Chicago Sun-Times

July 2008 Archives

Monday's "Ride" column discussed efforts being made by some suburbs to encourage bicycling. I'm curious how well this is working out. Are you a suburban bicyclist, and is your suburb trying to make things easier for you with bike lanes and bike racks? Or do you get weird looks whenever you try to ride your bike to the store?

When I lived in the suburbs, biking and walking were viewed as eccentric activities, akin to churning your own butter. People would honk at me and ask if I needed a ride -- or just honk. Is it getting better for people who choose not to use a car for every trip?

Clark Street in Chicago was named for what historic figure? The correct answer is Gen. George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary War her who captured western territory, including Illinois, from the British. Robert Gilbert had the first correct answer. Send in your size and address and I'll send out your shirt.

In Monday's "Ride" column, I talk to Tom Vanderbilt about his new book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us). By digging into studies about driving, Vanderbilt uncovered a lot of surprising information. We included some of it in the column -- here's some more:

Cell on the L song

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Our recent story on Verizon users being able to talk in the subway, and our list of travel songs (see previous entry) inspired reader Claude Walker to write this song parody. Thanks, Claude!

Transportation songs

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Songs about riding in cars, trains, boats and planes fill the airwaves. Here's a sample of some that you'll find online: :


1. Chuck Berry, “Maybelline”
2. The Beach Boys, “Fun, Fun, Fun”
3. Kraftwerk, “Autobahn”
4. The Beatles, “Drive My Car”
5. Ministry, “Jesus Built My Hotrod”
6. Gary Numan, “Cars”
7. War, “Low Rider”
8. Golden Earring, “Radar Love”
9. The Clash, “Brand New Cadillac”
10. Prince, “Little Red Corvette”

1. The Byrds, “Eight Miles High”
2. The Beatles, “Flying”
3. Neil Young, “Flying on the Ground (Is Wrong)
4. Tom Petty, “Learning to Fly”
5. The Kinks, “Wish I Could Fly Like Superman”

1. The Beach Boys, “Sloop John B”
2. Frankie Ford, “Sea Cruise”
3. Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Wooden Ships”
4. Lyle Lovett, “If I Had a Boat”
5. Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”

1. Johnny Cash, “Folsom Prison Blues”
2. Robyn Hitchcock, “I Often Dream of Trains”
3. The Grateful Dead, “Casey Jones”
4. R.E.M., “Driver 8”
5. Kraftwerk, “Trans Europe Express”


“Wabash Cannonball,” credited to J.A. Roff
“City of New Orleans,” Steve Goodman
“Take the ‘A’ Train,” Duke Ellington
“Mystery Train,” Elvis Presley
“Peace Train,” Cat Stevens

“Open All Night,” Bruce Springsteen
“Highway 61 Revisited” Bob Dylan
“Lake Shore Drive,” Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah
“On the Road Again,” Willie Nelson
“Expressway (To Your Heart),” Soul Survivors
“Vehicle,” Ides of March

“We Sail the Ocean Blue,” Gilbert & Sullivan
“Low Bridge (Erie Canal),” Thomas Allen
“The Sinking of the Reuben James,” Woody Guthrie

“Jet Airliner,” Steve Miller Band
“Leavin’ on a Jet Plane,” Peter, Paul & Mary
“3/5ths of a Mile in 10 seconds,” Jefferson Airplane

“Six Days on the Road,” Carl Montgomery and Earl Green
“Truck Driving Man,” Terry Fell
“White Line Fever,” Merle Haggard
“I’ve Been Everywhere,” Hank Snow

“Bike,” Pink Floyd
“Daisy Bell,” Harry Dacre (famously sung by Hal in “2001: A Space Odyssey”)
“Bicycle Race,” Queen
“Leader of the Pack,” Shangri Las
“Ballad of Easy Rider,” The Byrds
“Vincent Black Lightning 1952,” Richard Thompson
“Born to be Wild,” Steppenwolf

We've commented here before about the challenge of being an L scold -- telling people off when they leave their bags all over the bus seats or play their radios too loud. For those who are ticked by bad manners on the train, or those who need some instruction, check out this blog. It's from San Francisco, but the rules apply everywhere....

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