Lessons From the Viral Video of Lake Michigan Taking Out a Bike Commuter

Climate change will only increase the frequency of incidents like the one captured by a television news station in Chicago earlier this week.

December 3, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


If you haven't seen the video of a massive wave knocking a person of their bike on the Chicago Lakefront Trail earlier this week, you can catch up with the video above. Be warned: it's a harrowing scene, and it could have been a lot worse. Every time I watch it, I expect it to be worse for both the bike and the human.

"ABC 7 Chicago captured a video of a wave, caused by high winds in the area, washing over the bike lane, breaking against the wall, and knocking the rider off of his bike," according to an article by Molly Hurford takes a deep dive into the infrastructure debate that is still making waves by offering recommendations for how to safely ride in inclement weather. A post by

As noted by Hurford, this isn't even the first time a wave has taken out a person on a bike on the Lakefront Trail. A similar scene played out in 2011, so precautions are clearly necessary when infrastructure is inadequate. And climate change is only making the problem of encroaching waters more critical along Lake Michigan with every passing year.

For more reading on the planning and political context for the events captured by ABC 7 Chicago, see also an article by John Greenfield, who also offers an alternate route.  

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