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Bring Boulevard Lakefront Tour Back! 

Boulevard Lakefront Tour (BLT) routes are designed by bicycling experts and feature an assortment of bike-friendly streets. As much as possible, BLT organizers created routes with minimal traffic, safe crossings with signals and the most straightforward turns – while also taking riders to interesting sights and neighborhoods. Congratulate yourself, post-ride, with a break at the festival!

Choose 12, 22, or 32-mile route options. Not sure about riding on streets with traffic? Participants of the 12-mile route can also visit the Chicago Bicycling Ambassadors and learn how to ride confidently and safely on city streets. 

Routes are not closed to car traffic; riders share the road and must adhere to all traffic rules and regulations.
 

Participation requires you to actively follow and navigate your ride. Each rider receives a ride guide specific to your chosen route. The ride guide includes a route map, a cue sheet with turn-by-turn directions and points of historic, architectural and visual interest along the way. Riders need to actively navigate their route by following route markings (painted route stencils on the street) and consulting their ride guide to help direct you on the tour. Signs and strategically placed volunteers assist in assuring you’re on the right route.

The Boulevard Lakefront Tour starts and finishes at University of Illinois at Chicago campus Parking Lot G (S. Marshfield between Taylor and Polk Streets). Riders are released in waves during the starting time windows listed below.

The Boulevard Lakefront Tour benefits the Active Transportation Alliance’s work to improve bicycling, walking and transit in Chicagoland. The ride takes place rain or shine; no refunds are available.

Route Descriptions

12-mile
Riders start 8:30–9:30 a.m.

The 12 mile Neighborhood Route features a distinct Chicago neighborhood every two miles. Ride leisurely through the UIC neighborhood, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Chinatown, Prairie Avenue and Dearborn Park – and see parks, historic homes, architecturally significant buildings and churches – places you just may not have  seen before. Join us to explore this 12 mile little taste of Chicago – an ideal distance for families or the beginning rider

22-mile
Riders start 8:00–9:00 a.m.

The first portion of this route visits University Village, Lower West Side, Pilsen, Bridgeport and Armour Square. The 22-mile route travels further south onto Michigan Avenue through the neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Grand Boulevard, and the beautiful and historic Hyde Park. You’ll continue south to Midway Plaisance Park and through the University of Chicago campus where the ride turns back northbound, along Woodlawn Avenue, then closer east, along Lake Park Avenue – with Lake Michigan in sight. Riders return on Michigan and Wabash Avenues and into Chinatown, crossing the Chicago River back to the festival at UIC.. An average rider will complete this 22-mile route in about four  hours.  

32-mile
Riders start 7–8 a.m.

Starting at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s campus, this route highlights the Boulevards by heading south through the Pilsen and Bridgeport. Riders continue east toward Lake Michigan and the newly separated Lakefront Trail south to Hyde Park and the Midway Plaisance. Heading north on beautiful Drexel Boulevard, riders pass through Kenwood and Bronzeville again on their way to Chinatown. Participants will weave through Pilsen to the heart of Chicago’s Boulevard system. Riders will make their way through Douglas Park towards beautiful Garfield Park and will follow the boulevards to the southern edge of Humboldt Park before returning south through the Ukrainian Village neighborhood and the Near West Side back at UIC. This route will take an average rider about five hours to complete. 

Participants are released in waves according to the routes selected. Please note the start time window for the route you selected.

Route Start times
12-mile 8:30-9:30 am
22-mile 8-9 am 
32-mile 7-8 am

 

If you have not picked up your rider number in advance of the event, be sure to give yourself additional time so that you start your ride between the start time ranges.