While biking for transportation might not be for everyone, biking for recreation should be. Biking with the family is a blast. Even if you haven’t taken a ride in years, Chicago’s landscape is entirely flat, and you know what they say about learning to ride a bike…

Below is a list of some great nearby places for a bike ride. Don’t have a bike? Borrow one from our Bobby G’s Bike Gemach. We have a men’s and women’s bike and a trailer.

1. Northshore Channel Trail: Right nearby is a fabulous ride on the Northshore Channel Trail. Pick up the trail where Kedzie Ave. meets Lincoln. It’s on the right side of the street and runs along the river straight to Lawrence Ave., going under a bridge at every major street. There are playgrounds along the way, and even a splash park and free Chicago swimming pool. Check out their schedule here.

2. Botanic Gardens: The gardens are free, and they allow bikes inside, but parking is not. Make the day a lot more fun and a lot cheaper by biking there. You can start from WRP, or you could take your bikes in your car or on the Metra to a spot further north and then ride there. Here’s a map.

3. Skokie Lagoons: The Lagoons are part of the North Branch Trail, a trail that runs from Devon to the Botanic Gardens. Take 94W to Willow Road to reach the trails. You can bike for as long as you want and rent a canoe to boot! Rentals are $15/hour and fit two adults and three young kids.

4. Lakefront: Park at Wilson Ave. or Montrose Harbor and ride south to the zoo. Lock your bikes there, bring a picnic and have a blast.

5. Evanston: Ride from here to Evanston in about 4 miles (take Oakton, all the way east), or park near Dempster. Bike north toward the landfill and Northwestern campus.

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