If the dune buggy and the sewing wheel hadn't enjoyed that fateful tryst so many years ago, the bicycle might never have been born. Honor the proud parents of pedal-powered progress with today's Groupon: for $15, you get a 60-day B-cycle Bike Share Membership (a $45 value). Rental and return stations are located at McCormick Place, Museum Campus, Buckingham Fountain, Daley Plaza, John Hancock Center, and 541 N. Fairbanks; bikes are available from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.
B-cycle operates much like a car-sharing service, allowing members and non-members to rent bikes when they need them and return them to the same or any other station. Because B-cycle encourages short trips throughout the city, only jaunts lasting less than an hour are covered with your membership; however, you can extend your pedaling for $2.50 for each additional half hour. From now until October 31, bikes will be available at many of the city's popular sightseeing locations, allowing fun-savvy wayfarers, visitors, and new residents to gander at Chicago's stately skyscrapers and overbig pizzas, all while reducing carbon emissions.
Long a sustainable model in Paris and other European locales, bike sharing is being met with resounding success as it is introduced in U.S. cities. So gird your thighs for forward momentum, and have fun getting around in a simple, affordable manner that's also beneficial to your health.
Helmets are available at Bike and Roll stands but not at B-Share stations. Bike and Roll is a supporter of the Chicago B-Share program. Riders must be at least 16 years old.
- ...bike-sharing could become a Chicago way of life. – Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune