Bike The Boulevards – Four Star Bike Tour

Explore Chicago!

Come bike the boulevards with us!

Join our Renew Chicago team to ride together with a community of thousands of riders as we explore a plethora of Chicago Neighborhoods and surrounding towns on Sunday, August 26, 2012. We will be joining the Four Star Bike Tour.

Click here to register to join Renew Chicago’s biking team! Registration fee is $25


The following info is from the Four Star Bike Tour website –

Four Star Bike Tour routes are designed by bicycling experts and feature an assortment of bike-friendly streets. As much as possible, Four Star 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. 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) to help guide you on the tour. Signs and strategically placed volunteers assist in assuring you’re on the right route.

The Four Star Bike Tour starts and finishes on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus in the West Loop, at the corner of Taylor and Morgan Streets. Riders are released in waves during the starting time windows listed below.

If it’s your first time riding on city streets, be sure to sign up for the Safe City Cycling course.  

The Four-Star Bike 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

Chicago Ramble and Scavenger Hunt—12 miles
Riders start 9–9:30 a.m.

The Chicago Ramble is great for families and newer riders who prefer a shorter route at a leisurely pace. This year’s Ramble explores a number of our city’s treasured green spaces: Chicago parks, including Skinner, Arrigo, Sheridan, Mary Bartelme and Harrison Parks. Expect to see distinct ethnic Chicago neighborhoods roughly every two miles as you ramble through the UIC campus, Tri-Taylor (Little Italy), West Loop, Fulton River District, Greektown, Pilsen and University Village. Take a break along the way to explore the National Museum of Mexican Art; admission is free! The Ramble also includes a portion of Chicago’s first protected bike lane on West Kinzie Street—experience it here it on the Ramble! Check back soon for more details about the scavenger hunt.

Want to build your confidence and learn to ride more safely on city streets? Chicago Ramble participants can sign up for Safe City Cycling, an educational course designed to teach you street riding skills.

Boulevard Jaunt—22 Miles
Riders start 8:30–9 a.m.

If 12 miles is too easy but you want less than 35 miles, the Boulevard Jaunt is for you. The Jaunt covers it all. See some of the city’s finest parks as well as the nationally recognized historic “necklace” of boulevards, connecting neighborhoods and the park system, significant for its landscape architecture and planning. You’ll also see a number of neighborhoods that make Chicago unique, including Pilsen, Heart of Italy, North Lawndale, Garfield Park, Fulton River District, the Loop, Printer’s Row and the Prairie District.

Travel along Marshall, Douglas, Independence, Franklin and Jackson Boulevards—city streets that make up the prized boulevard system and offer a nod to our classic Boulevard Lakefront Tour of years past. On the way, riders will enjoy some of the city’s finest neighborhood parks including Garfield, Harrison, Douglas and a little gem, Arrigo Park. Like the Chicago Ramble, the Jaunt option includes the city’s first protected bike lane.

Chicago & Beyond—35 miles
Riders start 7–8:30 a.m.

Go west, riders! Chicago and way beyond is more apt a description. For the first time, the 35-mile route goes beyond the city border and out into the western suburbs. Riders travel through the Chicago neighborhoods of Pilsen, Lower West Side, Heart of Italy and Little Village to cross the city border and ride west through Cicero, Berwyn, Riverside and north to Forest Park and Oak Park.

Winding through the suburbs, you’ll see bungalow-filled neighborhoods in Berwyn, the architecturally-rich Frederick Olmsted-designed community of Riverside, where riders can take a break at oak-shaded Guthrie Park. Forest Park and Oak Park feature Frank Lloyd Wright homes and the Harrison Street Arts District, with its art galleries, cafes and specialty boutiques. Riders then return to Chicago via West Side boulevards, Columbus Park and Garfield Park. Get on your bike and out of your Chicago comfort zone. Explore the city and beyond!

Ultimate Neighborhood Ride—62 Miles
Riders start 6:30–7 a.m.

Ready to go further? Then this ride is for you! The 62-mile Ultimate Neighborhood Ride follows the 35-mile Chicago and Beyond on the city portion of the route. Starting at the UIC campus, riders travel through the Chicago neighborhoods of Pilsen, Lower West Side, Heart of Italy and Little Village to cross the city border into the western suburbs of Cicero, Berwyn and Riverside.

In Riverside, 62-mile riders split from the 35-mile route and roll west to Brookfield, LaGrange, Western Springs and on to the scenic village of Hinsdale, known for its beautiful homes and historic downtown. From Hinsdale, riders continue north, with a stop at historic Graue Mill and Museum, an operating waterwheel gristmill and homestead. Built in 1852 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Graue Mill is the only operating waterwheel gristmill in northern Illinois. From there, riders experience several miles of green space, heading east through Fullersburg Forest Preserve, along the Salt Creek Greenway Trail and through Bemis and Salt Creek Woods.

The route continues through the suburbs of Westchester, Bellwood and Melrose Park to Thatcher Woods. In Forest Park and Oak Park, riders experience distinctive architecture (including many Frank Lloyd Wright homes) and the Harrison Street Arts District. The route then returns to Chicago, visiting beautiful Garfield Park on the way back to the UIC campus. This ride, designed for the experienced rider or those looking for a challenge, will get your legs moving and your heart pumping.

Start Times

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


Start Times

12-mile Chicago Ramble 9-9:30 a.m.
22-mile Boulevard Jaunt 8:30-9 a.m.
35-mile Boulevard & Beyond Tour 7-8:30 a.m.
62-mile Ultimate Neighborhood Ride 6:30-7 a.m.

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

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