Bicycle tour of lakefront, boulevards June 16Nearly 6,000 recreational cyclists will ride through Chicago's most celebrated and architecturally significant neighborhoods in the Eighth Annual Chicago Boulevard Lakefront Tour on Sunday, June 16. Starting at the University on the historic Midway Plaisance, cyclists will travel a 35mile route along the "emerald necklace," Chicago planner Daniel Burnham's string of green parks connected by wide boulevards.
The Boulevard Lakefront Tour is organized by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, a not-for-profit bicycle-transportation advocacy organization, and presented by PowerBar. Lunch and ride support are included in the $25 registration fee. Cyclists can register the morning of the ride from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. on the Midway. For advance registration information, contact CBF at its office downtown, 417 S. Dearborn Ave., Suite 1000, or call 42PEDAL (427-3325).
Riders will begin the tour between 7:30 and 9 a.m. on the Midway Plaisance, the carnival site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The route winds west past the Fountain of Time, a massive, 102-foot-long combination sculpture and reflecting pool designed by Lorado Taft, and through the "Back of the Yards" neighborhood, once the home of the Union Stock Yards.
Turning north, the route follows Chicago's historic boulevard system through five regional parks and past one of the most striking sculptures along the boulevards, the Jacques Marquette Monument, which commemorates the 1675 stopover of the French Jesuit explorer. The route continues east through Logan Square, where finely detailed Bedford, Ind., limestone homes grace the wide, tree-lined boulevard.
Cyclists will ride back south through the trendy Near North Side and the Loop to the Near South Side, following what was once a favored carriage route that ended in Washington Park.
The final leg of the route follows Chicago's Lake Michigan bicycle path back to the Midway Plaisance. The tour will conclude at approximately 1 p.m. on the Midway, where festivities will include Brunch in the Park, music by 93XRT Radio Chicago and exhibits by tour sponsors, Chicagoarea bicycle clubs and social and environmental organizations.
The route will include rest stops in Garfield Park and at the Prairie Avenue House Museums. The Garfield Park rest stop features a tour of the Garfield Park Conservatory, hosted by the Chicago Park District and the Garfield Park Alliance. The Prairie Avenue House Museums rest stop features the Clarke House, the oldest remaining residential building in Chicago. Food, beverages, bike repair, first-aid care and restroom facilities will be available at rest stops and at the start and finish of the tour.
More than 300 volunteers will provide rider support, including bike repair and emergency pickup wagons, along a well-marked route monitored by safety marshals. Medical services will be provided by the University of Chicago Hospitals.