My Backyard



It was drizzling as I left my house early Saturday morning. The wind was coming from the south and it was strong. I headed that way first.

Less than a mile from my house I was stopped at a red light. I had no plan for that morning other than to ride and clear my head. The light turned green, and as if it had a mind of its own, my bike turned into the entrance of Humboldt Park.

I can’t remember the last time I rode through this magnificent park. It covers 207 acres on the northwest side of Chicago. Built in the early 1900s, it’s now on the National Register of Historic Places. Incredible: more than 200 acres of natural habitat right smack in the middle of the city. And it’s basically in my backyard.

I navigated the twisty paths, sometimes circling back to ride a particularly fun part again. There are many different experiences here. You can ride under the street and over wooden bridges. There is gravel, pavement, and every so often, a tiny stretch of “single track” that connects one winding path to the next.

There are huge trees that provide sanctuary to birds and butterflies. It has playgrounds, horse stables, and a beautiful boathouse pavilion that is a Chicago Landmark.

There are statues of famous guys that most of us wouldn’t recognize without the nameplates, monuments to novelists and political martyrs, and a pair of bronze American bison by the same sculptor who created the famous Art Institute of Chicago lions.

On this morning, dogs were running free in what must be a sniffer’s paradise, young parents wheeled toddlers while pointing to the ducks in the water, and runners nodded hello as they passed.

I forget how awesome this park is, and I don’t spend enough time there. This must change. It was quiet and peaceful – at least it was on a rainy, fall morning. And it’s perfect for a head-clearing ride.

Sometimes, you really never have to look further than your own backyard to find something amazing.

What’s in yours?




– Suzanne

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Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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