If you are looking for a unique way to experience the City of Chicago this summer, biking is a great option. Not only can you get places easily and not have to deal with the hassle of parking, you can enjoy picturesque views of Lake Michigan and the street lined streets of Chicago. Biking is great alternative to public transportation or taxis/ ubers and will keep your wallet in tact. Plus, you are reducing your carbon imprint and helping the environment!
The most popular bike rental (and most convenient/ readily accessible) is Divvy. Divvy typically means “to divide and share”- but the City of Chicago embraces Divvy as a whole new meaning. Divvy is Chicago’s bike share program that anyone over the age of 16 can take advantage of- and it’s a great way to have a unique lens on Chicago, get around efficiently, and get some exercise!
Start by purchasing a 24 hour pass for $9.95- which is cheaper than a 24 hour pass for the CTA. This can be purchased at any Divvy Station near our campus or by downloading “The Transit App” and purchasing a 24 hour pass through your phone. (If you’ll be staying long term, passes cost $99.95 for a full year- which even if you use it for a couple of months will pay off if you use it regularly!)
From there, you’ll either use the credit or debit card that you purchased the pass with or use The Transit App to receive a 5 digit code to unlock a bike out of the dock. From there, you have 30 minutes to return that bike to any other Divvy dock in Chicago without incurring any fees (if it’s a trip that’s 31-60 minutes, it’s going to be $2.00, 61-90 will be $4.00; etc.)- and you’re good to take unlimited trips throughout the period of your pass! Docks are all around the city- and we have some close to Loyola’s Lake Shore and Water Tower Campuses.
We recommend that if you take longer routes that you plan them in ways that every 15-20 minutes or so you can dock your bike at a station and immediately request a new code and check out the same bike. Divvy is great for visitors as you don’t need to worry about storage, security, or maintenance of your bike!
Another option available to our conference guests staying at the Lake Shore Campus is Chainlinks, Loyola’s student run bicycle shop- located inside the Main Parking Structure at 1110 W. Sheridan Road. You can check out current prices at http://www.chainlinksluc.com/. Depending on your situation- you may want to check out a bike from Chainlinks instead. In addition to bike rentals, Chainlinks also offers tune-ups, bike repairs, and a retail store to purchase bicycle accessories.
A common concern among visitors and locals alike is safety- and a nice benefit of Divvy is that bright blue bikes are noticeable- and drivers take note of the increased bicyclists, and Chicagoans and visitors who might not normally use a bike are taking advantage of Divvy– so more people are learning to share the road. It is a bit intimidating to share the streets of Chicago with cars at first, especially on busy streets such as Sheridan, Broadway, Devon, and Clark near the Lake Shore Campus or on State, Michigan, and Chicago avenue downtown. So, if you are new to urban biking, we recommend gradually working your way up from quieter streets to larger streets. Check out a list of locations for Divvy stations near you.
Not familiar with the city, no problem. View a list of biking trails in and around the city! Happy biking!