Chicago sees increase in bicyclists

May 19, 2008 12:36:57 PM PDT
With Chicago's gas prices the highest in the nation, many people are looking for alternate and less expensive ways to commute. There's no doubt Chicago is bicycle-friendly, with 200 miles of bike lanes in the city and nearly 2,000 lanes and trails throughout the region. In these days of record breaking high gas prices, biking has a new significance.

"This year we've seen more cyclists, specifically commuting to work than ever before," said Margo O'Hara, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

"Most definitely, saving money, the small amount of cost in the purchase of your bike, I think that's recouped 10-fold," said Richard Bott, bikes to work.

Using your bike with public transportation can make your commute even more cost efficient. All CTA buses are equipped with bike racks on the front. They can be used 24/7.

"There's a handle, you just squeeze it and the lever comes down, the bike rack comes down and you place your bike on the bike rack, there's a lever that secures your front wheels, so you pull that lever up and over your front wheels," said Shanell Oliver, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

The whole process takes about 30-seconds! You can also take your bike on CTA trains, but not during 7-9 a.m., 4-6 p.m. or on July 3. Metra also allows bikes on train with similar time restrictions.

For a different spin on the bike commute experience, try "Bike The Drive," a day when only bicycles are allowed on Lake Shore Drive.

"There are no cars the entire 15 miles and participants can go as long as they want, as fast as they want and really see the city that way," said Margo O'Hara, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

Bike the Drive is this Sunday from 5:30 to 10:30 a.m., but you need to register. There is a limit of 25,000 people and with good weather predicted for this weekend, they may have to turn people away!

Resources

Chicago Bicycle Federation (biketraffic.org)
The mission of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, founded in 1985, is to improve the bicycling environment and thereby the quality of life in the region.

  • Bike the Drive
  • Safe Cycling (PDF)
  • Bike to Work Manual (PDF)
  • Chicago Bike Route Signage

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