The Bicycle-Eating Potholes of Chicago

Of all the dangers a bicyclist faces in Chicago, potholes are probably the greatest. No part of this city is immune, and there are even streets in way upscale Hyde Park that look like they’ve been hit by cluster bombs and artillery submunitions. They can make motoring unpleasant. They can make cycling lethal — try steering around some of these in heavy traffic…

Here are a few of the nastiest potholes I’ve come across. Most of these are on the West Side.


Fill this one with water and you could fish from it. I want to say this is on Lake Street, but I don’t remember exactly where it is. It could possibly be visible from space.

This is on Lake Street, about five blocks or so west of Larramie. This has since been covered up with a steel plate which sits at a funny angle and is not quite flat, thus making a nice “clang!” every time someone drives over it. This one was a couple of feet deep, and I think the weed was actually growing in there. (There’s a larger pothole on Lake in Oak Park that has swallowed a city trash can…)

I don’t quite remember where this was either.


This yonical pothole was maybe a meter deep — it might have its own mineral rights or lead to the kind of lost world Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote about. This was somewhere just west of the West Loop area.