I’m pretty new to Chicago, the city of a shitload of hard-core bicyclists. I started as an intern here last month, and arriving most recently from California, I was thrown by the sight of a bundled-up biker pedaling his way down Dearborn two weeks ago during a snowstorm. One of my fellow bus-stop loiterers gave a “Woo!” of excitement and encouragement and the biker cheered back. I thought, “You have to be crazy to bike through slush, ice, and snowfall in the midst of Chicago city traffic.” Less than ten minutes later a second bicyclist rolled by.
About a week later, I was browsing ads, looking for a part-time job, and stumbled upon a post from the Chicago Messenger Service looking for bike messengers. “Large downtown courier service adding to biker fleet,” the ad read, leaving out the “in the dead of winter” part. Although the weather has been nice the past couple of days, I doubt I would be up for delivering packages and letters at breakneck pace, when the weather could deteriorate at the change of a traffic signal.