Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours

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2010 Ride Archive

NorthparkJefferson Park
Saturday December 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM
At Jefferson Park, 4822 N Long Avenue

Jefferson Park, Chicago Community Area #11 is 10 miles northwest of the Loop. Nicknamed, the “Gateway to Chicago”, farmers once came from far and wide to sell their goods in Jefferson, named to honor Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson’s ideal location began as two Native American trails, grew to include the area’s earliest toll plank roads, and was thereafter augmented by rail and commuter lines. Today the area has a population of over 40,000, a tremendous amount of green space, historical homes and buildings throughout, and a namesake park on the National Register of Historic Places.







NorthparkNorth Park
Sunday, November 21 at 1:00 PM
Peterson Park at 5801 N Pulaski Road

North Park is Chicago Community Area #13 and sits just 9 miles northwest of the Loop. It is cradled between the two branches of the Chicago River, and is part of and/or adjacent to some of the most developed and realized bike trails in the city. It is a quiet residential area, sharing parks, tree-lined streets and marvelous buildings with adjacent Albany Park , Forest Glen, Lincolnwood, Lincoln Square and West Ridge. It is the home of several in-city universities, and the north side’s own Chicago Park District-run nature center.

Chainlink Event PageRoute







Forest GlenForest Glen
Saturday, November 13 at 1:00 PM
Indian Road Woods Forest Preserve on North Central Ave., just north of Indian Rd. and a half-mile south of Caldwell Ave.

Forest Glen is community area #12 and sits 10 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. Bordering
the Northern border suburbs of Niles, Skokie and Lincolnwood, Forest Glen was a suburb
itself until it was annexed by the city in 1889. The surrounding forest preserves, golf courses,
parks, cemeteries, bike and hiking trails and beautiful homes of varying vintage and styles still
preserves a suburban-community look and feel on the edge of the city.

Chainlink Event PageRouteVirtual TourPhotopage



BridgeportBridgeport and Armour Square
(new tour!)
Saturday, October 23 at 1:00 PM
McGuane Park at 29th and Halsted

The history of the Bridgeport and Armour Square area is as old as Chicago itself. Native Americans used the area as a portage, particularly when the Chicago River was at its deepest, and most spread out. Later, Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the region in 1673, proposing the addition of a canal to aid in the region’s natural use as a transportation center and trading route. Some 175 years later, the Illinois and Michigan Canal created jobs and enabled industries and fueled the growth of the Bridgeport area and the city of Chicago. Freight and passenger rail followed by commuter rail expansion divided the areas of Armour Square and Bridgeport, and fenced in the areas by hard boundaries like the South Branch of the Chicago River and the rail lines. The expansion of the Federal Highway System and the construction of the Dan Ryan and Adlai E. Stevenson Expressways and various merging ramps and exits further served to cut off the two areas from one-another, and in many ways, the areas from the rest of the city, despite its past as a transportation hub.

The built history of the region is fascinating in both its plethora of early examples of architecture that still survives, and a long history of styles, marking the expansion of different immigrant communities into the area, and the changing of architectural norms. There are more than 200 notable buildings and locations along the way of the ride, with over a dozen stops and detailed explanations of the buildings, their history, the background of the area, and the story of two of Chicago’s most fascinating communities.

Register NowChainlink Event SiteBike Tour WebsiteRouteStarting SpotPhoto AlbumRoss Felten Poster


Saturday, October 9 at 1:00 PM
Columbus Park at 500 S Central Avenue

Austin, Chicago Community Area #25 sits seven miles due west of the Loop. It is one of Chicago’s largest Community Areas and was founded in 1865 by Henry Austin. Originally located in the township of Cicero, it was voted out of the Township and became part of Chicago in 1899. For years, the rail lines served as a boon to Austin, and development and communities grew and prospered for years. Austin is site to some of the grandest mansions and most splendid architectural forms in all of Chicago, and to one of the grandest parks in the park system, Columbus Park, a fully-realized design of famed landscape architect Jens Jensen. Sadly Austin’s beautiful buildings today are often neighbored by empty lots, and dilapidated structures in many directions as the area has seen its fortunes decline as its population and money disappeared while its infrastructure and opportunities ever weakened. The prospect for urban renewal in many ways begins by rediscovering what we Chicagoans have lost by neglecting our neighborhoods. By remembering and seeing what we have lost, we can change a neighborhood’s fortunes, and regain our stature.

Chainlink Event PageRouteVirtual TourPhotopage

Logan SquareLogan Square
Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Logan Square Centennial Monument at the intersection of Milwaukee and Logan Boulevards

Logan Square, Community Area no. 22 is located 5 miles from the loop on Chicago’s near Northwest side, Logan Square is a densely populated microcosm of Chicago. Just as it is home to exquisite mansions along its historic boulevards, its side-streets are lined with simple workers’ homes and 2-flats. It is host to homey dive bars and haute cuisine hot spots. A particularly funky strip of Milwaukee forms its main commercial district, immediately adjacent to its quiet tree- lined residential streets. Exhibiting a wide variety of styles and a host of wonderful examples, it is also an architectural treasure trove.

Chainlink Event PageRouteVirtual Tour (PDF)





Hyde Park

Hyde Park
Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Washington Park Fieldhouse at 5531 S Martin Luther King Drive

Hyde Park, Chicago Community Area #41 sits 7 miles south of the Loop. It is a unique community not just in the south side, or just in Chicago, but in the world. It is home to the University of Chicago, and the grand gothic campus dotted with several notable moderns. The community around the campus is equally impressive. Luminaries like Frank Lloyd Wright, Frederick Olmsted, Lorado Taft, Howard Van Doren Shaw, Dwight Perkins, George and William Keck, and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe are but some of the giants with handsome contributions to the areas rich architectural palette. Hyde Park is an full of locally owned businesses, and community organizations and caring stewards of the history of the neighborhood. The best way to see such history and wonder is of course, on a bicycle.

Chainlink Event PageRouteVirtual TourPhotopage



East and West Garfield Park
Saturday June 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Garfield Park at 100 N. Central Park
Photo Album | Chainlink Page | Starting Point | Ross Felten Poster

Garfield ParkWest Garfield Park is community area #26, sitting 5 miles west of The Loop. It's eastern neighbor East Garfield Park is community area #25, and sits a mile closer from eastern border to downtown Chicago. This is an area with a storied past, and many brilliant examples of amazing residential architecture. Garfield Park itself, formerly the Central Park of the West Chicago Parks Commission three major parks, features brilliant landscaping by Jens Jensen and William Le Baron Jenney, a gilded-domed fieldhouse, formerly serving as district headquarters, and a brilliant Conservatory, which Jens Jensen designed and filled with exotic plant specimins, very different from his prairie-native planting design philosophy.

West of the park lay what was for a time, one of the hottest night-life sections of Chicago, the Madison-Crawford Distrtict. The booms were as magnificent, as the busts were difficult. A confluence of events sent the area spiralling into a economic tailspin that began with the construction of the Congress (Eisenhower) Expressway in the 1950s, and culminated in racial discrimination, industrial abandonment, and urban decay that saw a population decline of two-thirds in fifty years.

There is a lot to see, and a lot to contemplate riding through these streets. I have learned much about the city doing these tours, and barring some better course of action than that I have pursued to this point, this looks to be the last of them. I hope you'll join me one more time.


Humboldt Park
Sunday May 23, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Humboldt Park at California and Division
Starting Point | Ross Felten Poster | Humboldt Park Photo Album

Humboldt Park is community area number 23 and sits four miles west of the Loop. Humboldt Park is a community area, a neighborhood and a huge city park, all three named for Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist. The neighborhood extends from Western to Pulaski and from Armitage to Chicago leaving half of the total neighborhood, and half of park in the community area of West Town. The community area begins at Sacramento/Humboldt on the east and is otherwise bordered by rail-lines; the Bloomingdale Line and Street on the north, the Union Pacific at Kinzie on the south and the Belt Railway on the west, just east of Cicero avenue. The area known as West Humboldt Park extends from Pulaski west to the other borders of the community area.

The area is also home to some of the greatest work of some of the most heralded figures in Chicago and American architecture and landscape design, including William Le Baron Jenney, Jens Jensen, William Carbys Zimmerman, Dwight Perkins and Schmidt, Garden & Martin. The area is resplendent with a vibrant palette of murals and community gardens. The tour will explore all of Humboldt Park; the neighborhood, the park, and the community area. We will visit the National Landmark namesake park and all of its buildings and major sculptures, Dwight Perkin’s Moos and Nobel schools, the Paseo Boriqua, and the home-sites of some of Chicago’s most famous figures.

As always the tours are roughly 15 miles and 4 to 5 hours in length, and are completely free.

We are however asking, as we did once last year, that you consider making a donation to our special partner on this ride, West Town Bikes. Please visit the following link and put “HUMBOLDT PARK TOUR” in the space for “Designation” to make a donation in the amount you see fit. West Town Bikes is a jewel in the city of Chicago, and an extremely worthy cause. We hope you will consider helping out if you can.

If you prefer to donate on site, they will be on-hand for bike-checks before their ride with the usual shop-tip cans.


Lower West Side
Sunday April 25, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Harrison Park at 1824 S. Wood
Chainlink Page | Ross Felten Poster | Starting Spot

Lower West SideCommunity Area #31, the Lower West Side is 3 miles southwest of the loop. It is bounded on the south and east by the South branch of the Chicago River and on the north and west by the Burlington Northern Railroad. The oldest section is known as Pilsen, named for the city in Bohemia, where many of the earliest settlers to the area immigrated from. The initial popularity of the area was as a place for Bohemians to rebuild after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The area west of Pilsen was known as the Heart of Chicago, and soon became as popular as Pilsen, and as immigrants from different countries came to America, many of them settled in Heart of Chicago. Many of the residents of both main sections of the Lower West Side were laborers and worked in the city’s factories, in the nearby stockyards or meat packers, or as tradesmen. The housing is most often modest brick worker’s cottages and practical multi-unit housing, and the area is dominated by several monumental churches, whose influence and congregation’s popularity helped bring population and development to the area, including St. Paul’s, St. Pius and St. Adalbert. Beyond the churches and residences, the Lower West Side also includes grand treasures by the biggest luminaries of Chicago architecture. Some of the scheduled stops will include visits to the Daniel Burnham designed Fisk Power Plant, the Pond and Pond designed Gad’s Hill Center, the William Carbys Zimmerman designed Dvorak Park Fieldhouse and the Schmidt and Garden designed Schoenhofen Brewery. Join us for a day on your bike digging the Lower West Side.


Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Lakeview High School Park at 4055 N. Greenview
Chainlink Page | Ross Felten poster | Starting Spot

Uptown/AndersonvilleLake View, Community Area #6 sits 4 miles north of Chicago's Loop. Once a trail path for a number of North American Indian tribes, including the Miami, Ottowa and Winnebago, the land was eventually settled by European immigrants who made the area farmland to celery, flowers and other crops. In its history, Lake View has been a village, a township, a Chicago suburb, its own city, and eventually a community area of Chicago. The area is also home to a variety of architecturally impressive buildings and homes.

Comprised of neighborhoods such as Wrigleyville, Lakeview, and East Lakeview, the area is home to numerous national and city landmarks, and several landmark districts. This combined with an interesting history provide the backdrop for a wonderful bike ride. Won't you join us?


West Town
Meet at Humboldt Park at the intersection of California and Division
Saturday February 27, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Chainlink Page | Ross Felten poster | Route Map | Starting Spot

West Town


Lincoln Square
Meet at East River Park at 5100 N Francisco
Saturday January 30, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Chainlink Page | Ross Felten poster | Route Map | Starting Spot

Lincoln Square



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