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Chicago North Shore riders!(6 posts)

Chicago North Shore riders!rollo tommassi
Jul 24, 2001 7:44 AM
Alex, et. al.

I'm wondering if anyone, either officially through their club or as a private citizen has filed a complaint with Lake Forest (is that the correct jurisdiction?) regarding the spreading of tacks on St. Marys' Rd. over the past month?

Some of our riders (Albertos') found that some of the 'tacks' are handmade bits of twisted wire; this goes far beyond imagining that the tacks/nails are just falling off the back of a contractors' vehicle (as was the suggestion made to us last year by Police)

So far the tack pattern has been in the area south of Rt. 60 at St Marys' (right by the stables); on Everett just over the Tollway bridge; St. Marys' just north of Old School Rd.

If you have encountered this sabotage in other areas I would love to hear from you. I have been riding in the area for over 12 years, and the amount of traffic and the belligerence of drivers has increased dramatically over the past 5 years. We all must realise that there is a person or are persons out there who mean us harm and they must be stopped.

We have been changing our routes to avoid the caltrops.

A clubmate of mine had a great idea: "If they think having a bunch of cyclists on the road is causing traffic problems, let's see what they say when we all drive our cars exactly at the speed limit on the weekends."
Chicago North Shore riders!TommyBoy
Jul 24, 2001 9:41 AM
I've never ridden in that area, but I wold definitely contact the police again. If you have the time, take a cell phone with you and have the police come to you so you can show them the scene. It sounds like a public hazard - more than just anti-bike sabotage. I would also write a scathing letter to the editor of both the Trib. and the Sun-Times, and follow up with a call. Now, during the TdF when at least a few more people are paying attention to cycling, would be the perfect time. Strike while the iron is hot.
Know of the problem, have not filed complaintAlexR
Jul 24, 2001 12:01 PM
I hit a tack on St. Mary's last September. When I heard how common this was, I stopped riding that route. This summer I've ridden St. Mary's just about every weekend without incident. If I do hit another tack, or see some man-made puncturers, I will definitely call the cops.

Maybe I'll see you tonight (it's Tues.) and we can rap about it.


St. Marysrollo tommassi
Jul 24, 2001 12:57 PM
Ah - can't make it to the track tonight! You know, if you think of it, could you leave those leather toe straps with Brendan? Just ask him to leave them in his toolbox and I'll get them Thursday night.Thanks!

The whole tack issue does seem to weed out who the "flat magnets" are in the peloton. Sometimes our group gets nothing whereas a group 5 minutes behind us gets decimated with 3-5 flats at once!! I myself haven't flatted, but that may be because us city rats ride 400gram tires with Mr. Tuffys!

Which begs the question whether or not it truly is a driver, or a totally insane cyclist thinking it's a funny joke......

Some of our group have contacted the Lake County Sheriff as well as the State Police (Rt. 60 is State Police jurisdiction, whereas St. Marys' is Lake County - kinda wacky, eh?) so the word is out. What can they do? I don't really know, but I think we do need to keep up a dialogue with them to express our concerns. I know the police respond favorably when it is a question of safety on the road, as opposed to us complaining about drivers in general.

If you could, tell people to 'save the evidence', especially if the culprits are handmade twisted-wire things. If the Sheriff starts getting them in the mail with a letter of complaint, it'll really get his attention.

You know, as a complete side thought, these tacks are also a HUGE issue for the equestrian users that ride on St. Marys' as an easement between the Des Plaines trails. A sharp spike would be deadly for a rider on a spooked horse...Wouldn't it be novel to have cyclists and equestrians banding together?!?!

Hopefully some of the heavy rains we've had will take care of the problem, but the issue makes it more imperative than ever that all of us riding in groups need to do so in tight, disciplined pacelines and to stop at the lights.

I think that Albertos', the Judson, and the Mafia ride are the largest groups out there, and I'm sure we are perceived as being the biggest trouble makers just from our size. My biggest fear over the years has been getting roads closed off to cyclists - because if they can do it in Palos on the trails, they can do it anywhere.
Alberto's, Judson and Mafia are the biggest users...AlexR
Jul 25, 2001 7:46 AM
But Judson is the problem user. When we cross paths with A's I always look longingly at the nice pack you folks keep. Turin and 2CC (the 2 main Judson participants) do not make a habit of sharing the road. Craziest of all is the Turin Wed. night ride. I did that ride for the first two months of summer. After one very ugly incident (and innumerable smaller things - like flying through blind stops) I gave it up, and have been cruising mostly solo on the roads.

Point being - your efforts toward good citizenship are not being supported by all.

ANyway - the straps - if you aren't there next Tuesday, I'll just give them to Brendan. I forgot to bring them last night.

That's interesting you say that....rollo tommassi
Jul 25, 2001 12:39 PM
about the Judson ride: I'm sure that it is the reason they get pulled over EVERY WEEKEND by the cops.

I personally know a lot of those guys "from way back", and some of them are hard to reason with. Some of them are lawyers, too, so go figure.

Albertos' is often maligned as being too 'exclusive', as we try to control our rides and have some level of discipline. They would rather have what they have - a free for all and everyone else be damned. A few years ago we had a huge influx of new riders - some who joined the club but many others from other clubs who just came to participate in our weekend rides. The group grew to be 50-60 people, and there were problems with people not obeying the rules/law. We then "laid down the law", and announced that only clubmembers could participate in the weekend rides. Boy did people get pissed at us!! Shouting arguements on Sheridan Rd. and everything. We argued that as a sanctioned USCF club, and the weekend rides being subject to USCF permitting rules, we were entitled to exclude those who could jeopardise our club status, our insurance, or just our good name.
People claimed we were telling people that they "couldn't ride the road" or our route, which wasn't true - they just didn't want to understand the real problem and behave. In the end, the crowds went away, the rides got civilised, and the new people - like yourself - who appreciate what we do, stayed with us and (we believe) learned a lot about the sport.

One would hope that more people feel like you, and as they stop patronising these hair-brained rides, the popularity of that ride dwindles until there are just the core 10 or so knuckleheads that make life miserable for us all. Honestly, I don't blame the locals in their SUV's for being pissed as hell at us.

The problem isn't the tacks - it's the lack of tact on the part of the riders.

Hope to see you this weekend, and perhaps we can talk more and spread the faith...