Every morning, my ride goes Albany, Fullerton, Milwaukee, Kinzie, Wells, and short of one day when I had to drag luggage behind me for a weekend trip, I've biked to and from work every day since early July. I'm happy to see other folks riding down Milwaukee every day. I recognize some of them performing the same routine: there goes the guy with an orange milk crate again, there goes the lady with the spare-parts red Schwinn. And biking downtown tends to give me a certain awareness of how the rest of the traffic is moving that I hadn't had before; some days, I feel like I know more about pedestrians' behavior than they do.
At a coffee shop today, I ran into a friend working behind the barr. He comped my drink. On my way back to work, I ran into five different people. Summer shrinks this city; it barely feels like a city anymore. The feeling is nice: a firm acceptance.
Tonight is going to be fairly standard: a presentation at work, and a friend's birthday party at 7pm. I'll ride up the lakefront path to Lincoln Square, unseasonably warm, dodging head-to-toe spandex types who ride at mach 2, and eat some pizza. Some days are like this. More often, though, I ride home and keep working on my own projects, or relax with my girlfriend, or go out for beer with folks in Logan. Summer has been good for that. It doesn't feel like the warmth is about to end, and I have no idea how to resolve the disconnect in my head.
A lot of things have changed in my life in the past year, but the routine has not. I'm grateful for that, and for my friends, and for some days in September when it's 90 out. After enough routine and enough little victories, I realize that I must be doing something right.
About the author: Nick Disabato is an interaction designer from Logan Square. Last year, he wrote a book called Cadence & Slang. He tweets @nickd