The Chainlink

I am being lazy by posting this question instead of just going to the Cycle Center, but I would like some opinions from those of you who actually utilize the indoor bike parking there. To preface, I'll be commuting from South Bend, Indiana to the Randolph/Michigan train station every morning and returning in the evening, and since my office is still a 20 minute walk, I would like to ride my bike instead of walk it, especially since my train arrives exactly 20 minutes before my scheduled work day, and leaves about 20 minutes after my work day ends. If I bike it, I should be able to at least have a few minutes breathing room to not miss my train, which would result in my having to wait another 2 hours to get home.

Some questions before I actual sign up for a membership there, since the website (http://www.chicagobikestation.com/memberships.htm) is extremely vague and pretty much forces you to actually stop by and ask about memberships:

1) Are you guaranteed an indoor spot if you are a member?

2) Is it worth getting an annual membership or just go monthly?

3) Are there actual showers there and are they clean? (the site says "access to showers"). 

4) How secure is the indoor parking? 

I would be leaving my commuter bike there pretty much every night, and for the entire weekend when I am not going to work. 

I have seen mixed reviews of the cycle center from previous posts, but those posts were dated sometime in 2009 and 2010, and I was wondering if the center has changed their policies or has improved or gone down over the past few years.

Thanks,

Melanie K. (soon to be Michigan Melanie)

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1. No you are not guaranteed an indoor spot, but I have never had trouble finding one.

2. You have to get a monthly membership for the first year...only after a year of monthly memberships can you purchase an annual membership.

3. Yes

4. Very secure (cameras).

Thank you!

spencewine said:

1. No you are not guaranteed an indoor spot, but I have never had trouble finding one.

2. You have to get a monthly membership for the first year...only after a year of monthly memberships can you purchase an annual membership.

3. Yes

4. Very secure (cameras).

I used it for a little less than a year when I was doing Potbelly delivery in the Loop from 2010-2011 and had a good experience overall. My bike was almost always there overnight and over weekends. The locker rooms are nice and the facility overall is very clean. They have a shop on site in case you ever have any unexpected problems. I started out monthly but was offered an annual membership very quickly.

The only problem I ever had was that when it snowed a ton (and keep in mind this was the winter of Snowpocalypse) the sliding door to the facility would sometimes malfunction. Occasionally it would freeze shut; a few times I had to clear snow and ice, sometimes using the heat of my breath, to get the door open. This was around 9-10 p.m. when the facility wasn't staffed. And once or twice the motor burned out because the motion sensor malfunctioned when the door froze.

One plus is that CPD operates their bike squad out of here, so it's pretty secure. And the cops were always friendly.

I've used this place for about 2 years now - no complaints.

I wasn't aware you could leave your bike there overnight though?  I've seen reminders on bikes in the atrium that you can't leave bikes there 24/7.  Maybe you have to use the downstairs parking for 24/7 use?

Yup, relatively- I can only recall a handful (2-3 maybe?) of reports of bikes being stolen from there in all the years of the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry.

spencewine said:

4. Very secure (cameras).

I remember being confused by that signage and asking about it. Members are permitted to leave their bikes in the atrium all the time. You get a little membership sticker to put on your bike so they know it belongs to a member. The signs are to discourage non-members from leaving theirs. And they *do* check; I got "tickets" (basically where they put a sign on saying they'll tow your bike if you keep parking overnight as a non-member) a couple times when I had to use a non-stickered backup bike. However, they will give you more than one sticker if you need it for multiple bikes.

122782_ said:

I've used this place for about 2 years now - no complaints.

I wasn't aware you could leave your bike there overnight though?  I've seen reminders on bikes in the atrium that you can't leave bikes there 24/7.  Maybe you have to use the downstairs parking for 24/7 use?

The showers are great and the main reason I joined, although this summer I wish they were colder.

Agree.  Always seems a bit too warm in the summer and too cold in the winter (even if you're the only person using the showers).  Still beats public transit though!

JohnK said:

The showers are great and the main reason I joined, although this summer I wish they were colder.

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