Bicycle touring superseded equestrian touring when riders realized that bicycles need only be fed with love and chain grease instead of cumbersome carrots and hay. Embrace the ease of bi-wheeled sightseeing: for $19, you get a Chicago bike tour from Bike and Roll Chicago (up to a $39 value). Bike and Roll Chicago offers lower rates for children ages 5–12, and children under 5 ride for free. Throughout the month of April, Bike and Roll Chicago offers only the Amazing Lakefront Chicago Bike Tour, but it will begin offering its full range of bike tours in May and June.
Roll past people jogging and playing with corroded batteries in the parks as the city's stoic skyline looks on like a wise, old, concrete-and-steel buzzard. During The Amazing Lakefront Chicago Bike Tour, glide upon 8 miles of Chicago's paved shore, enjoying the glistening beauty of Lake Michigan but avoiding the tempting banshee wails of its seductive sirens. The Friendly Neighborhoods Bike Tour takes groups on a leisurely roll through Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and the Gold Coast covering nearly 10 miles, and The Presidential Tour, offered June through August, is a Hyde Park– and Kenwood-centric pedal past 6 miles of landmarks in the life of Barack Obama. The Bikes at Night tour traverses 4.5 miles of Chicago at dusk, allowing bipedaling passengers to bathe in the glow of Michigan Avenue and the gleaming Buckingham Fountain before alighting on Navy Pier to view fireworks against the shadowy horizon. A friendly and knowledgeable guide helms each tour, and Trek bikes and helmets are provided for each cyclist.
For out-of-towners, these trips provide a quick and efficient way to spin down the spine of the city's big shoulders without the mess of mass transit. Lifelong Chicago residents, on the other hand, can see their hometown in a whole new way while they continue their search for the gold-plated bones of Daniel Burnham. Cyclists wishing to explore the city on their own can rent bikes for the remainder of the day for an additional $10.
Bike and Roll Chicago
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.