Chicago river from Lower North Lakeshore drive Chicago river from Lower North Lakeshore drive

Drove from Morris, Illinois in the morning straight downtown. Although sometimes glitchy the built-in Android turn-by-turn satnav saved the day by giving me good verbal instructions to guide me to the Monaco hotel where I stayed until my flight on Tuesday. Left most of the luggage there and then drove to the Eaglerider shop at the Chicago, Countryside Harley-Davidson branch. Very thrilling ride but not that difficult. Unlike a lot of parts of the country Chicago is actually well sign posted.

Had a quick look round Chicago and ended up on not very impressive Navy Pier. On Sunday I went on a “Southside Gangster” bicycle tour. We covered the mafia bit of Chicago’s history and actually saw some real life mobsters.

Bicycle tour round Chicago

They still hang around in some neighborhoods in plain view and the guide could almost point them out to us. Some of them apparently knew what we were about and the tour we were on and even interacted with us … albeit very briefly and one of them used some sort of code. For lunch we stopped at a restaurant near the Bridgeport area. The place is frequented by many people …. I including some of the mafia guys and even the police. Apparently they do very good pizza so food seems to be a good common ground. I tried their lasagna pizza and it actually was good. Multo bene ;-) The whole Bridgeport neighborhood area had a very old style Chicago feel to it - I was told, of course. Wouldn’t know that myself but it was definitely an experience. Would advise the tour to anyone. Except young kids. As its a mobster tour there are some PG details that are mentioned involving the activities of “the outfit”. And so of course I don’t mean they they were into their Lego-making.

Saw other very nice parts of the city but not all, by far. There are at least two good viewing platforms. One is the Skydeck, but its on a building quite south of downtown. The more recommended is to go to the Sears/Hancock building. Very central and gives you apparently better views of the city.