John Cusack is a would-be boyfriend in
multiplexes this month in Must Love Dogs. Anyone who
wants to keep up with him as he guides a tour of Chicago must
love riding a bike.
The guy on the bike is famous, but he's not right now. Zipping up
and down the skyscraper streets, along the famous lakeshore, and
through the heady arts, restaurant, and nightclub districts of
Chicago, he's no longer best identified as John Cusack, one of the
most venerable actors of his generation. Returning to the city
where he grew up, Cusack reverts to the role he loves most. He
becomes just another Chicagoan, another guy on a bike in awe of the
city sprawling beneath his pumping feet.
"Chicago is the best-kept secret in America, in a weird way," he
says. "It's an international city, and you have all the great
architecture and all the stuff that any major international city
would have. But it still has a great, down-home, down-to-earth,
almost no-nonsense sensibility. They don't suffer fools well."
Which is why Cusack's favorite way to see Chicago is not from some
stupid sports car or silly limousine but from the seat of a bike.
And even though America's third-largest city stretches across 229
square miles, Cusack insists that the heart of the city is easily
"It's a great city for biking around," he says, rattling off
streets, sites, secret places. "I do it on a little half mountain,
half electric bike called the Wavecrest."
So, with the wind in his hair and his grip on the handlebars of his
Tidalforce Spike bike from Wavecrest, Cusack takes us on a tour of
his hometown, the City of Big Shoulders, the Windy City, Frank
Sinatra's kind of town.