One of my goals is NOT to see you in my office for a bike injury this summer, particularly one caused by a collision with a car. We love Chicago for how easy it is to get around, but as you head out on the streets or trails, make sure you grab a helmet – and check out these sites for some great routes and safety tips.
- Chicago bike map: Chicago Complete Streets from CDOT publishes this map with all of the city’s bike lanes, broken down by type (barrier, buffer, shared, et cetera).
- Ride the city: I love this site, which is basically MapQuest for cyclists. Enter your starting location and destination, and select from routes designated as “direct,” “safe,” or “safer” and it will provide the best route. It also notes which part of the routes include shared lanes.
- Try 6 great bike routes: Chicago Magazine published a fun list of varied routes including everything from tiki bars to garden views. If you’re tired of fighting the crowds during summer training months, there are some great options here.
- Forest Preserve of Cook County trails: Did you know there are over 100 miles of paved bike paths and over 200 miles of multi-use paths? Don’t miss out on these refreshing routes… Just make sure to pack the bug spray.
- Local and regional bike routes: If you’re not familiar with TheChainlink.org, the site is a fantastic resource for cyclists, including posting a calendar with a broad range of events where you can meet up with other bike enthusiasts. You can find routes around the city, to the ‘burbs, or all the way to Minneapolis. Whatever your riding level, they’ve got you covered.
- Avoiding collisions: No matter how long you’ve been riding, the threat of getting hit is real, particularly in more congested areas in the city. Take five minutes to read through BicycleSafe.com’s 10 ways not to get hit by cars. It is worth your time!
Have a fun and safe cycling season!
Image via Flickr / Daniel X. O’Neil