We left Milwaukee around 5 o’clock on June 30th, following the truck. As an intense storm rolled in, we kept our eyes on the iconic bar and shield in front of us. We pulled into McCormick Place a couple of hours later and paid $30 to stay overnight in a pothole-filled parking lot with no services.
We were up at 5 to unload bikes and get them polished up for the day’s events. The first stop was the Route 66 sign in downtown Chicago. I hitched a ride in the PR team’s car. I had my window down to take pictures, and I could see Mike in the side mirror, talking to other drivers about the bike. (He looked like Marvin the Martian with the GoPro mount on his helmet!) People had lots of questions. One person even asked him to pull over!
The next stop was the Merchandise Mart. Mike and a marketing exec rode the bikes into the freight elevator up to 1871 Chicago, a co-working space for technology startups on the 12th. There was a media interview and a presentation about the project. In a few hours, the event wrapped up, and they rode the bikes out again. Apparently, the LiveWire rides very smoothly at 2 mph and, of course, it’s quiet. Perfect for darting in between the laptop-packed tables.
The freight elevator was kinda neat. It was large enough to hold a small car. It had its own attendant, who in turn had his own folding chair and a hard-wired telephone.
When all the promotional stuff was done, we disconnected the Jeep from the RV and grabbed a late lunch with John, the truck driver, at the White Palace Grill, which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We had less than 24 hours in Chicago, but we made the most of it!