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Thursday, February 29

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Cycling Mon Jul 12 2010

Garden Puts Down Roots; Northshore GP Needs Help

garden.jpgTucked between the North Branch of the Chicago River and Lane Tech High School at 3400 North Rockwell is a patch of land, only a few acres in size. Once an amusement park, once overgrown and overrun with gangs, broken glass, and trash, there is now at the site the Garden -- a sanctioned, legal, and open-to-the-public dirt jump and mountain bike park. Through the advocacy of CAMBR (Chicago Area Mountain Bikers) and the hard work of that group's volunteer base, the Garden incorporates groomed ramps, jumps, and technical bits for BMX and mountain bike riders in a park within the city limits. Riders there pull gravity-defying leaps and jumps or practice trials techniques on some of the natural features of the park. It's exciting stuff, even if one's only a casual rider.

It's a near-miracle that the Garden coalesced into an official park -- it was close to being bulldozed by the Chicago Park District. To celebrate, CAMBR is hosting a party at noon on Saturday, July 31. There will be a race, raffle, exhibitions, and events for the whole family. Spectating is free, but event entrance fees range from $10 to $30. Event registration is free for any rider who solicits $50 in donations.

Are you feeling extra helpful lately? Need to clean a dirty karma? The Northshore University Healthcare Grand Prix (aka The Evanston Crit) on Sunday, July 18 is in dire need of some volunteers. The NUHGP is an exceedingly well-run race that as part of the Superweek schedule brings vanloads of professional cyclists to the Chicago and Milwaukee area for two weeks of near-daily racing. The Evanston race needs lots of volunteers as this race is in the middle of downtown Evanston and has lots of corners that need watching. Call Dave Knauff at 847.878.1052 if you're feeling magnanimous and have a few hours free on the 18th.

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