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Chicago Wild Weekend Wanderings: steelhead to weird biking

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Steelhead coming in, weird biking and a new paddling event highlight this Chicago Wild Weekend Wanderings.

Yes, I said weird biking this is Tour de Fat ride in Chicago last year. Details are near the end below.

STEELHEAD: Steelhead are heading into the creeks in Indiana. Thursday evening Valpo steelheader Lee Szczepanski texted that he saw seven being caught on a casual stop by the pier at Michigan City. Unless we get a blow-out rain today or tonight, the creeks should be in fine shape for steelhead.

PADDLING: There's a new paddling event Saturday and Sunday with Aurora Paddlesports Festival. Check it out at

DOG TRAINING: Tom Tracey leads a pointing dog training seminar for the LaSalle Brittany Club on Sunday. Contact Paul Katzel at (708) 217-3612 or

DOING GOOD (RESCHEDULED): Friends of the Fox River rescheduled the water willow planting below Montgomery Dam for 8-11 a.m. Saturday. Contact Brandon Zaleiski at (773) 458-3407 or go to

WADING: The Kankakee is in perfect shape for wading, almost heading toward the too clear stage. Barring major rains today or tonight, all area rivers should be in good shape for wading, and the weather perfect for walking into water.

FAMILY BIKING: Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie near Wilmington has a new family biking event, ``The Flower Pedal,'' one-hour bike explorations, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Call (815) 423-6370 or to

WEIRD BIKING: Now this. Tour de Fat, a rather wild bike gathering, hits Chicago again at Palmer Square Park beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. Here is the release.

New Belgium Brewing's Tour de Fat Pedals into Chicago with Bike Antics, Sustainable Goodness and Philanthropic Fun

Ft. Collins, CO, July 9, 2009 -Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing's traveling celebration of all things bicycle, is cycling into the Windy City this Saturday, July 11. While this is Tour de Fat's second visit to the Windy City, the touring festival is celebrating a decade of honoring mankind's greatest invention - the bike. Opening the show with a costumed bike parade, Tour de Fat celebrates the power of the bike by encouraging everyone to embrace their inner-cyclist and ride the streets as a rolling carnival of creativity.

Tour de Fat (

Saturday, July 11

Palmer Square Park, at the corner of Palmer and Kedzie, in Chicago's 35th Ward.

9:00 a.m. - Bike Parade Registration
10:00 a.m. - Bike Parade
11:00 a.m. - Performances Begin
1:30 p.m. - "Carpocalypse Now" - Funeral procession for the car belonging to the Car-for-Bike Trade volunteer
3:30 p.m. - Car-for-Bike Trade Celebration
4:00 p.m. - Curtain Closes

Performances By:
Mucca Pazza (
Sean Hayes (
Squirm Burpee Circus ( )
The Daredevil Chicken Club (
The Sprockettes (

Highlights of Tour De Fat:

A volunteer will trade in their car for a custom commuter bike, as part of the Car-for-Bike Trade Program. To see a video from last year's Chicago car for bike trade, visit -
As part of the Car-for-Bike Trade Program, each Tour de Fat stop will have a funeral for the departed car complete with a Mardi Gras-esque funeral procession. This funeral will be followed, later in the day, by a celebration of the arrival of the swapper's custom commuter bike.

At the Team Wonderlounge, participants can join Team Wonderbike, New Belgium's bicycling commuter advocacy program. Team Wonderbikers pledge to commute by bike, not car, as often as possible. Currently, 16,000 people have pledged not to drive 15 million miles in the next twelve months.

All musical acts will perform on a solar-powered stage with decorations made from recycled materials, trucks and transport use biofuel sourced from recycled waste oils, and all vendors operate off the grid.

Festival-goers can participate in the pre-event bicycle parade.

This is a pro-bike celebration, not an anti-car rally...non-cyclists are more than welcome to join the festivities.

Don't know what to expect?
To see last year's stop in Chicago, behind the scenes video, and to learn more about the Car-for-Bike Trade Program log onto For more information on New Belgium, visit

PERSONAL PICKS: I wish I could do Tour de Fat--it just seems like my kind of gathering--but can't.

Today, unless the Iowa thunderstorms hold together and blow us out, I plan to do some playing on Lake Michigan. No, I don't mean fishing, I mean playing on a family boat ride where we hit the Play Pen and go tubing.

My two fishing goals are wading the Kankakee and/or steelheading Trail Creek with Szczepanski.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 10, 2009 6:20 AM.

Carp: Fly fishing the Great Lakes was the previous entry in this blog.

``Lip your perch:'' Chicago show video is the next entry in this blog.

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