It’s been a tradition since 2018 for a group of wild OOFD riders to wake up before dawn on the last weekend of August. We gather to travel the furthest distance in a single day out of any ride in our season. The goal is to reach Starved Rock State Park, by means of battle with the trail known as the I&M canal in all its technicalities.
By OOFD Lead Guide and Marketing Director - Maggie Marek
The very first Out Our Front Door ride I ever signed up for was the 2020 inaugural ride to Valhalla. I’d found out about OOFD in 2019 at a volunteer fair but had just admired the organization from afar, too nervous to take the leap into bike camping adventures. When I saw OOFD announced a ride to Door County I knew I had to go.
Out Our Front Door’s value #1 is Welcome. As our values statement reads, being Welcoming is “Foundational to who are and always will be. Everyone, and we mean everyone, is welcome to roll with us. We have a spirit of radical inclusivity and strive towards greater diversity in our organization and our participants. We are a community of bike riders that warmly support and encourage each other and everyone that rides with us regardless of what they, their bike, or their gear looks like. We operate with a genuine open spirit and kindness.”
Breanna has a lovely story about this value in action including our guides showing support, encouragement and kindness to help get a rider make a ride happen.
Its been a while since that epic party back in April at Metropolitan that helped kick off this incredible year. It is fun to look back at what was front of mind at that party and the stories that we told. Anywho, here are the inspired open speeches that were given in tandem by OOFD Executive Director/Co-Founder - Glenn Schneider and the Board President and Adult Program Director- Breanna Bertacchi. Photos by Emily Ling
By Northside Lead Guide Serena Larkin
When was the last time you danced to live music outdoors? Or whiled away an afternoon at a new beach? Or sipped brews alongside about 80 new friends? Let alone did all three in one day?
We’ve passed a few seasonal milestones this year, and already I find myself looking back to review if I best maximized my springtime ventures. The solstice has passed and summer has formally started, but traces of spring continue to push to the front of my memory.
I can admit in past years I’ve considered spring blooms to be dainty and fragile in quality ; their lightness or pastel color, smaller sizing of the flowers, shorter bloom-time than some of their summertime peers. Majority of our native springtime wildflowers remain low to the ground and short in stature. Visually, the appearance completes the notion of primavera.
Welcome to OOFD Summer
Y’all! This has already been quite the year! OOFD’s 8th season, and we are rolling like never before. Our volunteers are stepping up something major to bring OOFD to the next level. And folks just want to get out on bike adventures! We have sold out Every. Single. Ride. to this point including the 25 slots on the big 5 day SWMI ride next weekend. We have added some awesome day rides that have been hugely popular, and the Family Overnight Program has been rocking in its effort to welcome folks with adaptive needs into each of the overnights.
Its the heart of summer, so you know we got all kinds of fun events that will get you out on your bike and into nature from habitat restoration, to hangs at the lake, to day rides, and of course, bike camping.
By the OOFD lead guide of the ride: Rachel Shultz
It just doesn’t feel like summer until you’re rolling out 60 deep through the Loop, into the rising sun, loaded down with tents, hammocks, and sleeping bags and bound for an epic adventure along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan, does it? Our group of Dunes Warriors stretched the length of a city block as we made our way from our meeting place at Metric Coffee out through the quiet Saturday morning center of the city to the glittering lakefront. The air was warm, the breeze was at our backs, and the vibes were immaculate.
Written by OOFD Volunteer Steph Reid
Have you ever thought that bike camping sounded like fun, but had no idea where to start looking for the right gear to use on a trip? Look no further than the Chicago Tool Library! Despite their name, this magical spot lends out far more than just tools. With a yearly pay-what-you-can membership (available for Chicago residents 18+), Tool Library patrons can check out KitchenAid stand mixers, sewing machines, camping equipment, or even a bicycle!
By OOFD Adult Overnight Director and Board President Breanna Bertacchi
We’ve heard the concept ‘pack your fears’ with regards to which gear to prioritize in your camping set. I have a tendency to focus more on packing my treats – sometimes those little added goodies are just what you’ve been waiting to pull out of your pack once you roll into camp, and they have the added benefit of also preventing some accumulation of pain or inconvenience as well. Here’s my top 3 list of goodies to consider making room for in your gear pack.
"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"