Warm weather is upon us, and there's no better way to get out and see the city than by bike. This summer in our Ridin' Divvy series, we're featuring a different Divvy itinerary each month to help locals and visitors explore different neighborhoods by bike. Last time, we took you along the lakefront. This month, we're riding through the Loop and River North, starting at the Art Institute of Chicago, before ending in Old Town at the Second City.
Before you check out a bike, be sure to download the Divvy app, free for iOS and Android, for station information. The app also has a timer, to keep you mindful of the 30-minute rental period so you don't get charged extra fees.
Start by picking up a bike on the corner of Michigan and Jackson. After adjusting your seat and gears, head north on Michigan Avenue, where you'll immediately come upon the Art Institute of Chicago. While the museum is home to hundreds of thousands of works of art, there are a few pieces you don't even need to go inside to see. Most famously, at the museum's entrance you'll see the two bronze lions - unofficially named "In an Attitude of Defiance" and "On the Prowl" after their poses.
Continue north to Millennium Park to see Crown Fountain, Cloud Gate and the Pritzker Pavilion. After exploring the park, head back to Michigan Avenue and continue north toward the river. Once you reach Wacker Drive, look down - this is the site of Fort Dearborn, a military fort that predated the founding of Chicago and epicenter of the Battle of Fort Dearborn in 1812.
Continue on, over the Chicago River and past the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, home of the Chicago Tribune. Ride past the high-end shops until you get to the Old Water Tower. Dock your bike at the corner of Pearson and Michigan to get a closer look at one of the few buildings to survive the Chicago Fire. The tower was originally built to house a large water pump for drawing water out of Lake Michigan, but these days it serves as a free miniature art gallery with constantly changing exhibitions. Head inside to see the handful of pieces on display and to get a closer look at a remnant of old Chicago.
Back on Michigan Avenue, crane your neck to see the John Hancock Center. If you'd rather be looking down, head up 1,000 feet to the observation deck for 360-degree views of the city and the lake.When you're ready, request a new bike code from the Divvy station at Pearson and Michigan. From here, continue north on Michigan Avenue for a few blocks until you reach Oak Street. Turn left onto Oak Street and follow the road until you reach Wells Street, where you'll turn right. You're now leaving behind downtown and heading to Old Town.
If you're in need of refueling, take a coffee break at Intelligentsia, just a few blocks north on Wells (dock your bike at Evergreen and Wells then walk back to the cafe at Scott Street and Wells). If not, ride on to the final destination, The Second City at the corner of North and Wells. It's here that comedians Bill Murray, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert honed their craft. Dock your Divvy at Wells and Concord and head in to see if you can score tickets to a show.
Photos by Derek Poe