Cycling in Chicago

Cycling in Chicago

Chicago is a city found in Illinois, The United States of America. This Windy City can blow your mind with awesome world-class food, cheap beer and amazing architecture. Chicago is glorious with its mix of historical buildings and magnificent skyscrapers. Moreover, the lakefront here is home to practically everything and is an ideal place to hang out in several days.

Chicago is the third-most populous city in the United States, and it has a national reputation as one of the best large cities in the United States for bicycling. Chicago's Department of Transportation oversees operation of Divvy, North America's largest bicycle-sharing system (by geography), allowing residents and visitors the ability to check out public bikes from any of hundreds of automated stations located over a large area of the city, take them for short rides, and return them to any station of their choosing.

Chicago has been distinguished as one of the premier cycling locations in the United States, with such public cycling destinations as Grant Park, Burnham Park and the Chicago Park District's Lakefront Trail. The city has just over 111 miles of dedicated bike lanes covering much of the city. There are also several miles of roads signed and marked with shared lane markings.

Keep in mind that the lakefront paths are heavily populated by people walking and rollerblading most of the time, so do not speed up, please be patient on this road. When you’re on the sidewalks, you must walk your bike. Bike theft is still a problem in Chicago, so it is better to bring your bike inside at night and to lock it carefully..

League of American Cyclists Community Rating: Silver



All the info

Where to ride

Where to stay

Where to eat and drink

Bike Stores and Rental

Advocacy groups

Getting there and away


Chicago Transit Authority (CTA): 

  • On bus: You can take your bike on CTA buses at all times, every day, all year. All CTA buses are equipped with bike racks, located on the front of the bus. 
  • On "L" train: Bicycles are permitted on the 'L' (CTA trains) every day, except during weekday rush periods (7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm).


    Metra Rail - Bikes are permitted on weekday trains arriving in Chicago before 6:31 am and after 9:30 am and leaving Chicago before 3 pm and after 7 pm and on all weekend trains. Metra reserves the right to ban bikes on trains during special events.

    Small folding bikes in protective covers are permitted on all trains. Standard bikes will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis on weekday off-peak hours and on weekends. 


    All these train lines through Chicago allow folding bikes or boxed bikes check as luggage:

  • California Zephr (Denver - Glenwood Springs - Emeryville (San Francisco)) 
  • Capitol Limited (Washington, DC - Pittsburgh - Cleveland - Chicago)
  • Cardinal/Hoosier State (New York - Washington, DC - Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Chicago)
  • City of New Orleans (Memphis - New Orleans)
  • Empire Builder (St. Paul/Minneapolis - Milwaukee - Spokane - Portland/Seattle)
  • Hiawatha (Milwaukee)
  • Illinois Service (Quincy/St.Louis/Carbondale)
  • Lake Shore Limited (New York/Boston - Albany)
  • Michigan Services (Grand Rapids/East Lansing - Port Huron/Detroit - Pontiac)
  • Southwest Chief (Albuquerque - Los Angeles)
  • Texas Eagle (St. Louis - Dallas - San Antonio - Los Angeles)


    Chicago Water Taxi - Bicycles are allowed on the boats in off peak hours (10am-4pm) on the weekdays, and all hours on the weekends.


  • Delta - $150 to check bike
  • Frontier - $75 to check bike
  • JetBlue - $50 to check bike (folding bikes in container under 62 dimensional inches and 50 pounds are FREE)
  • Southwest - FREE to check bike
  • Virgin America - $50 to check bike
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