When I first arrived in Chicago, I told myself I was going to walk everywhere. Since I only had the weekend to truly explore, I didn’t want to waste my time and money sitting in an Uber or a bus.
However, while the city is flat, it’s definitely not small. Major attractions are sprawled out and can easily take an hour or more to walk to from the opposite end of downtown.
This left one obvious option - rent a bike.
After shopping around at various rental shops, I ended up going with Divvy Bikes. Unlike standard rentals, Divvy is a self-serve, bike share program that charges a flat fee for a 24-hour pass.
Within that 24 hours, you have unlimited rides up to 30 minutes each. If you go over the 30 minutes, your card is charged an additional fee depending on how far past the time you are.
How does that work?
Divvy has bike stations ALL over the city, encouraging users to use the bikes for simple transportation means to and from their destination. Every time you check a bike back into a station, your time clock stops, and every time you check a bike out, your time clock starts.
Personally, I liked this rental method better because it allowed me to put the bike away from time-to-time, and walk around without having to drag it with me or worry about it getting stolen.
Cost and Fees
Renting a Divvy bike for the day cost me $9.95 + tax. This was incredibly affordable compared to some of the other rental shops I saw. Bobby’s Bike Hike, for example, charges $10 per HOUR, with a minimum of 2 hours.
To me that seemed ridiculous, considering I was paying half the price for the convenience of being able to drop my bike off at a station anytime and walk around or grab food.
Fee wise, Divvy charges an additional $2 for any rides which extend into the 31-60 minute range, $6 if you hit the 60-91 minute range, and then $8 per every additional 30 minutes once you hit 91 consecutive minutes.
The best way I found to avoid going over your time, is to download the Transit app and know which station you’re headed to next. During the first half of the day, I tried looking for the stations without the app and went over my time twice (I’m a little stubborn when it comes to doing things on my own haha).
Where to Ride
The Lakefront Trail running alongside Lake Michigan was my favorite spot. For an easy and beautiful ride, start at Navy Pier and ride up to Lincoln Park. This will take you past Oak Street Beach and North Avenue Beach - both great places to stop and enjoy the water or play in the sand.
Once at Lincoln Park, you can stop and walk through the zoo for a bit, or check out the Green City Market. The trails through the park were plenty wide-enough to ride on, and bike stations are scattered throughout.
If you instead decide to check out the area south of Navy Pier, you can follow the Lakefront Trail to Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum and Alder Planetarium, or take a detour and check out Buckingham Fountain.
Bike includes a metal rack in front and an elastic cord to secure your bag to it, but there is no place to put small items like water bottles or selfie sticks if you do not have a bag
Make sure to follow the rules of the road
Plan your route out and know where the nearest stations are (I used the Transit app)
Be safe and have fun!
This post was not sponsored, I simply loved my experience with Divvy Bikes and would recommend it to anyone who’ll be visiting Chicago. :)
Leave a comment below if you have any questions!