Sightseeing on a bicycle is far superior to perusing tourist spots on an icicle, with its uncomfortable seating and tendency to melt as soon as you start pedaling. Cruise the streets in sturdy style with today's Groupon: for $18, you get a three-hour Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour or a City Lights at Night bike tour from Bobby's Bike Hike (a $35 value).
The pedal-powered expedition emporium treats wheeled fitness enthusiasts and sightseeing fanatics alike to inimitable and ecologically affable jaunts through the Windy City. Sail down streets on a comfy provided cruiser during one of two guided tours. The Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour, rated "ridiculously easy," lopes riders through the quiet neighborhood boulevards of the North Side and into city parks and bustling beaches. Take in views of the Old Town historic district, the lakefront, and the Lincoln Park Zoo with its pinochle-playing lions during your three-hour cycle saunter. Dusk devotees will high-five their borrowed bike spokes for the "amazingly easy" City Lights at Night Tour. Hit downtown hotspots such as the Museum Campus, Millennium Park, and Buckingham Fountain, whose aqueous spray glints with ghostly reflections of stoic British guards. Opt for a Wednesday- or Saturday-evening tour to witness fireworks popping deftly through the skyline from your perch on Navy Pier.
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.