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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Biking on airport runways

Suburban man charged with riding bike on O'Hare runway

"Bond was set at $200,000 Friday for a south suburban man charged with riding a bike on an O'Hare Airport runway Thursday night, then trying to go inside the terminal through a security door..."

<http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/2785016,man-charged-riding-bike-ohare-runway-100810.article>
 
I don't know what the story was here. It sounds like a serious security breach at a large, vulnerable airport.
 
But maybe he just wanted the thrill of riding on a runway. It's an interesting experience, even without planes.  Just after they closed the Glenview Naval Air Station in the 1990's, I would take my bike over there are ride up and down the main runway. It's wide. It's open, and it has paving done to a much larger scale than a typical road.  People who ride "Bike the Drive", where they close down Lakeshore Drive, report that it feels interesting to have such a wide area to bicycle on. An airport runway is many times wider, and a closed runway is a lonely, isolated place. Even with the big Xs on the runway indicating it was closed I tended to stick to the sides, just in case. Being able to go for miles and miles without a stop sign is a luxury we seldom have in an urban area.
 
My secret bicycling place didn't last long. The village tightened up security on GNAS and after a couple of warnings I figured further trespassing was asking for trouble I didn't need.