With summer in full swing, there's no better place to be than Chicago. 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. (Check out our Lakefront and Loop/River North itineraries!) This time, we're starting in Wicker Park and riding through Humboldt Park and Logan Square.
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 Damen and Pierce, right by the Damen Blue Line stop. After adjusting your seat and gears, head south on Damen where you'll immediately come upon Wicker Park, the neighborhood's namesake and central green space. Continue south another two blocks to Evergreen Avenue and turn left. Not far down the block, at 1958 W. Evergreen, sits the terra-cotta colored house that was home to writer Nelson Algren (above). You can't go inside, but it was here on the third floor of the building that Algren wrote the 1950 National Book Award-winning novel The Man With the Golden Arm, inspired by his experiences living in the neighborhood.
Turn around and head back to Damen, and continue south in the bike lane toward Division, where you'll turn right. Ride down Division until you reach Leavitt Street. Turn left onto Leavitt for a quick detour to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (above). The church is one of only two churches to be designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan, nicknamed the "Father of Skyscrapers." The church is one of Sullivan's smaller scale works, and was designed to resemble a Russian provincial church. The church opens its doors for tours, giving visitors a chance to see the architecture and ornate decoration inside.
Back on Division, continue riding west and you'll soon enter Paseo Boricua (above), the cultural heart of Chicago's Puerto Rican community. Ride underneath the gateway, a 59-foot steel Puerto Rican flag that frames the street, and continue on past galleries, shops and restaurants. Soon you'll come to the other gateway, marking the end of Paseo Boricua and the beginning of Humboldt Park.
Dock your bike at the corner of Division and California and request a new code. Ride on through Humboldt Park on manicured pathways that wind through the 219 acres of green space, heading north towards the lagoon. Once there, take a moment to enjoy the view before continuing to the north end of the park, where North Ave and Humboldt Blvd intersect. From here, ride north on Humboldt Blvd until you reach Armitage, where you'll turn right. Continue down Armitage a few blocks until you reach California.
Turn left on Calfornia and dock your bike at California and McLean. Walk up California about a block to Bang Bang Pie Shop. Order up a made-from-scratch biscuit, or grab a slice of pie-there are always a few seasonal pie options, but you can never go wrong with their classic chocolate pecan pie, which is always on the menu.
After you've recharged, request a new code at the Divvy station at California and McLean and head back towards Humboldt Blvd. Once there, continue riding north until you reach Palmer Square. Turn left onto Palmer Ct and ride until you reach Kedzie. Turn right and ride north on Kedzie towards Logan Square. Soon you'll reach Logan Blvd and see the Centennial Monument (above), the 70-foot marble Doric column topped by an eagle that stands in the middle of the square. The monument was designed by Henry Bacon (the architect behind DC's Lincoln Memorial) in 1918 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Illinois' statehood. Now, it serves as a symbol of the neighborhood.
From here, ride to Milwaukee Avenue and bike south, back towards Wicker Park. Along the way you'll pass by neighborhood staples like Revolution Brewing and Margie's Candies. Bike until you reach North Avenue, where you'll see the Flatiron Arts Building (above), a sharply angled wedge of a building that houses art studios that are open to the public. Dock your bike back where you started, at the corner of Damen and Pierce, and head back to the Flatiron to check out work from local artists.
Photos by Derek Poe; Centennial Monument by Kendall Karmanian