Skokie man embarks on personal 'park quest'

(9.3.13) The inspiration for Rodney Graves' current journey began when he was a small child. One of his earliest memories was of his father giving him his very first solo push off while on his brand new yellow Schwinn bicycle — the training wheels just removed.
"That bike gave me the freedom to travel my neighborhood — my new world — completely unsupervised," said Graves. "Every ride was an adventure."
And to this day, riding his bike seems to release magical powers. The power to cure his aches and pains — and the power to reflect and think things through. For Graves, cycling ultimately turns any daily emotional downturns into simple bliss.
"Riding is my daily multivitamin, my fountain of youth," said Graves, 48.
In the past five years, Graves has traveled thousands of miles on his aging bike. Recently, looking for a new adventure, he decided to revisit his childhood by riding local.
"I came up with an idea that is perfect for solo riders or whole families," he said. "Riding to each and every park in the Skokie Park District."
Now Graves himself, makes round trip bicycle rides to a different park each day.

His quest — all 42 Skokie parks in 42 riding days.

"Skokie parks are close to home, family oriented and safe," Graves said.
They also offer unique experiences in every Skokie neighborhood. ♦

Rodney Graves is the owner of Alltradesman in Skokie. For a look at all of Skokie's many parks and facilities, click here.