With the growing presence of Divvy and other bike initiatives, biking in Chicago is more prominent than it’s ever been—just in time for the return of Chicago Bike Week, the yearly celebration of all things cycling.
But there’s more to Chicago Bike Week than tooling around town on two wheels: this year’s iteration comes with the debut of several bike-related projects, events, and plain-old good times. From June 13th - 20th, here are the best things going on during Chicago Bike Week.
Where: West Town and Lake View
For: The Launch of the Bike Friendly Business Districts
When: June 13th and beyond
The West Town and Lake View chambers of commerce have partnered with the Active Transportation Alliance to launch two commercial districts that feature improved bike infrastructure—buffered bike lanes, better parking options, DIY-style bike repair stations—and, most importantly, shopping discounts for cyclists. Over 60 Chicago businesses are involved, with more being added—and the discounts continue past Bike Week. Be sure to show your helmet to get the special deals, and check out the Lake View C of C’s site for and West Town’s mobile app for discount details.
Where: Schubas Tavern
For: Schubas Bike Bash
When: Saturday, June 14th, 12-4 p.m.
Concert hall Schubas hosts an unofficial kick-off to Bike Week, in the style of BBQ and three-dollar Revolution brews (just the stuff to get you ready for the night’s Naked Bike Ride). Local cycle shops will be on hand for tune-ups, and they’ll be raffling off a custom Revolution-themed bike—you can buy raffle tickets for 2 bucks or donate an old bike for ten tickets, with all proceeds benefiting the excellent not-for-profit Working Bikes. Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave, 773-525-2508, schubas.com. Free entry.
For: Bikes, Stunts, & Oysters
When: Wednesday, June 18th, 4-8 p.m.
Head to Frontier for a bike-themed dinner and a show. Shell out twelve bucks for a dozen boiled oysters—or get them raw for a dollar a pop—to go with Half Acre tallboys on special, and take in a BMX freestyle demo from Let’s Roast Cycles. And if the event’s title gives you pause, fret not: the stunts and the oysters will (hopefully) remain separate. Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave, 773-772-4322, thefrontierchicago.com. Free entry.
Where: Buckingham Fountain
For: A Near North Side Bike Tour
When: Wednesday, June 18th at 6:30 p.m.
Experienced tour guide Lee Diamond, of Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours, leads participants on a free two-hour tour of Chicago’s Near North Side. Note, all participants must wear a helmet. Buckingham Fountain, 301 N. Columbus Dr. 312-742-7529. Free.
Where: Cloud Gate in Millennium Park
For: Life Time Cycle Palooza
When: Thursday, June 19th at 5:30 p.m.
Ride a cycle of the stationary variety at this free spin class in the heart of Millennium Park, accompanied by a DJ and certified spin instructor. The event planners anticipate 200-plus attendees, and bikes are made available first come, first serve. Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., 312-742-1168. Free.
Where: Daley Plaza
For: The Bike to Work Rally
When: Friday, June 20th at 7 a.m.
After a Bike Week that may have featured shopping, cycling, and oysters, rise and shine early on Friday and do what the week is all about. Grab your fixie, Divvy, beater or cruiser and meet up with the dedicated faithful at Daley Plaza for a free breakfast, music, and merch, then ride your two wheels to work. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn Sts., Free.