Riders gear up for Sunday’s Bike the Drive: ‘Super-cool Chicago thing to do’

The 30-mile loop runs from the Museum of Science and Industry to West Bryn Mawr Avenue.

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Bicyclists take over Lake Shore Drive at the 2006 Bike the Drive. The 30-mile loop runs from the Museum of Science and Industry to West Bryn Mawr Avenue. Starting points are at the museum, Grant Park, Bryn Mawr Avenue, Fullerton Avenue and Oakwood Boulevard.

The 30-mile loop runs from the Museum of Science and Industry to West Bryn Mawr Avenue. Starting points are at the museum, Grant Park, Bryn Mawr Avenue, Fullerton Avenue and Oakwood Boulevard.

Tom Cruze / Sun-Times file

On Sunday, thousands of bicyclists will take over DuSable Lake Shore Drive during the 22nd annual Bike the Drive, paying for a chance to experience the city in a way that’s possible only once a year.

This will be the sixth Bike the Drive for Daniel Guico, who lives in the South Loop. This time, it will be with his 2-year-old son riding on the handlebar seat.

“Last year, he could only handle going around one block because we were getting rained on, but I’m excited to see how much he’ll be able to handle,” Guico said. “We did a test run the other day, and he just kept yelling ‘fun, Dada!’ so I’m optimistic.”

The event is the only day of the year motorized vehicles aren’t allowed on the drive.

The 30-mile loop runs from the Museum of Science and Industry to West Bryn Mawr Avenue. Starting points are at the museum, Grant Park, Bryn Mawr Avenue, Fullerton Avenue and Oakwood Boulevard.

The event benefits the Active Transportation Alliance, a nonprofit that works to improve conditions for walking, biking and public transit in the Chicago area. Registration is $64 for Active Transportation Alliance members and $74 for nonmembers. Admission on Sunday is $84 for nonmembers. Youth admission is $18. To register, go online to bikethedrive.org.

Bike the Drive isn’t a race.

“You go at your pace, and you go as far you want to go,” said Amy Rynell, executive director at Active Transportation Alliance.

More than 16,500 people took part last year.

“I’ve been riding most of my life, and [Bike the Drive] is so different from other events because you see anyone from triathletes who want to see how fast they can ride Lake Shore to just kids in their tricycles,” Guico said.

Cyclists are allowed on the road starting at 6:30 a.m. and are encouraged to arrive no later than 7:30 a.m.

“Something I hear all the time is that people are shocked by how quiet Lake Shore Drive is without cars,” Rynell said. “It’s a really unique way to experience the lake and skyline without any cars in sight. It’s just a super-cool Chicago thing to do.”

The Outer Drive is set to reopen to vehicular traffic between 11:30 a.m. and noon.

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