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Saturday July 26th Tour de France LTH-style

Saturday July 26th Tour de France LTH-style
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  • Post #31 - July 11th, 2008, 2:38 pm
    Post #31 - July 11th, 2008, 2:38 pm Post #31 - July 11th, 2008, 2:38 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:FYI: We considered changing lunch from Pastoral to Cook Au Vin. However, I called Cook Au Vin, and they said they have an event on the 26th. They couldn't confirm their hours for that day and said I should call that morning to confirm that someone will be in the shop. It all sounded too uncertain to plan for.

    Sharon


    I stopped in a Cook au Vin today to check it out. First of all, it is a very small space and probably not big enough to accommodate your group. The selection of goods for sale is pitifully weak, with a small cheese cooler containing 6 - 7 offerings and a set of shelves with some condiments that could be gotten elsewhere. They do offer a small menu of sandwiches and crepes, however.

    I ended up buying a baguette and some very overpriced French hand churned butter with sea salt crystals (nearly $9.00 for approx 8 oz + $2 for a demi-baugette). The butter was (is) fantastic and the baguette was pretty good as well. I probably won't be returning. They seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted to actually purchase something and the clerk had to get someone from the back of the store to figure out how to work the cash register. You probably made a good choice in not adding this place to the Tour.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #32 - July 11th, 2008, 3:01 pm
    Post #32 - July 11th, 2008, 3:01 pm Post #32 - July 11th, 2008, 3:01 pm
    stevez wrote:I stopped in a Cook au Vin today to check it out. First of all, it is a very small space and probably not big enough to accommodate your group. The selection of goods for sale is pitifully weak, with a small cheese cooler containing 6 - 7 offerings and a set of shelves with some condiments that could be gotten elsewhere. They do offer a small menu of sandwiches and crepes, however.

    I ended up buying a baguette and some very overpriced French hand churned butter with sea salt crystals (nearly $9.00 for approx 8 oz + $2 for a demi-baugette). The butter was (is) fantastic and the baguette was pretty good as well. I probably won't be returning. They seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted to actually purchase something and the clerk had to get someone from the back of the store to figure out how to work the cash register. You probably made a good choice in not adding this place to the Tour.


    Thanks for the report. I'll probably wait now myself to pay a visit unless I'm very nearby.
  • Post #33 - July 11th, 2008, 6:11 pm
    Post #33 - July 11th, 2008, 6:11 pm Post #33 - July 11th, 2008, 6:11 pm
    You beat me, stevez!
    I'm pretty surprised myself, considering it got a mention in the Trib. Looks like somebody didn't really research. I have to kill time for an hour on Wednesday, so I'll still stop by. I think that's where I saw the 2 legs of duck confit for $13 online.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #34 - July 16th, 2008, 8:24 am
    Post #34 - July 16th, 2008, 8:24 am Post #34 - July 16th, 2008, 8:24 am
    I can't attend this event. Bon appetit!
    Have another. It's 9:30, for God's sake. ~Roger Sterling
  • Post #35 - July 19th, 2008, 1:59 pm
    Post #35 - July 19th, 2008, 1:59 pm Post #35 - July 19th, 2008, 1:59 pm
    Hi all,

    The test ride of the Tour de France LTH-style that Dimitra and I were supposed to do this morning turned into a test drive because of the showers, but we collected all of the important information nonetheless. We've tweaked the itinerary one final time. We decided that Cyrano's on the Riverwalk was just too beautiful of a setting to pass up. So, we will go there for lunch instead of Pastoral. To give the Tour some semblance of visiting different regions of France, we've added an Alsatian element to the ride. For dinner, we'll stop at Brasserie Jo, where we can share tarte flambées and salads after our day on the road.

    There's a lot of information below. Please read carefully and post with any questions. We still have room on this ride, so if you haven't signed up yet and would like to join us, let us know! I think it's going to be a fantastic day--very relaxing, covering a decent swath of Chicago with some nice views from bridges and the Riverwalk and yummy food. I can't wait. See you Saturday at 10:30am at Vanille Patisserie, 2229 N. Clybourn!

    Croissants from Vanille Patisserie:
    Image

    ---------------------

    FINAL ITINERARY & COST
    10:30-11:30 Meet & croissants @ Vanille Patisserie
    11:30-12:30 Commute to Cyrano's on the Riverwalk
    12:30-2:00 Lunch @ Cyrano's
    2:00-3:00 Commute to Hot Doug's
    3:00-4:00 Duck fat frites @ Hot Doug's
    4:00-5:30 Commute to Brasserie Jo, brief stop @ Alliance Française
    5:30-7:30 Dinner @ Brasserie Jo

    Expect to spend $5-8 at Vanille, $10-$12 at Cyrano's on the Riverwalk, $3-5 at Hot Doug's and $15-$20 (depending on what you drink) at Brasserie Jo. You could easily spend no more than $40 for the whole day.

    ---------------------
    FINAL DIRECTIONS
    (Updated on Tour map; we'll have printed copies of these directions to share on Saturday)

    **During the Tour we will cross multiple bridges and RR tracks. Proceed with extra caution in these areas. Cross tracks at a 90 degree angle.**

    Vanille Patisserie to Cyrano's on the Riverwalk (~5 miles)
    South on Clybourn (~350 ft)
    L on Webster (~1 mile)
    R on Lincoln (~.6 miles)
    Soft R on Wells (~2 miles)
    L on Wacker, follow soft left (<.5 mile)
    Stop at Michigan, walk bikes across Michigan to NE corner
    At NE corner of Michigan & Wacker, carry bikes down to Riverwalk
    Walk about a block

    Cyrano's to Hot Doug's (~6.15 miles)
    Carry bikes back up to Michigan Ave & Wacker
    W on Wacker (~.3 miles)
    R on Dearborn (~.3 miles)
    L on Grand (~1 mile)
    (Grand just before Milwaukee, very uneven road)
    R on Milwaukee (3.35 miles)
    R on California (1.3 miles)
    Stop at Roscoe & California

    Hot Doug's to Alliance (~5.25 miles)
    S on California (<.25 mile)
    L on Elston (~3.25 miles)
    L on Division (~1.25 miles)
    R on Wells (<.5 miles)
    L on Chicago (~.5 mile)
    L on Dearborn to Alliance entrance

    Alliance to Brasserie Jo (<1 mile)
    E on Chicago (<.25 mile)
    R on State (~.5 mile)
    R on Grand (1 block)
    L on Clark (2 blocks)
    L on Hubbard (.5 block)

    TOTAL: ~18 miles

    ---------------------
    PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO THE FIRST STOP OR HOME AFTER DINNER
    You may choose to ride your bike to the first stop or home from the last stop. To get to Vanille Patisserie, you can either get off at the Fullerton Red/Brown Line stop or the North/Clybourn Red Line stop. The Grand Red Line stop is closest to Brasserie Jo if you'd like to use public transport to get home after dinner. Below are links to CTA, Pace & Metra bike policies.

    CTA
    http://www.transitchicago.com/welcome/biketran.txt

    Pace
    http://www.pacebus.com/sub/bus_system/bicycle_racks.asp

    Metra
    http://www.metrarail.com/general.html#Bikes

    ---------------------
    SAFETY

    In addition to the guidelines below, please bring a water bottle as it may be very hot on Saturday. It's important to stay well hydrated. Also, it'll be helpful to have a bike lock.

    Hellodali wrote:THE SAFETY GEEK’S GUIDE TO RIDING IN GROUPS
    *Stay alert – Much as you would like to be mentally savoring that last taste of gelato or thinking ahead to the next flavor you will try, pay attention to everything going on around you and try not to let your mind wander.

    *Be predictable - Other riders will expect you to continue straight ahead at a constant speed unless you let them know otherwise. Avoid sudden turns, stops, or erratic moves.

    *Use hand signals - Use hand and verbal signals to communicate with riders and other traffic: Left turn - left arm straight out to the side; Right turn, left arm out and bent at the elbow pointing up; stopping or slowing: left arm pointing down with your palm to the rear, or call out “slowing” or “stopping.”

    *Only pass other riders on the left – When passing another cyclist or pedestrian, call out "on your left" to warn them that you are passing.

    *Announce hazards – Riders behind you may not have a good view of the road ahead, so point out and loudly announce potholes, glass, gravel, grates, and other hazards. Also, if a parked car looks like it’s about to make a move (turn signal on to merge into traffic, driver looking like they might be about to open the door), point them out to riders behind you.

    *Be super careful at intersections - When approaching intersections requiring vehicles to yield or stop, call out "slowing" or "stopping" to alert those behind you. When passing through an intersection, look to your left and right and loudly warn the cyclists behind you if there is a car near the intersection by yelling “car left” or “car right”. If there is no car visible, you may yell “clear.” However, everyone is responsible for making sure they are clear to go through the intersection. Even if someone ahead of you yells “clear”, that doesn’t mean you should just breeze through. You should still slow down and look both ways before crossing the intersection.

    *Move off the road when you stop - Whether you are stopping because of mechanical problems or to regroup with fellow riders, move well off the road so you don't interfere with traffic.

    *Ride single file – Most of the streets we will be riding will have pretty consistent traffic so you want to stay single file and not weave back and forth between riding single or double. The only exception to this is when we are merging as a group into the left hand lane in order to make a left hand turn. We can then bunch up a bit to “take the lane.”

    *And lastly, don’t forget your helmet!

    Again, it's not that we're fussbudgets trying to restrict your freedom and fun on the ride. It's just that after logging so many miles over the years, we've seen many a close call (and had a few ourselves) and so appreciate that following the rules for riding safely will make it more likely that we'll all finish the ride safely. Again, don't hesitate to post with any questions. Look for a PM from Sharon with our cell phones and a weather update later in the week. I am so looking forward to our adventure on Saturday!


    ---------------------
    PEOPLE
    Please let us know if you are on this list and cannot make it since we'll wait for everyone to arrive at the first stop. If you haven't signed up and would like to join us, it's not too late! We could still take quite a few people--the more (up to 15 on bicycle), the merrier!

    Hellodali (bike)
    happy_stomach (bike)
    dansch (bike)
    Octarine (motorbike)
    Pie Lady (car/el - lunch @ Cyrano's only)
    Greenfish (bike)*

    *=tentative
    Last edited by happy_stomach on July 25th, 2008, 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #36 - July 23rd, 2008, 12:31 pm
    Post #36 - July 23rd, 2008, 12:31 pm Post #36 - July 23rd, 2008, 12:31 pm
    There is a slight change in plans for me :(
    I will definitely be going to the lunch at Cyrano's (make sure you reserve a seat for me!), but I'll have to skip everything else! I'll try to get to Vanille on Sunday, so you guys can fill me in on what I must try. See you at 12:30 Saturday!
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #37 - July 24th, 2008, 8:39 pm
    Post #37 - July 24th, 2008, 8:39 pm Post #37 - July 24th, 2008, 8:39 pm
    I regret that I will not be able to attend. My children have been sick and I fallen woefully behind at work, so my nose will be to the grindstone rather than the handlebars on Saturday. Have fun, everyone!
  • Post #38 - July 25th, 2008, 6:32 am
    Post #38 - July 25th, 2008, 6:32 am Post #38 - July 25th, 2008, 6:32 am
    Pie Lady wrote:I will definitely be going to the lunch at Cyrano's (make sure you reserve a seat for me!), but I'll have to skip everything else!


    Holly of Uptown wrote:I regret that I will not be able to attend. My children have been sick and I fallen woefully behind at work, so my nose will be to the grindstone rather than the handlebars on Saturday. Have fun, everyone!


    That's too bad! Pie Lady, we'll see you at Cyrano's. Holly, maybe you can join us next time.

    Our Tour ranks are dwindling, unfortunately, but the ride is definitely on. We welcome any last-minute takers!
  • Post #39 - July 25th, 2008, 7:35 am
    Post #39 - July 25th, 2008, 7:35 am Post #39 - July 25th, 2008, 7:35 am
    Wow, this month has flown by! I will be attending.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #40 - July 25th, 2008, 8:00 am
    Post #40 - July 25th, 2008, 8:00 am Post #40 - July 25th, 2008, 8:00 am
    I'm shown as tentative, but I'm definitely coming.

    See y'all tomorrow,
    -Dan
  • Post #41 - July 25th, 2008, 7:53 pm
    Post #41 - July 25th, 2008, 7:53 pm Post #41 - July 25th, 2008, 7:53 pm
    Sorry for the last minute notice, but I think I'm going to have to cancel. We just got back from vacation and I wasn't sure how I would feel so I wanted to wait until I knew for sure and I think it's not going to work out. Hope you guys have an excellent time!
    -- Nora --
    "Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want." ~Gael Greene
  • Post #42 - July 25th, 2008, 9:02 pm
    Post #42 - July 25th, 2008, 9:02 pm Post #42 - July 25th, 2008, 9:02 pm
    Hi! I just joined LTH today and was wondering if you were still accepting last minute takers for this ride, as my weekend plans fell through.

    I should probably let you know, I am somewhat of a rusty rider, so I may not be able to keep up with the rest of you for the entire ride, especially if it's going to be hot tomorrow, but I would certainly like to do as much as I can!

    Juli
  • Post #43 - July 25th, 2008, 10:31 pm
    Post #43 - July 25th, 2008, 10:31 pm Post #43 - July 25th, 2008, 10:31 pm
    Jules - it's not too late at all. Please join us. And you shouldn't have problems keeping up. We ride very leisurely. About 10miles an hour or so. We look forward to meeting you!
  • Post #44 - July 26th, 2008, 6:53 am
    Post #44 - July 26th, 2008, 6:53 am Post #44 - July 26th, 2008, 6:53 am
    Happy riding to all of you. Advance kudos to hellodali and happy_stomach for organizing this excellent event.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #45 - July 26th, 2008, 10:32 pm
    Post #45 - July 26th, 2008, 10:32 pm Post #45 - July 26th, 2008, 10:32 pm
    Thanks Dave for the good wishes.

    Just a quick note to say it was a very fun day, though we were a small, yet hearty group. It was great to meet dansch/Dan for the first time, as well as Juli and to spend more time with Octarine/Mike and a too brief time with PieLady who joined us at lunch. Sharon I'm sure will post with pictures and a more detailed account soon. I am still thinking about about the perfect croissant at Vanille and jars of rillettes we had at Cyrano's (one pork, one rabbit - we were split on our favorite of those two). And today marked my maiden visit to Hot Doug's and it was everything I had imagined it to be. Not exactly French, I know, but we had included it on for the duck fries/frites and to get some miles in to work off the rillettes. Of course, if you're waiting in line that long, you can't just get fries, right? So we also split several sausages - pork and Jack Daniels, rattlesnake, and a bourbon/blue cheese, I think. I can't remember them exactly, and I'm a bit tipsy after a night cap on the back deck. Since only Sharon, Dan and I were left for the last stop, we changed plans and decided to check out the new Madame Tartine on Hubbard instead of Brasserie Jo. While Dan was game for trying some more food, Sharon and I wussed out and so we all just split a berry plate with poached figs (I think) and fromage blanc, and some wine and beer. The fruit plate was a nice ending to a day of eating some pretty rich food. Madame Tartine is a lovely place, though the interior was a bit bordello-like. It was an all-around terrific day with good food, and as always, even better company - and the added "treat" of heaing "My Baby Takes the Morning Train" (Sheena Easton) and "House of the Rising Sun" in French. Merci beacoups to my partner in planning, Sharon. On to the Vuelta!
  • Post #46 - July 27th, 2008, 5:30 am
    Post #46 - July 27th, 2008, 5:30 am Post #46 - July 27th, 2008, 5:30 am
    David Hammond wrote:Happy riding to all of you. Advance kudos to hellodali and happy_stomach for organizing this excellent event.


    Thanks, David, and to our other well-wishers. Thank you also to stevez for making our Tour de France LTH-style sign and whoever the wizard is that changes out the corner logo and put the Tour in the spotlight. I ditto Dimitra's report above. I'll just add photos and a few of my own thoughts. Of course, I'm most grateful that all of the riders finished safely with happy stomachs on a beautiful day.

    Vanille had tables set up on the sidewalk, so we were able to enjoy our breakfast outdoors. The croissants were excellent as always. I tried a pain au chocolat yesterday morning. While it was good, the almond croissant there remains my clear favorite.

    Lunch at Cyrano’s was lovely. I’ve recently come to realize how underdeveloped the Chicago riverfront is. So many other cities use their riverfronts as stages for nightlife and outdoor dining…Cyrano’s is a great example of what Chicago could do. The setting was relatively quiet, fully shaded and right on the river.

    Pie Lady and jules80
    Image

    I was very surprised that with all of the summer tourists and particularly the ones lined up for boat tours on the riverwalk that fewer than half the tables were occupied at Cyrano’s when we arrived shortly after noon. My favorite item at lunch was the rabbit rillette for its strong lemon:

    Image

    The salad nicoise was also very satisfying:

    Image

    I was disappointed by the bread, which I think was supposed to be a baguette but tasted and had the texture of something similar to potato bread. I thought this was bizarre since I like the baguettes served at Cyrano’s on Wells.

    Our afternoon "snack" at Hot Doug's was well worth the wait in line.

    Image

    With four of us remaining, we ordered three specials:

    A smoked rattlesnake sausage with blueberry crème sauce and smoked gouda
    Image

    A blue cheese pork sausage with pear puree and smoked almonds
    Image

    A Jack Daniels and fennel smoked pork sausage with peppery dijonnaise and Saint Rocco cheese
    Image

    This last sausage was my favorite because it seemed to have the greatest balance of flavors--neither sausage nor sauce nor cheese overpowered the other two components.

    Of course, the duck fat frites weren’t bad either!

    Image

    Hellodali, dansch and Octarine
    Image

    Dimitra, Dan and I rounded out the day with a stop at Madame Tartine. We thought we might add on to CCCB’s findings, but I can't say much more than our berry plate was OK.

    Image

    I liked their outdoor seating area on that relatively quiet stretch of Hubbard, but I thought the inside looked bordello-esque, as Dimitra helped me put it. In other words, the décor inside was a little flashy for my taste, but I imagine others might find it an appealing setting for a date or something like that.

    I wish there were time in the summer for a dozen more bike & eat events, but we'll just have to make the Vuelta a Tacos really stupendous! I can't wait to finalize the Vuelta stops and do some test riding. You'll hear from me and Dimitra about all of that soon! Thanks again, everyone!
  • Post #47 - July 27th, 2008, 2:36 pm
    Post #47 - July 27th, 2008, 2:36 pm Post #47 - July 27th, 2008, 2:36 pm
    I just wanted to toss in that I had a great time with this event and wanted to thank happy_stomach and hellodali for organizing it. Calorie-positive cycling is a trend worth exploring more in the future - I'm looking forward to the Vuelta a Tacos.

    -Dan
  • Post #48 - July 27th, 2008, 3:43 pm
    Post #48 - July 27th, 2008, 3:43 pm Post #48 - July 27th, 2008, 3:43 pm
    I would also like to thank Sharon and
    Dimitra for a wonderful introduction to LTH! I'm looking forward to the Vuelta and any other events you guys will be planning! :mrgreen:
  • Post #49 - July 28th, 2008, 5:57 am
    Post #49 - July 28th, 2008, 5:57 am Post #49 - July 28th, 2008, 5:57 am
    Thanks from me too! I wish I could've stayed!
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #50 - July 28th, 2008, 12:36 pm
    Post #50 - July 28th, 2008, 12:36 pm Post #50 - July 28th, 2008, 12:36 pm
    I was very surprised that with all of the summer tourists and particularly the ones lined up for boat tours on the riverwalk that fewer than half the tables were occupied at Cyrano’s when we arrived shortly after noon.

    Didn't even know this place existed & I live around the corner. Def have the check it out.

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