CHICAGO — Hundreds of avid cyclists gathered Friday morning in Daley Plaza to celebrate the city's progress in becoming more friendly to cyclists.
At the event to celebrate Bike to Work Week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he wants to make Chicago the No. 1 city for cycling in the world, and spoke of the advancements of "the new transit system in Chicago," including efforts to expand the Chicago Riverwalk.
"We are revitalizing our transportation in this city," Emanuel.
The event marked the end of "Bike to work week" and featured food, giveaways and a bike raffle.
Emanuel was joined at the rally by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and the mayor repeatedly thanked the Peoria native for his support and funding for city projects. The comments were met with loud applause by the avid cyclists at the celebration.
"The riverwalk is a done deal," LaHood said. "Chicago will have the largest, biggest, boldest bike share [program]. This is the year of bike share."
Emanuel also used the celebration to unveil Chicago's bike sharing program, Divvy Bikes. The program will begin June 28 and cost $75 per year and cover all of the city's neighborhoods.
Rebecca Roberts, 28, has been cycling to work on and off for the last year, traveling 30 minutes from Rogers Park to her job downtown. She used this week to convince her friend, Louisa Hallas, to ride with her.
The two used the Lakeshore path to get to work this week and hoped to explore some of the new routes.
Hallas, 26, of Rogers Park, felt the week was a great learning experience.
"I feel like I actually learned to bike on the road as opposed to just the sidewalk," Hallas said.