm on the Lake Shore Campus, we all chose a buddy to keep track of, learned the route for the late night ride, and headed off on a two-wheel adventure! Over the next hours I met loads of students (whom I learned accumulated extra credit in Professor Gilfoyle's class for attending the ride), teachers, and community members, ranging from first timers to annual participants. We hit 20-ish spots across the city where we heard stories about folklore, politics, and the future of Chicago. The bike ride was leisurely, yet long, and filled with idle chatter in between historical references. The 70+ riders that started with us at the beginning of the ride, dwindled down to around 20 by the time I begged off at 5am.

I loved The Midnight Bike Ride and would not only do it again, as each ride is different than the last, but I'd also wholeheartedly suggest it to anyone who loves to bike, be alive when everyone else is sleeping, or has an interest in history, architecture, or urban planning. Those of you out there who just like to keep feeding your brain in general will love it too, as I truly can't decide if I got more out of the ride, the tour, or the interaction with the college students!