Put Chicago's New Bike Share Program To The Test: 3 Great Rides



2dStaying in shape, going green, and getting from point A to B just got a little bit easier. Last Friday, Chicago launched its very own bike share program, Divvy Bike. Priced at $7 for 24 hours of unlimited 30-minute rides, this is definitely a great option if you're looking for an alternative method of commuting (yearly memberships are only $75) or running a few errands. Now, if you want to ride over the 30-minute mark, it's gonna cost you anywhere from $1.50 to $6.00 and upwards depending on the duration of time — which is still not a bad price to pay if you want to spend the afternoon out exploring the city and don't already have wheels of your own.

So, to encourage you to test out this rad, new program, we've rounded up three routes that offer views, culture, and urban beauty. Start by figuring out where you're going to pick up your ride at one of Divvy Bike's copious stations, then put the rubber to the road! Just don't forget that helmet.

1. The ride south to Northerly Island is a scenic stretch of the legs! There's a Divvy docking station in Millennium Park (among other surrounding areas), so head east on Columbus until you reach Monroe. Next, take a left and get on the gorgeous Lakefront Trail. You'll ride this all the way to Northerly Island, passing sites such as Museum Campus (where there is also a docking station) along the way. Once you reach the island, you can cruise through the prairie-lined paths before looping back and completing about a seven-mile round-trip ride.

2. Heading the opposite direction, check out one of the bikes near Navy Pier (there's a docking station at McClurg Court and Illinois Street) and head north all the way down to Hollywood via the Lakefront Trail. There are plenty of great spots to stop along the way (picnic, anyone?) if you so choose, including Montrose and Belmont Harbors if you want a place to chill that's not as chaotic than North Avenue Beach. Complete this loop and you'll have 15 miles under your belt. Not bad if you want to earn your lunch.

3. Another gem off of the Lakefront Trail is that of Jackson Park, site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. You can grab a bike at one of the southernmost docking stations (such as State and 16th Street, Museum Campus, or McCormick Place) and head south passing sites such as the Museum of Science and Industry and Promontory Point Park — another scenic picnic destination. If you've got some time on your hands, stick around and explore Obama's Hyde Park. Check out our neighborhood guide for tips on what do and where to chow!

Looking for how to navigate the city streets on a bike? Check out this comprehensive map, courtesy of the City of Chicago. Happy trails!

Photo: Courtesy of Divvy