Workers gut it out as extreme heat grips city

“It’s nothing nice man, you got to stay hydrated or you’re not going to last,” Cristian Orosco, who works for New City Movers, said Wednesday.

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Ryan Riccio rides his bike down Washington Boulevard at Union Park in Near West Side, Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

Ryan Riccio estimates he pedals between 40 and 80 miles a day making food deliveries for Snap Courier.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Juan Ramos summed up delivering kegs and other beverages in 100-degree heat in two words. “It’s terrible.”

“It’s just a lot of walking in the sun, making deliveries, and when there’s no parking you have to walk farther,” the 28-year-old said Wednesday, pausing for a moment along his North Side route. “I had to sit down for about five minutes Monday at one point, it just got to be too much.”

Construction workers, bike messengers, movers hauling furniture — even Clark, the mascot for the Cubs — were all getting the job done this week in the extreme heat.

“It’s nothing nice man, you got to stay hydrated or you’re not going to last,” Cristian Orosco, who works for New City Movers, said as moved furniture into a truck for a client headed from Evanston to a new home in Chicago.

“You go home drained. You don’t feel the same. You have just enough energy to shower and eat and go to sleep,” said Orosco, 28, of Cicero. “And sometimes you just get a headache.”

Ryan Riccio pedals between 40 and 80 miles a day on his bike making food deliveries for Snap Courier.

“I’ve been just sweating bullets. I’ll wipe off my face, but trying to keep up with everywhere else on my body, it’s like, ehh,” said Riccio, 30, of Ukrainian Village.

Ryan Riccio with his bike and messenger gear at Union Park in Near West Side, Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

“I’ve been just sweating bullets. I’ll wipe off my face, but trying to keep up with everywhere else on my body, it’s like, ehh,” said Ryan Riccio, 30, of Ukrainian Village.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Riccio said he enjoys his job and the feeling of doing a service to the community helps him when he’s hurting in the heat.

The towels dangling around their necks couldn’t keep up with the sweat pouring off the percussionists known as the Bucket Boys, who perform everywhere from halftime shows at the United Center to off-ramp intersections.

“You got your towel, your visor, sometimes a little fan attached to your visor, but when it’s hot, there’s not much you can do but try to find some shade,” said John Bryant, founder of the Bucket Boys, who played this week along the Magnificent Mile.

They planned to perform outside Wrigley Field on Wednesday night before the Cubs-Padres game.

Inside the ballpark, Clark, the Cubs’ mascot, will be performing in his bear outfit, Cubs spokesman Julian Green said.

Clark doesn’t do interviews. And he will be well-hydrated, Green said.

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