One of my family’s favorite ways of checking out a city is via bike. Luckily, more and more cities are rolling out the red carpet for bicyclists, via designated bike lanes, bike rental kiosks and more. Cities across the U.S.A., from NYC to San Francisco, are shifting their bike programs into high gear. As our nation’s third largest city, I’m glad my sweet home Chicago has rolled with this trend over the last few years, making itself bike-friendly as well. My teenage sons are big bikers, trying to make it as far into the winter as they can, before Mom puts the brakes on their favorite hobby when the snow starts piling up. We recently got to check out Swrve, a line of clothing designed specifically for bicyclists, although it works for anyone out there who wants to look stylish and adventurous.
Chicago launched its bike rental program, called Divvy, in 2013. The Windy City’s bike sharing system costs $10 for a 24 hours pass that gives you an unlimited number of trips, up to 30 minutes each. With 4,760 bikes and 476 stations across the city, Divvy’s a fun, affordable way to get around.The benefits of hopping on a bike to sightsee rather than climbing into a cab are pretty obvious, from the cost savings, to exercising as a family, to the simple joys of getting up close and personal with your surroundings in a new place. Most importantly? Biking is super fun! Apparently, I’m not the only who thinks this… In the two years since Divvy’s launch, there have been more than 4.5 million individual trips.
Chicago’s New 606
Another way that Chicago’s gotten itself in gear is via our newest biking trail, the 606. 606 is the first three numbers of the Chicago zip code, it’s also our Midwest answer to NYC’s High Line. Opened in the summer of 2015, the 606 is a 2.7 mile recreational trail, that turned some unused, dilapidated elevated railway tracks into an urban oasis. Running through the northwest side neighborhoods of Bucktown and Logan Square, the 606 is a great way to check out some of the less-touristy areas of the Second City.
A cool clothing line named Swrve, pedals some great gear for bike enthusiasts. I’m not talking spandex shorts and neon Tour de France shirts. I’m talking clothes that look fashionable, but are super comfortable while riding. From messengers bags, to shirts and jackets that have extra material in the back, so your rear end’s not hanging out, plumber-style, to pants that are made to help you move. Who knew free-wheeling across the U.S.A. would become a hot fashion trend?!
Coming to Chicago? Want to roll like my family? Our favorite bike trail is Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. 18.5 miles along Lake Michigan, that’ll take you past beaches, boats, baseball diamonds, soccer fields and some of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks, including Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, Soldier Field, and the Museum of Science & Industry. So pack your favorite biking gear and buy yourself a 24 hour Divvy pass. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite biking trail?