Friday, September 10, 2010

Neighborhood Bike Tours Return Saturday in Hyde Park

Posted By on 09.10.10 at 05:00 PM

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Big Shoulders Realty's Lee Diamond relaunches his Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours Saturday at 1 PM in Hyde Park with a five-hour, 17-mile ride starting at Washington Park Fieldhouse (5531 S. King Dr.). Register for the ride, which as usual includes Diamond's historical and architectural narration, here.

Earlier this year, Diamond announced that he was ending the popular tours for financial reasons: as Big Shoulders increasingly felt the pinch of a struggling real estate market, he couldn't afford to continue to put what he estimates to have been 80 to 100 hours a month of preparation into the project.

After receiving e-mails of appeal from bereft cyclists, Diamond decided to continue the rides. But he's now charging $10 to $30 apiece for most of the tours, which used to be free (and some still are). He's also capping each tour at 80 riders. Saturday's Hyde Park tour is $25 in advance and $30 on the day of, though a $5 discount is provided for each membership riders can prove in the Active Transportation Alliance, the Chicago Cycling Club, and the Chainlink (which is free to join). An annual subscription, which covers all the tours Diamond offers (more than 20 a year), is $115, with the same membership discount applicable; a six-ride package is $65. A list of all upcoming rides is available here.

Diamond also recently announced the launch of chicagovelo.com. The site contains information about upcoming bike tours as well as—for DIYers and armchair cyclists alike—maps, narration, and photos of some of the tours themselves, like this multipart, photo-heavy virtual tour of Austin.

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