Learn all-season cycling techniques at tomorrow’s Bike Winter 20th anniversary celebration – Streetsblog Chicago


Whenever you have a good idea, there is always an opponent who doubts it will work.

Michael Burton discovered this with his own eyes when he got the idea to promote cold-weather cycling by launching

. “

Some people in the collective thought it was too crazy an idea, ”says Burton. “When people say that, I know I’m on the right track.” The group promoted all-season cycling with tips on their website, hands-on clinics, group rides, meetups and more.

These negative comments were made some 20 years ago. Two decades later, the cold-weather cycling collective, which had fallen somewhat asleep in recent years, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary and ushering in a new era of advocacy, with a party this Wednesday, December 4 at 7 p.m. at Revolution Brewing’s. taproom, 3340 N. Kedzie Ave. “There will be five minute presentations on situationalism, winter camping, wilderness survival, balaklava making, recipe exchange, presentations,” Burton said. “It’s an open thing – whatever people want to do, they can use it. »The presentations will start at 8 p.m.

Burton is known for his semi-satirical propositions, like an early 2000s campaign to completely demolish Lake Shore Drive, so the whimsical reference to situationalism is quite normal. The Situationist International was an organization of important social revolutionaries in Europe between 1957-72. Burton says Bike Winter was inspired by the radicalism of the Situationists, and the winter cycling group was envisioned as “a basic DIY response that relied on robust individualism and mutual assistance.”

“It was after Critical Mass really took off in Chicago,” Burton said. “It was the community that gave birth to cycling in winter. A group of cyclists from Critical Mass in San Francisco got together for what they called “Bike Summer”. Chicago cyclists who attended came back here and we started talking about what would make a difference in the world of biking. We thought everyone was cycling in the summer, so we decided to cycle in the winter as well, to extend the cycling season. Bikes became a more important thing in our lives and brought together a strong community that we didn’t want to lose in the winter.

To that end, Burton and his cronies have organized events such as the Santa Cycle Rampage ride (which will take place this year on December 14), with people cycling around town in disguise as Santa Claus, elves and dreidels to spread the holiday cheer. Another annual event was to pedal to the entrance to McCormick Place to protest the Chicago Auto Show.

In addition to the presentations, Wednesday’s party will feature free balaclavas (while supplies last), a “no layering” winter clothing demo and free Bike Winter 20th anniversary stickers. Burton promises that participants dressed as Santa Claus or dreidel will receive a free beer. RSVP on Facebook if you like.

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