Top Bike Commutes in Chicago

Biking is a great way to get around. Not only is it great exercise, and great for the environment, it also lets you avoid all that time sitting in traffic, barely moving forward. Depending on the time of day, and your commute, you can actually save time by biking instead of driving. So where are the best places to bike in Chicago? Here are some of the top bike commutes

Biking Neighborhoods

There are a number of great areas in Chicago for bikes. In Hyde Park, the apartments are right near Lake Shore Drive, which makes for a convenient cycling commute to a number of businesses. Likewise Humboldt Park has a number of bike-friendly roads. Western Avenue is a bit busy for safe cycling, but California Avenue is a great alternative.

The Wicker Park/Bucktown Corridor is a great route downtown from both Wicker Park and Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park also has the Lakefront Trail, which is convenient to Edgewater as well, and is a great way for bikes to get downtown quickly.

Many areas in Chicago have Divvy, a bike sharing system, wherein you can rent a bike for the day to get where you’re going, if you don’t already have one yourself. You can also buy a monthly or annual membership. There are over 3,000 bikes at 300 stations all over the city, making it a great and convenient way to get where you’re going.

Crosstown and Spoke Routes

One of the busiest and most active areas in Chicago is the Loop—the main section of the downtown area. In order to encourage cycling—and safety—Chicago has a number of different bike-friendly routes to get to and from the Loop. First are the Crosstown Routes. Long stretches of road like Elston Avenue will take you to and from the Loop quickly and easily.

But what about those who live on the outer edges of the city, or in the suburbs? There are convenient and safe bike routes for them too. They’re called Spoke Routes, as they come from the outer parts of the city and converge on the Loop in the center like the spokes on a wheel. There are seven Spoke Routes in Chicago:

  1. Clark Street
  2. Milwaukee Avenue
  3. Lake Street/Randolph Street
  4. Archer Avenue
  5. Vincennes Avenue
  6. South Chicago Avenue
  7. State Street/Wabash Avenue

Between the Crosstown Routes and the Spoke Routes, you can get from just about any neighborhood in Chicago—including the ones listed above—to the downtown area. More importantly, though, all of these routes are specifically designed for cyclists. At the very least, they all have designated bike lanes. Some of the lanes include different colored pavement, to make them easy to see, and easy for cars to avoid. And some of the lanes even have physical barriers, to keep the bikes and cars separate, and ensure bike safety.

Chicago loves cyclists, as they reduce both traffic and pollution, and make the city better overall. That’s why the city planners have designed so many clear and safe bike routes that are convenient for commuters—and why they’ve implemented a citywide program like Divvy, to encourage more people to bike.

Wherever you live in Chicago, it’s easy to get from your apartment to work, or to a night on the town, on your bike. It will save you money, reduce your carbon footprint, and help you get in better shape. So leave the car at home, grab a bike, and the whole city is at your fingertips.