Ready to ride?

 

 

ABOUT THE BLT

The Boulevard Lakefront Tour (BLT) began in 1989, four years after Active Transportation Alliance was founded, and was the organization’s first fundraiser. But, it was more than that.

The ride occupies a special place in the history of Chicagoland bicycling because it proved to elected officials that thousands of people wanted to ride and improve conditions for bicycling.

Furthermore, after seeing how much Chicagoans enjoyed an organized ride like this, Active Trans created another popular event, Bike the Drive.


2021 BLT RIDE

Like many events in 2021, the Boulevard Lakefront Tour will continue to be a little different this year.

Active Transportation Alliance will still bring you amazing routes, historic points of interest, and dazzling sights, but we have had to make a few changes to keep everyone safe in the midst of COVID-19.

Similar to last year, this year’s event will not have any in-person components. So no packet pick-up, nor will we have a festival/after party.

What we will have is three routes available for purchase ranging from a 19-mile course to a 36-mile course. The course maps will be sent to you via email so that you can ride at your leisure on any day you select.

This event will not be supported with any rest stops or support staff so make sure you read our safety info below for important reminders.

ROUTE DESCRIPTIONS AND PRICING

All Routes Combo
$40 — Make sure your bike is tuned up for some pedaling. The All Routes Combo includes all the great routes listed below.

19 Miler
$20 — West Side best side! We’ll be going through West Loop, Garfield Park, Homan Square, Little Village, Bridgeport and Armour Square. You’ll enjoy exploring these historic Chicago neighborhoods. PDF route map and Ride with GPS instructions will be emailed within 2 business days.

27 Miler
$20 — This route takes you through the West and South Side neighborhoods. You’ll enjoy seeing the West Loop, Douglas Park, Pilsen, Ping Tom Memorial Park, Bronzeville, and Washington Park before you make your way back by the south portion of the lakefront trail. PDF route map and Ride with GPS instructions will be emailed within 2 business days.

36 Miler
$20 — Explore the amazing South Side on your bike! Enjoy the beautiful neighborhoods of Bridgeport, Canaryville, Beverly, Roseland, and South Shore. We highlight the Major Taylor Trail in this route and you will make your way back by the south portion of the Lakefront Trail. PDF route map and Ride with GPS instructions will be emailed within 2 business days.

Registration includes:

  • Ride guide with points of interest
  • Access to the digital route via Ride with GPS, including turn-by-turn directions

If you have trouble registering online, contact our registration manager at bltinfo@activetrans.org.

 

SAFETY TIPS

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.

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.

Please note that there will be no rest stops or ride support this year. This event will be entirely self-supported, so make sure you bring any needed bike repair tools, as well as whatever you’ll need to find an alternative route home, if necessary (think CTA pass and money).

All participants will be riding on city streets with car traffic. Please keep the following safety tips in mind while riding:

  • Follow all traffic laws
  • Stop at red lights
  • Signal when turning
  • Do not ride more than two abreast (it’s an Illinois law)
  • Ride on the right and pass on the left
  • Say “on your left” to alert riders when you are passing
  • Do not wear headphones during the ride.
  • Do not use a cell phone while riding—it’s against the law

 

Recommend to bring with you on your ride:

  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Bike lock
  • A spare inner tube or patch kit, pump, and tire levers
  • Extra snacks for yourself

 

GET YOUR BIKE READY TO RIDE

Proper preparation for Boulevard Lakefront Tour will go a long way toward your full enjoyment of Chicago’s best neighborhood bicycle ride.

Before the ride, do a safety check to make sure your bike is in good working order, or take it to your local bike shop and have them look it over.

 

TRANSPORTATION

Coming into the city from the suburbs? Metra has added dedicated bike cars on the Milwaukee District North Line, BNSF Line, and the Rock Island Line. Metra has also temporarily relaxed its bikes on trains policy and is allowing bikes on all trains across all 11 lines. It’s a great way to enjoy the BLT ride without the hassle of parking! View the full schedule showing bike car trains. Note: no trailers, tandems or bulky attachments are allowed.

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Consider giving back during your ride. Chicago’s parks are always here for you! Make one a pit stop, stay outside, and give back with the Chicago Parks Foundation’s “Pitch In for the Parks,” Chicago’s only citywide volunteer park clean-up effort. Or join the CPF Membership Program to help bring community ideas to action in our parks. Learn more and follow along @ChiParksFdn.