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WWW Chicago outdoors: Paddling, naked riding, perching

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There's the summer usuals in this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors, then there's the naked bike ride Saturday.

As much as I would love to run the YouTube videos for the World Naked Bike Ride, I restrain myself as this is an all-ages site. So you are stuck with this of the opening of the Marge Cline Whitewater Park in Yorkville.

There will be a road trip to explore the whitewater there Saturday afternoon as part of the Aurora Paddlesports Festival. The festival is at Phillips Park in Aurora this weekend. Art in the Park is included with it. There's a lot of stuff going on, including some paddling films.

BUCK NAKED BIKING: The World Naked Bike is Saturday in Chicago. Enjoy yourselves.

LAKEFRONT PERCH: They have to come in eventually, I think any way. Maybe this is the weekend. There were some hopeful signs for the favorite of Chicago fishing in the past week, but they come and go.

WATERFOWL OPEN HOUSE: From 5-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday: the IDNR holds a waterfowl open house to go over some options on seasons and dates at the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area hunter check station in Wilmington, 5-8:30 p.m.

SGT. TOMMY'S KIDS' FISHING DAY:There were still openings for Sgt. Tommy's Kids' fifth annual fishing day, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. For more information or to register, click here.

KIDS OUTSIDE: From Monday through June 19, Chicago Wilderness and the Lurie Garden are the featured partners in the Family Fun Activity Zone for the Millennium Park Family Fun Festival's ``Wild in the City'' week.

Here are some details:

The Family Fun Festival tent will be open 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and located on the Chase Promenade North at Millennium Park, just north of the Cloud Gate "bean."

The hands-on activities presented during "Wild in the City" week include:
* Planting and taking home a native flower
* Petting turtles, snakes and lizards
* Building binoculars using common household items
* Exploring the world in a giant, inflatable globe
* Digging for worms

FREE FISHING WEEKEND: Free fishing days in Illinois are today through Monday. . . . In Michigan, it is Saturday and Sunday.

LAKEFRONT SMALLMOUTH: Big smallmouth are being seen shallow, catching is another matter. It has to happen eventually.

PADDLING/WORKING OUT: In June, Chicago River Canoe & Kayak begins four-week Cardio Kayak Classes at its Chicago launch on Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. It's $80 for first-timers, $50 for returnees. E-mail or call (773) 704-2663.

FREE FLY FISHING: Orvis offers free clinics for fly fishers on weekends through July. Click here. After completing the 2 1/2-hour class, students receive coupons and free membership to Trout Unlimited. And the Chicago Orvis has Joseph Meyer, the area's great fly fishing teacher.

ILLINOIS PERMITS: On Tuesday, applications begin for first lottery, resident-only, free dove permits. . . . Residents may apply for fall shotgun turkey permits through July 5. Click here.

ILLINOIS BULLFROGS: Bullfrog season opens Wednesday in Illinois.

DALEY DERBY: The Richard J. Daley Sportfishing Derby is open. There's been some nice perch registered so far this month. In June, the species are carp, catfish, perch, coho and chinook. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to or call (312) 225-8538.

ARCHERY: The Ray Glover Memorial Shoot 900 round is at the Chicago Archery Club in Washington Park on Sunday. Practice begins at 9:30 a.m. Click here. . . . Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

PERSONAL PICKS: Unfortunately, I will not make the naked bike ride. . . . Well, my hope to get in some wading is on hold. . . . Heidecke looks more and more like an option. . . . Otherwise, I will try to get the kids back into a weekly Friday hike habit for summer today. . . . I think next week there will be a visit to the Chicago lakefront for smallmouth. . . . I still have to get my daughter out for her first try at frog fishing for bass. We will see. . . . And the waterfowl open house on Wednesday will be a must. If only for the entertainment. . . . That ``Wild in the City'' exhibit sounds like an option with the kids next week. . . . As always, a fair amount of my spare time is spent working on ``Outside,'' the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).

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So Dale is it true you be riding you're bike in the naked bike ride ?

The Whitewater Park is a very nice area, and certainly an improvement (though it took long enough) over what the park used to be.
But I must play the devil's advocate and predict that the paddler's store will shutter, and the project be deemed a failure within two years.
-A shorter timespan than it took to build it.
It is simply too short of a run, to be the wide-ranging draw that is hoped and needed to be called a success.
The city of Yorkville was short-sighted in pouring all of their energy and marketing dollars into promoting a "new" specialty business, when they had an established outdoors-oriented business with a wider focus already on-site in Freeman's Sports.
Kayaking is fun and has plenty of enthusiasts, but after the initial flurry of patronage the draw will not go beyond 30 miles. -Not enough to keep the former mayor's darling new shop open. -Unless they start selling nightcrawlers and minnows.
The city should have made improvements with an eye towards open space/picnic facilities, leasing concession space for an ice-cream/hot-dog/ hamburger/taco stand(s), fishing access, wildlife attraction/viewing, and enhancing the already existing canoe port attraction on the site.
By trying to cater to a cottage industry with a relatively small demographic, Yorkville has left a whole lot of potential outdoor-enthusiast's dollars on the table.

Jeff, believe or not, the family and I were bopping around Saturday and I debated driving into the vicinity. Just to see if any riders were prepping, so to speak. I tell you what was a raw day for a naked bike ride, one of the coldest I remember in awhile for June.

Raptor, my gut tends to think you are right. But the demographics of paddlers is broader than you might think.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 10, 2011 5:59 AM.

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