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Bike the Drive Chicago 2011


Bike the Drive

Bike the Drive

© Flickr user itakethetrain via Creative Commons

Bike the Drive Chicago in Brief:

Bike the Drive Chicago provides a rare opportunity for cyclists to ride their bikes down the middle of Lake Shore Drive when the city closes it to motor traffic one morning each year.


Bike the Drive Chicago begins at Columbus Drive and Jackson Drive in Grant Park. Riders are required to start from this point only.


Bike the Drive Chicago 2011 will take place on Sunday, May 29, 2011 starting at 5:30 a.m.


5:30 a.m.: Bike riders are allowed to enter Lake Shore Drive
9:00 a.m.: Last start time to begin riding
9:15-9:45 a.m.: Riders must begin exiting Lake Shore Drive and if necessary continue their ride on the Lakefront Bike Trail
9:45 a.m.: All riders must leave Lake Shore Drive, and violators face the stern wrath of the Chicago police.

Bike the Drive Route:

The entire route of Bike the Drive is 30 miles. From the starting point, bikers can head north to the turnaround at Bryn Mawr Avenue and back for a distance of 15 miles. Bikers can also head south from the starting point to the turnaround at 57th Street and back to complete another 15 miles. Riders are not required to complete both legs of the route.


All riders must register for the event, and are required to wear a bike helmet and their registration number to participate.

Registration fees (advanced registration includes a t-shirt):

$45 for advanced registration
$40 for Active Transportation Alliance members
$15 for youth 16 and under
$55 event day registration

Register for Bike the Drive online

Registration fees go to support the Active Transportation Alliance, a group with the mission to make "bicycling, walking and public transit safe, convenient and fun."

Where to Stay:

Bike the Drive has partnered with the Fairmont Chicago hotel, which is only a half mile directly north of the starting point, and are offering riders a $155 rate along with a 20% discount on parking and a free continental breakfast. Perhaps most importantly to participants, the hotel offers valet bike service.

More hotels near Bike the Drive

About Bike the Drive Chicago:

For a few brief hours each May, Chicago's iconic Lake Shore Drive becomes arguably the world's largest bike path as a 15 mile stretch of the road is closed to vehicle traffic and opened to cycling enthusiasts and casual riders.

Lake Shore Drive provides a picturesque view of both Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, a view normally reserved for cyclists only along the lakefront's narrow and crowded bike path. But if you're willing to get up very early on a Sunday morning, you can instead spread out on Lake Shore Drive's eight lanes instead and ride as far north as Hollywood Beach and south to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Rest Stops

For the less than hardcore bike riders, Bike the Drive offers three rest stops -- one at each end of the route, and one at the middle of the route at the starting point. Volunteers will be on hand to provide fruit, water and snacks.


Riders must make sure to wear their wristbands and registration numbers, as there are checkpoints along the route to weed out freeloaders that sneak onto the drive from points other than the official start location.

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