With a fleet of futuristic segways and classic beach-cruiser bicycles, Bike and Roll Chicago outfits travelers with wheeled transportation to explore the city's paved surfaces. Tour guides lead groups through Millennium Park and along the lakefront to catch the skyline when illuminated by sunrises or backlit by one of Chicago's many moons. Misty Lake Michigan breezes ruffle riders' hair peeking through helmets as they pass by sailboats swaying lazily in the harbors and fishermen casting lines for trout and perch. Bike and Roll Chicago designs routes around classic architectural landmarks such as the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum as well as popular neighborhoods home to a number of restaurants and art festivals.
Be Active Outdoors organizes physical and recreational activities for adults and children of all fitness levels. Regular events challenge locals to break their sedentary habits with 10-mile bike rides, lessons on revitalizing waterways, and group adventure races. An annual river-basin tournament combines a focus on conservation with thrilling paddleboat and shoreline fishing. The Amped Up Adventure race complicates traditional adventure racing with urban elements including biking, running, paddling, and an obstacle course to get people moving in their home environments.
Bike and Roll Chicago's staff dispatches clients on wheel-based expeditions throughout Chicago. Guides—several of whom are Chicagoland natives—can lead informative and entertaining tours in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and semaphores.
When fitting athletic shoes, the technicians at Universal Sole go above and beyond simple foot measuring. The knowledgeable staff uses Video Gate Analysis to customers find the most fitted and comfortable shoe. They watch you walk and jog on a treadmill to determine your foot's specific biomechanics, then they select which shoe will keep your feet stable and supported during workouts. The store's footwear brands, such as Nike and Adidas, are built for workouts of all kind, but Universal Sole puts particular emphasis on running. The site lists neighborhood run routes and training plans to get customers ready for their first 5K or 10K. Store hours are Mon. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free parking is available at the Village Market Place.
When the sun goes down during Summer Solstice weekend in Chicago, the bikes come out. Celebrating its 26th year in 2014, the iconic L.A.T.E. Ride sends cyclists whirring through the city beneath the glow of street lamps. But the non-competitive event also encourages participants to supply some light of their own?whether it's by decorating their bikes with festive lights or hiring packs of fireflies to follow them?with a pre-ride award ceremony recognizing the best lighting arrangements. Then, waves of riders pedal off into the night, with some not crossing the finish line until the sun begins to rise over Lake Michigan. Proceeds from the annual event benefit Friends of the Parks, an acclaimed non-profit organization that preserves and improves Chicago-area parks and forest preserves.
Chicago was once synonymous with its gangsters, and on the South Side tour run by Bobby's Bike Hike, cyclists seem to pedal back to those seedy times. The tour stops at Chicago's onetime red light districts and at the haunts of iconic gangsters such as Al Capone, who earned his hardened reputation by having perfectly good hot dogs roughed up at will. Fir more than a decade, the company has been hosting themed tours like these that show off the city's history, traditions, and scenery. Other have participants sampling the city's iconic pizza or rolling through lakefront neighborhoods. And anyone who prefers to create their own tour can rent bikes by the hour in a choice of styles that range from classic road bikes to two-seaters for parents and kids.