Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours

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2011 Ride Archive

UptownTour of Bridgeport and Armour Square
Saturday December 3, 2011 at 11:00 AM
McGuane Park at 29th Street 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.

Buy 2010 Poster - $5


Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Ross Felten 2010 Tour Poster


UptownTour of Hyde Park
Sunday November 20, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Washington Park Field House at 5531 S Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago

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. Won’t you join us?

Buy 2009 Poster - $5


Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Virtual Tour | Ross Felten 2009 Tour Poster


UptownTour of Austin
Saturday November 5, 2011 at 11:00 AM
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 as a city.

Buy 2010 Poster - $5


Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Ross Felten 2010 Tour Poster


Intuitintuit eccentric roadside art bike tour
Sunday October 23, 2011 at 1:00 PM
At Intuit - http://www.art.org/ at 726 N Milwaukee, Chicago

$20 Non-Members
$15 Members
$5 Poster

In collaboration with Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours, Intuit presents a back alley bike tour through the North side of Chicago. We'll be riding under freeways, alongside viaducts, and through parks to show you the most fascinating artwork you may have never seen. This tour will place emphasis on the Eccentric; with architectural curiosities, funky hand painted signs, intriguing murals & memorials, peculiar decorations in community gardens and bizarre yard art.

The 12 mile tour will start at Intuit at 1pm with a guided tour of the exhibitions and will wind through Chicago neighborhood streets, with a final stop at the Roger Brown Study collection for another guided tour at this local treasure of outside art.

Normal single ride tickets through Chicago Velo are not applicable for this ride, but multi-ride and subscription holders may ride for free. Online registration on the Intuit event page here.

Buy Bike Fall 2011 Poster for $5


Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Intuit Tour Page | Registration Page | Intuit


UptownUptownTour of Logan Square
Saturday October 8, 2011 at 1:00 PM
At the Hideout at 1354 W Wabansia, Chicago
Free Tour as part of Chicago Bike Fall

This fall, Big Shoulders Realty, Chicago Velo and New Belgium Brewing present Bike Fall 2011, a musical, bicycle festival in the middle of our favorite time to bike... FALL! Come enjoy a plethora of bands, DJs, bike activities, tours, contests, giveaways and awesome fall bike fun to benefit West Town Bikes. As part of the event, we will be hosting a FREE tour of one of our most popular tours, and the community area that contains the Hideout, Logan Square.

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.

Buy 2008 Tour Poster - $5

Buy Bike Fall 2011 Posterfor $5


Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Photo Album | Virtual Tour | Ross Felten 2008 Tour Poster | Ross Felten Bike Fall 2011 Poster











UptownTour of East and West Garfield Park
Sunday September 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Garfield Park at 100 N Central Park

West Garfield Park is community area #26, sitting 5 miles west of The Loop. Its 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 specimens, 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 District. The booms were as magnificent, as the busts were difficult. A confluence of events sent the area spiraling 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.

Buy 2010 Poster - $5


Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Ross Felten 2010 Tour Poster


UptownTour of Humboldt Park
Saturday September 3, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Humboldt Park at California and Division

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.

Buy 2010 poster - $5


Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Ross Felten 2010 Tour Poster


Tour of the Lower West Side
Sunday August 14, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Harrison Park at 1824 S Wood
$10

Community 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.

The ride is at a slow and relaxed pace and all riders must wear a helmet.

Chainlink Event Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Ross Felten Poster

Buy the poster for $5


Tour of West Town
Sunday August 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Humboldt Park at the intersection of California and Division
$10

West Town, Community Area #24 sits 3 miles northwest of The Loop. As with many Chicago communities, there is a West Town neighborhood and Community Area, and the two have different borders. The Community Area also contains neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Noble Square, part of Humboldt Park and Ukrainian Village amongst others. Unless you happened to be in the neighborhood of West Town, it is doubtful that any resident of the neighborhoods would identify themselves as being from the Community Area, as this is far more an area defined by its neighborhoods.

The built environment in West Town is second to none and the challenge of a tour such as this is drilling down to the essentials when there are so many splendid examples of things to see and a good supply of parks, murals and neighborhood features beyond the architectural goodies.

The ride is at a slow and relaxed pace and all riders must wear a helmet.

Chainlink Event Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album

Buy the Tour of West Town 2011 Poster for $5


Tour of Lincoln Square
Saturday July 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM
River Park at 5100 N Francisco
$10

Chicago Community Area #4 sits 7 miles northwest of the loop. The community area was a construct of a 1920s University of Chicago project to categorize different areas of the city, but it is also a neighborhood within the community area, as are Ravenswood, Bowmanville, Budlong Woods and Ravenswood Manor. Previously this entire area was known as Ravenswood, and many residents still think of it that way. Formerly a farming community for celery and pickles, the area developed as the transportation access to the area increased. Families used to cart their goods to the city along Little Fort Road, today's Lincoln Avenue. In the 1890s, street cars created a new wave of development. In the 1900s, it was the Ravenswood elevated line and it spurred even more development. Utilizing the river and developing an industrial corridor on its banks was a further boom leading into the Great Depression. The area is filled with wonderful examples of bungalows, brick-flats, courtyard apartments and various Victorian houses and a number of requisite works by Clarence Hatzfeld, Dwight Perkins and Louis Sullivan.

The ride is at a slow and relaxed pace and all riders must wear a helmet.

Chainlink Event Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Ross Felten Poster

Buy the Tour of Lincoln Square 2011 Poster for $5


Night Tour of the Loop
Saturday July 2, 2011 at 8:00 PM
Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park
$10

This night tour of the Loop focuses on impressive features of the dark in the Downtown section of Chicago known as the Loop. Community Area #32, The Loop is bordered by Lake Michigan on the east, by the Chicago River on the north and west and by Roosevelt Road on the south, and within this small area exists dozens of national and city landmarks, and canyons of skyscrapers, set on top of double and triple leveled streets, intersected and sharing space with el trains. It is the seat of government for the city of Chicago and Cook County.

Unlike the free tour of the Loop (June 15), this ride will focus on the most impressive architectural elements of the area that stand out at night. We will take upper and lower streets, we will see lakefront and walls of vintage skyscrapers in the most concentrated area of landmark buildings in the world.

The ride is $10 at the start of the ride and you must wear a helmet and have front and rear lights to ride.

Chainlink Event Page | Starting Spot | Photo Album | Ross Felten Poster

Buy the Loop Tours 2011 Poster for $5


Free Mini Tour of the Loop
Wednesday June 15, 2011 at 6:00 PM
Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park
Free

Led by Lee Diamond of Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours, join us for a free 2-hour mini-bike tour of the Loop. After work, grab your bike and pedal over to Buckingham Fountain to learn about some of Chicago's most notable historical landmarks and districts.

The tour will feature a 6 mile trek with narrated stops about the Downtown section of Chicago known as the Loop. Community Area #32, The Loop is bordered by Lake Michigan on the east, by the Chicago River on the north and west and by Roosevelt Road on the south, and within this small area exists dozens of national and city landmarks, and canyons of skyscrapers, set on top of double and triple leveled streets, intersected and sharing space with el trains. It is the seat of government for the city of Chicago and Cook County.

Ride limited to 150 participants. Pre-registration is required. To register, click here then click on the registration link on that page.

Chainlink Event Page | City of Chicago Event Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Ross Felten Poster

Buy the Loop 2011 Tours Poster


Tour of Uptown
Sunday June 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Chase Park at 4701 N Ashland
$10

Uptown, Chicago Community Area #5 sits 6 miles directly north of the Loop. Uptown can boast of a rich history that is equal parts ritzy and ragged. The community has thrived during the glory of the jazz age and suffered mightily during the Great Depression. Uptown was once the hub of the early American Movie industry. Its ornate theaters, grand ballrooms, nightclubs, apartment buildings, mansions and central commercial district are amongst the finest architectural masterpieces in the city. Come join us for a revamped Tour of Uptown.

The ride is at a slow and relaxed pace and all riders must wear a helmet. You can pay $10 at the tour, or save a buck by registering in advance.

Chainlink Event Page | Starting Spot | Photo Album | Ross Felten Poster | Virtual Tour

Buy the Uptown 2011 Tour Poster for $5


Tour of Lakeview
Saturday May 21, 2011
Lakeview School Park at 4055 N Greenview Ave in Chicago

Lake 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 area was eventually settled by European immigrants who farmed celery, flowers and other crops on the land. 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?

Chainlink Page | Route | Starting Spot | Ross Felten 2010 Tour Poster | Photo Album

Buy 2010 Tour Poster


Tour of North Center
Sunday May 1, 2011
Revere Park at 2509 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago, IL

North Center, Chicago Community Area #5 sits 5 miles northwest of the Loop. Uncultivated and untamed until the end of the 19th century, North Center is now a vibrant and successful near-north side community prized for its historic homes and friendly neighborhood streets. The roots of the community's early days in Chicago were rooted in brickyards and light industry. Many of the residents were laborers that worked in the factories and clay pits on the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River. Over the years, the area was transformed by the depression, the War, the postwar years and the forces of city dynamics. It is today home to several neighborhoods, the namesake North Center, Roscoe Village and St. Bens, each brimming with interesting architecture and character.

Chainlink Page | Route | Starting Spot | Photo Album | Ross Felten 2011 Poster

Buy 2011 Tour Poster for $5


Tour of Lincoln Park
Sunday April 17, 2011
Wrightwood Park at 2534 N Greenview in Chicago, IL

Our new addition to the tour lineup this Spring is one of the most requested areas for tours, Lincoln Park, Community Area 7 is 3 miles north of Chicago's Loop. It occupies what is now some of the most desirable real estate and wealthy sections of the city, but it was certainly not always this way. Stretching from North to Diversey and from the Lake to the River, Lincoln Park is the star of the north side communities, and the location of some of the cities greatest cultural icons like the Chicago History Museum. For our purposes, it offers a truly exceptional pallet of architectural finds with exquisite examples of nearly every Victorian Style, exceptional green space, a free 35 acre in-city zoo, lakefront trails and beaches and a virtual paradise in the city on what used to be largely cemetery land, or didn't exist until the landfill made it.

Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Ross Felten 2011 Poster

Buy the 2011 Tour Poster for $5


Tour of Albany Park
Saturday April 2, 2011
At Gompers Park at the Samuel Gompers memorial at the southwest corner of Pulaski and Foster in Chicago, IL
$10

Community Area #14, Albany Park is located 8 miles northwest of the Loop. In very short fashion, this community grew from rural farmland to a vibrant urban neighborhood that today is one of the most diverse areas in the entire United States. The area became home to many convenient forms of transportation and as a result experienced a significant building boom in the early 20th century. This boom brought to neighborhoods in Albany Park like Mayfair, North Mayfair and Ravenswood Manor a stock of well-built and sturdy brick flats and bungalows, but a ride through the streets of Albany Park will also reveal exciting and unique commercial districts, and well-planned and plentiful green space.

Chainlink Page | Route | Starting Spot - Virtual Tour | Ross Felten 2011 Tour Poster

Buy 2011 Tour Poster for $5


Liar's Tour
Friday April 1, 2011
In front of Ciclo Urbano/West Town Bikes at 2459 W Division
Free

I try to make my tours fun and entertaining, but also informative and factual. They are fashioned as a social event, but they are also like a rolling history lesson. Once a year, I need a break from all of the facts and I will just lie my... head off. This is that day. Anything... potentially everything I say may be suspect. The route itself is a bit of a joke and the biggest April Fool's Day joke might be...is there a ride at all?

Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Ross Felten Tour Poster

Buy the 2011 Tour Poster for $5








Tour of Avondale
Sunday March 20, 1:00 PM
Brands Park at 3259 N Elston in Chicago, IL
$10

Avondale, Chicago Community Area 21 sits 6 miles northwest of the Loop. Once part of a vast expanse of prairie, the installation of the Old Northwest Plank Road, today's Milwaukee Avenue, helped spur business and development and ushered in many years of prosperity. Avondale was annexed to Chicago in 1889 and grew rapidly as city improvements such as paved roads, electric street car lines and the Logan Elevated line contributed to a population that swelled to almost 50,000 by 1930. Due to an abundance of clay in the pits near the river, a brick industry developed and the working class residents built some of the most sturdy and beautiful examples of masonry construction in the city. As a result, the area is ripe with rich examples of architectural beauty.

You can also pay $12 and get the tour and poster for one low price by clicking on the Add to Cart button just below. Posters will be delivered at the tour.

Chainlink Page | Route | Starting Spot - Virtual Tour | Ross Felten Poster

Buy the 2011 Tour Poster for $5


Tour of Irving Park
Saturday March 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Horner Park at 2741 W Montrose in Chicago, IL
$10

Irving Park, Chicago Community Area #16 sits 7 miles northwest of the Loop. Prior to being annexed to Chicago in 1889, the suburban communities that make up today's Irving Park Community Area fell outside the city's post-fire ban on wood-frame construction. The result is a community rich with some of the oldest surviving construction in the city. After Irving Park joined Chicago, the area experienced even greater prosperity spurring decades of significant architecture development creating one of the greatest built environments in all of Chicago. It features comfortably nestled neighborhoods such as the Villa, (a registered National and City Historic Landmark), Old Irving, Independence Park and Grayland. On the tour, we will take in beautiful works of architecture such as Dwight Perkins' Carl Schurz High School, the Henry V. Peters House by Walter Burley Griffin, St. Viator by Charles Wallace and dozens of other truly special buildings.

The tour is just shy of 17 miles. The ride is at a slow and relaxed pace and all riders must wear a helmet.

Chainlink Page | Route | Starting Spot | Virtual Tour | Ross Felten Irving Park Poster | Ross Felten Spring 2011 Tour Poster | Winter 2009 Irving Park Tour photos

Buy the 2011 Tour Poster for $5


Tour of Portage Park
Saturday, February 20 at 1:00 PM
At Portage Park, 4100 N Long Ave
$10

Chicago Community area #15, Portage Park is a thriving residential community and neighborhood on Chicago's Northwest side just 9 miles from downtown. Annexed to Chicago in 1889, Portage Park offers the wonderful duality of city living and convenience with a real neighborhood-based residential community. The namesake park is one of the city's most beautiful, and several smaller parks dot the community. Filled with Chicago brick bungalows and 2-flats, homes in the area sit nestled comfortably amongst the schools, churches, and two main commercial districts of Six Corners and Belmont-Central, where Portage Park meets Belmont-Cragin. Join us for a 17 mile casually paced ride through this unique northwestern Chicago community, with over 4 miles of new sections to the previous version of this tour.

Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Virtual Tour | Ross Felten 2011 Tour Poster

Buy the 2009 Tour Poster (same design with 2009 tour dates) for $5


Tour of the Near West Side
Saturday, January 22 at 1:00 PM
At Union Park, 1501 W Randolph Street
$10

The Near West Side is Community Area #28, sitting 2 miles west of the Loop. The Community is home to a number of prominent Chicago neighborhoods including Greektown, the Fulton River District, University Village, Little Italy, Maxwell Street, Tri-Taylor, Illinois Medical Center, the West Loop, West Loop gate and United Center Park, all within less than 6 square miles. Much of this area was once part of the Hull House Neighborhood, named of course for America's first Settlement House. When Jane Adams arrived, much of the area surrounding Hull House were slums, but fifty years prior, wealthy inhabitants of the Union Park neighborhood sought to create one of the city's most exclusive neighborhoods in Chicago.

Chainlink Page | Starting Spot | Route | Photo Album | Ross Felten 2011 Tour Poster

Buy 2009 Tour Poster for $5

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