The company supplies bikes to the Forest Preserve via Bike and Roll Chicago. It costs $7 per hour, $28 per day (4 hours) or $60 for a year-long membership. Members receive the the first hour of each rental for free — then regular rates apply.
The bike rental season began Saturday and runs through Oct. 31. The station at the Dan Ryan Woods at 87th Street and Western Avenue regularly has 4 or 5 bikes, said Stacina Stagner, a spokeswoman for the Forest Preserves.
In fact, the station at the Dan Ryan Woods experienced a glitch in system just ahead of activation. It should up and running by Friday, she said.
The 257-acre Dan Ryan Woods offers access to the Major Taylor Bike Trail. The trail, named for an African-American bicycle racer and civil rights advocate, starts at the eastern edge of the farthest north parking lot of the Dan Ryan Woods.
The paved trail runs along the edge of the preserve for about 1½ miles to 91st Street. The trail continues southeast for another 5½ miles and is routed on city streets from 95th to 105th streets. It eventually connects to Whistler Woods near the Little Calumet River.
Meanwhile, the North Branch Bike Trail boasts approximately 20 miles of paved trails beginning at Caldwell and Devon avenues in Chicago and continues into Lake County. It winds along the north branch of the Chicago River and the Skokie Lagoons.
As part of the three year agreement with Bike and Roll, the Forest Preserves will receive an annual fee of $1,500 for each bike rental location as well as five percent of gross sales, according to a previous statement from the Forest Preserves.
“Our goal is to attract more users and provide a fun experience for them once they arrive,” said Arnold Randall, general superintendent of the forest preserves. “Bike rentals are a great way for people to explore nature and engage in physical activity.”