The Chainlink

Hi Everyone,

I've got a friend coming into town next week, staying downtown, and I'm looking forward to taking him for a long spin along the lakefront. 

The plan is for me to ride down from Glenview and meet him at Bike and Roll on E. Randolph to pick up a rental, but I'm struggling to find an easy path from the McDonald's Cycling Center to the lakefront. Where are people supposed to go after they rent bikes from this place? I don't think you're allowed to ride inside of Maggie Daley or Grant Park.

What's the best route? Is taking lower Randolph east a good idea (looks a bit dicey on Google StreetView), or would it make more sense to go south down Columbus and then east on Monroe?

Thanks in advance for your collective wisdom...

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Hi Andy,

The easiest way to get to the Lakefront from Bike and Roll/the Cycle Center is by taking the bike lane east on Randolph to the eastern edge of Maggie Daley Park. From there, ride south through the Cancer Survivors Garden to Monroe and cross Lake Shore Drive at the light. You can ride north or south on the path from there.

Hope this helps!

Awesome - that's exactly what I was looking for! 

Your username implies that you may know the answer to two a followup questions:

Do you think we'll need to reserve in advance? We'd like to grab a Domane (or any good drop-bar road bike) early on Friday the 12th. FYI, the "Reserve Now" button for the Domane is broken.

What are your hours?


Advance reservations are preferred, but yes, the road bike reservation link is currently down. We'll look into this.

You can always come in and grab a bike. If you know what size(s) you'll want, let me know and we'll get those ready for you. The Domane bikes come with a platform/SPD pedal standard, but if you would like any personal pedals for your ride, we can get those installed as well.

We're currently open for rentals from 7am-7pm M-F and 9am-7pm S-S. Mechanics are in the shop from 10-6 M-F (if you need pedals installed).

Thanks for the info - I just emailed him to nail down the date and the possibility of others joining us. Will send you a message when I hear back.

I find this route a good alternative, especially if you plan to ride north

You get to ride down the steepest hill in downtown Chicago, and there are no traffic lights to deal with.

A second vote for Duppie's route. The only trick is going through the parking garage entrance. The route takes you under LSD

I like this route too. Just make sure to test your rental's brakes before taking the hill on Field Blvd too fast. Its one short, steep block down and then a hard right turn. The parking garage entrance is just after your first left. I usually use the sidewalk to the left of the driveways (making sure there are no pedestrians) to avoid the sharp speed bumps in the driveway. Then just keep riding towards the lake and take the small gravelly hill up to the path under LSD.

Another vote for this route. Given that the Millennium Park Bike Station didn't mention it, I'm wondering if it's verboten for some reason? Is it the cutting through the parking garage part?

Another option is Bobby's Bike Hike - Chicago Tours & Rentals.  They are located right across the street from the Bike Path, connected by the Ohio Street Tunnel.  Discounted parking if needed.

Bobby's Bike Hike - Chicago

540 N. Lake Shore Drive

I wish I'd seen this thread before I was there on Tuesday!  I went around and around and around trying to get to the path--for half an hour!  Finally found the way through the park.  I wish there were better signage.


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