Against all odds, George A Wyman had crossed the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin Desert, the Rockies, and the Great Plains on his California motor bicycle. But he arrived in Chicago with his bike broken and remained there, stuck in the Windy City, until a replacement crank arrived from San Francisco.
The things that impressed me most in Chicago were the way that the inhabitants ran about the streets as if they were lost or going to a fire, and the number of drunken men and women in the streets … I simply abhorred the place.
Once the crank arrived, Wyman spent a day installing it and, rather than stay another night, he left that same evening.
With the Windy City at my back, I felt as if I would “blow in” to New York in a week or so. The worst roads I knew must surely be behind me, and, with better highways, I calculated that I would have no more trouble with my motor bicycle.
New York feels close enough to touch. Instead of drunkards in the streets, I battle rush hour traffic and manage to leave the Windy City unscathed. But Wyman’s optimism upon leaving Chicago was quickly quashed.
The roads were heavy from recent rains … I took to the railroad track, and rode 20 miles along the ties to the lake … as I was seasoned to such riding, the bouncing did not hurt so much as the thought that I was having the same sort of traveling east of Chicago that I had west of Omaha.