On July 6th we were able to play a small role in helping out with the Jewish-Muslim Bike Ride put together by the Jewish-Muslim Community Building Initiative and The Chainlink.
We started off downtown at the Downtown Islamic Center where we were treated to a breakfast of bananas and baklava...
...as well as a beautiful mural of the 99 names of God, and a little history. DIC was started in 1976 to provide a place for downtown Muslims to hold their daily prayers and has grown steadily since. It was interesting to find out that the center is also used as a place of prayer by Christians and people of other faiths who live and work downtown.
Our fearless/tireless leaders told us how the ride came about and explained the rules of the road before we all saddled up and started our ride as the media looked on. (The ride made ABC 7's evening news and there was also an article in the Trib. On Islam, New City, Chicago Religion News, Uptown Update and others all had coverage as well.)
Our next stop was Anshe Emet, where Rabbi Abe welcomed the whole sweaty horde of us with open arms. (Actually, not that sweaty - the weather was perfect.) We were given some pretty interesting history and a quick Q&A session along with some much appreciated chilled water.
Final stop: Picnic in the park near Montrose Harbor. The only hitch in the whole ride was that we were expecting about 40 riders and got about 60. So we were a little light on food at the end of the line and didn't have time to stop at American Islamic College or Temple Sholom. But there's always next time. In fact, the next ride is scheduled for September 9th. So mark your calendar now and stay tuned!