Have you ever wondered what the world would look like if cities were built to support bicycles, rather than cars? For five hours every year, Chicagoans experience this utopia during Bike the Drive.
Bike the Drive is an annual event organized by the Active Transportation Alliance, during which the city closes the main scenic highway through the city, Lake Shore Drive, to motor traffic and opens it up for cyclists. Nearly 20,000 bicyclists participate! The huge turn-out demonstrates how hungry people are for cycling, if only they could feel safe on the streets.
The massive number of participants is amazing, and also the diversity of participants. Sure, there are lots of roadies and daily bike commuters, but also thousands of families with children, middle-aged suburbanites and elderly couples. I imagine a lot of people dust off their old bikes specifically for this event. Hopefully, the ride will remind many of how much fun it is to ride a bike and inspire them to continue to ride.
After the ride participants enjoyed a festival in Grant Park, complete with a pancake breakfast and live music.
Again, I must emphasize that this event demonstrates how many people would love to ride bikes more often, if only they felt safe doing so in the road. The following videos convey more than words can say. The first video is from last year; the second is from this year. The endless flow of bicycles in both was consistent along the entire route.
For another video of biking the Drive, see here via Steve Vance.
Read Elizabeth’s (pictured above) report at Bike Commuters.
This is totally going down as my group ride for the Summer Games