Chicagoans may have noticed the city looking a little bluer lately. That's not due to seasonal gloom. This blue is reminiscent of the sky on a sunny day—the kind that invites a leisurely bike ride around town on one of Divvy's blue-painted cycles. There are currently more than 3,000 of them cruising the streets and parked at 300 solar-powered, touch-screen-equipped stations, which make up Chicago's still-expanding but already highly popular bike-share program.
Getting in on the action is simple. Purchasing a 24-hour pass or an annual membership lets you unlock any bike at any Divvy station. After adjusting its seat to fit your height and the number of streamers you want to tie to the seat post, it's ready to take for a ride—perhaps along the Lakefront Trail, to work, or on an adventure with friends. If your trip lasts less than 30 minutes, you won't pay anything extra. For longer jaunts, you can pay an overtime fee or just re-dock your bike at any station and take out another one. (Stations have twice as many docking spots as bikes, so you should never have trouble finding a parking space.) Annual members can pick up accessories such as helmets with gear discounts at a wide range of bike shops, or just feel extra-special with perks at participating restaurants and other businesses.
The cheery blue bikes themselves are designed for smooth city riding. An internal gear system means there's no chain to snag pant legs or skirt hems, and a front rack relieves shoulders of purses and bags. Flashing front and rear lights and a bell ensure that other road and path users know that you're rolling through.
Groupon Guide to Chicago
A First-Timer's Guide to Divvy Biking
Most Divvy rides go smoothly, but sometimes you?ll hit a bump along the way. Be prepared with these tips and tricks for bike-share newbies.