Mark Lebowitz

From Chicago IL

Commutes 26 Miles RoundTrip for 5 years and months
Five Days a week, I use my bike to travel to and from work Year Round

My favorite commute is the Chicago Lakefront Bike Path - the scenery is magnificent! I ride Devon Avenue east from West Rogers Park to Broadway, near the Loyola University campus, then ride south on Broadway to Ardmore, where I turn east once again and pick up the Lakefront Bike Path. That bike path runs between Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan all the way to the Chicago Loop (and beyond). I then ride through the loop to my office. An alternate route is Elston Avenue, one of Chicago's widest thoroughfares, running diagonally from the West Loop area northwest to Milwaukee Avenue. I ride down a few city streets from my home to a park, where I pick up a bike path that runs through three parks to Lawrence and Manor avenues. I then ride a few more residential streets to California Avenue, which meets with Elston, where there is a bike lane. It's a very urban ride, and includes some pavement that's bad enough to make me appreciate my hybrid bike, but quite pleasant nevertheless. In bad or very cold weather, I ride a lesser bike to a nearby Metra (commuter rail) stop, and take the train downtown.

I began commuting by bike mostly as a matter of spite for the Chicago Transit Authority. In particular, I hated taking the 'L' and then having to wait 20 minutes or more for a bus in the evening, so I started biking to the 'L' station at Loyola University. After I'd been doing that for a couple of years, a co-worker told me about the Lakefront Bike Path. It didn't take long before I was hooked. In addition to the scenery, cycling was a terrific stress reliever and source of mental relaxation after a day of database consulting. Even better, combined with my employer's participation in the Regional Transit Authority's transit checks program, I found I could reduce my annual commuting cost nearly to $0.00, a savings of nearly $1,000/year! A few things have changed since then, but biking still cuts my annual commuting costs by at least 50%.

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