Is it finally spring in Chicago? Slowly but surely…YES!
Today it reached a high of almost 60 degrees and with Divvy stations practically on every corner…I decided it was about time to try it out! I haven’t been on a bike in about 10 years so I though this would be a fun Sunday activity.
For those of you who don’t know… Divvy is a bike sharing system featuring thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations from Andersonville to Hyde Park, available 24/7, 365 days a year. Each station has a touchscreen kiosk, station map, and a docking system that releases bikes using a member key or ride code. Rides cost $7 for a 24-hour pass or $75 for an annual membership with unlimited rides.
I did notice Groupon has a special running for three 24-hour passes for $12.99 so we used that for today’s ride.
Although I have not used Divvy before, getting my bike was a easy peasy. I went to the stations kiosk which is self explanatory and followed the directions. You can only rent 2 bikes max on one credit card so if you’re going in a group you’ll need several credit cards. At the end you will be given a code displayed on the screen as well as printed on a receipt. You will use this code to release your bike from the dock. If you choose to purchase the annual membership you will get a card that you can swipe instead of having to type in the code. So type in your code… wait for the green light and you’re all set to go! All Divvy bikes are exactly the same the only thing you have to do is adjust your seat and check your breaks. (Quick tip: set your seat about level with your hip, when you’re riding you generally want your leg to be almost fully extended when the pedal is at its lowest point.)
One thing I did not know is that even though it’s a 24-hour unlimited pass…you do need to dock your bike every 30 min in order to avoid extra charges. (See chart below) Luckily as I’ve mentioned before there are over 300 stations so you shouldn’t have a problem doing that. At first I was displeased by this but realized it really wasn’t that big of a deal.
Getting a new bike is easy. All you have to do is dock your old bike– make sure you use enough force to push it in then wait for the green light which signals that it’s securely locked back in. To re-set your 30 min. timer you’ll have to get another code from the kiosk (your old code is only valid for 5 min). You will need to swipe your card again to pull up your account.
The plan was to ride along lake shore drive from Buena Park to the Planetarium and back. So we picked up our bikes just around the corner from where we live and we made our first dock/bike switch in Lincoln Park. There was a dock station right off the bike/running path. Next stop we made was at Navy Pier and after at Millenium Park. By this time it was getting a little chilly out so we decided to head back after having a mini picnic by the ‘Cloud Gate’ aka ‘The Bean’ and Starbucks run. (You can find a map of all dock stations at each Divvy station, on their website, or you can also download their app.)
Overall it was a great experience and a new way to explore this beautiful city. While I don’t plan on getting the yearly membership…I’m definitely considering buying my own bike! I think Divvy is great and I will definitely make use of it once it starts getting nicer out. It’s absolutely perfect for quick trips around the city and not having to worry about locking up your own bike. You can dock at one station, go do your thing, and pick up another bike and a different station. Divvy is even great when you have friends visiting from out of town..it’s a fun way to show them around town!
A few snaps from our Divvy trip:
We started with a selfie Riding along the lake shore bike path…
Lake Michigan looked beautiful Staring up at Lake Point Tower from Divvy Docking Station
Picnic by ‘the bean’ On our way back stopped by the Yacht Club :)
Last but not least…as stated on all Divvy bikes don’t forget to FOLLOW THE RULES:
- Follow traffic laws
- Walk bikes on sidewalks
- Yield to pedestrians
- Ride with traffic