Hang up your shoe-leather and hop on a two-wheeler with today’s Groupon: $17 for a springtime pedal-powered tour with Bobby’s Bike Hike, a $32 value. There’s no better way to see Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods and lovely lakefront power-up into a heftier season. Roll on a comfy cruiser with one of three guided tours: the Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour, the Obama Bike Tour, or the City Lights at Night Tour. These tours are suitable for riders of any fitness level, and are rated “ridiculously easy,” “kindergarten easy,” and “incredibly easy,” respectively.
Chicago is one of the best biking cities in the country, and after a cruise with Bobby’s Bike Hike as the city thaws and warms, you’ll understand why. Bobby’s is easy to find, conveniently located just west of Navy Pier (the Obama Bike Tour will depart from a different location, see below). Here’s what you’re in for with each of the tours, taken from Bobby’s website:
Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour: Rated the best Chicago sightseeing tour of 2008! This tour is what made Bobby famous, taking you off the tourist beat and onto the quiet neighborhood streets, city parks, and packed beaches of the North Side of Chicago. Highlights include Oprah’s House, the Playboy Mansion, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Old Town Historic District, North Avenue Beach, and the Lakefront. All ages and fitness levels will enjoy! Reservations recommended. Tours daily at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
City Lights at Night Tour: Bike through Chicago’s most attractive hotspots at night! Like a party on wheels, we’ll cruise through downtown to see Millennium Park, Museum Campus, and Buckingham Fountain, with its world-renowned light show. You’ll see our favorite jaw-dropping vantage points of the scintillating skyline. Wednesday and Saturday nights include the skyline fireworks display at Navy Pier. Reservations Recommended. Tours nightly at 7:00 p.m.
The Obama Bike Tour: Discover President Obama’s gorgeous Chicago neighborhood on this brand-new, very popular tour beginning in Hyde Park. Enjoy a ride through the historic Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods. Your guide will take you to all of Obama’s favorite Chicago places, stopping to discuss his policies and what effect [sic] Chicago had in shaping his ideas. Highlights include the University of Chicago campus, Museum of Science & Industry, Obama’s current residence, his barbershop, and Jackson Park, where he still plays basketball. Please Note: The Obama Bike Tour begins and ends at the beautiful Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Avenue, located just off the lake and blocks from Obama’s home. Click here for a printable map and directions to this location. Reservations mandatory. Tours daily at 10 a.m. (Pending availability, the Obama’s Stimulus Package tour may also be an option—in four hours and 22 miles, it covers the same sights as the Obama Bike Tour, with additional stops on the museum campus and at Grant Park, where Obama celebrated his victory on Election Night 2008.)
Whether you’re visiting the Chi or you’re a lifelong resident looking for a new way to appreciate city, this deal is a fun, earth- and fitness-friendly way to soak in Chicago’s rich history, famous skyline, and presidential ethos, all while exercising in the fresh air.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time, and make sure to wear comfortable clothing. Tours will take place rain or shine.
Yelpers and Citysearchers love to ride with Bobby’s, giving it five perfect stars: > * Recently a friend and I played ‘hookie’ from work on a rare, beautiful March Chicago day and did Bobby’s Bike Hike. It was SO fun and I definitely recommend it! – Sunshine6, Citysearch > * We learned a lot of interesting things about Chicago history and saw a part of the city that was totally new to us. The bikes were beautiful, comfortable, and so easy to ride. I would definitely recommend this as a great way to tour the city! – MaryBrennan, Citysearch > * Bobby’s tour guides are fun, friendly and very informative. The experience was so great I am writing my first review to let everyone know. – Brendanbiz, Citysearch
Bobby's Bike Hike
Inspired by a love of fitness and a passion for travel and tourism kindled within him by his late father, Jeremy Lewno founded Bobby's Bike Hike to create an interactive Chicago biking experience. He named the company after his dad, Bob, an Arkansas bus-tour operator who taught him to focus on service quality over quantity. That advice has clearly paid off, as the business's guided tours have earned a number one ranking for activities to do in Chicago on TripAdvisor and the title of Best Organized Bike Ride from the Chicago Reader in 2010.
During the tours, which include rented bicycles, guides lead groups of about 20 riders past Chicago icons in Millennium Park and on the Museum Campus, or direct them to samples of pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes, and beer in and around Wrigleyville. The crew has designed a Tike Hike tour for kids 10 and younger, a Chicago gangster tour that uncovers Chicago's seedier side, and a mansion-studded lakefront tour, during which riders may glimpse Oprah waving or handing out complimentary helicopters at her main residence. Patrons can also rent Schwinn, GT, and Cannondale Comfort bikes, mountain, road, cruisers, and tandem bikes to explore the city on their own.