Biking to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago

A good friend of mine who now lives in Dublin was in town earlier this week.  She wanted to take her kids to the Shedd Aquarium so we decided to meet up there for a day of aquatic fun. This was before the mega-winds blew through Chicago mid-week, so it was a sunny, super-warm, beautiful October day. Of course I chose to ride my trusty bike there, so Oma and I headed south through Fulton Market, then cut across the West Loop and across downtown to Millenium Park and then over to the Lakefront at the Monroe Harbor entrance. I rode south on the lakefront path until I arrived at the aquarium where I headed inside the beautiful lobby to get my ticket and meet up with my friends.

Shedd Aquarium - Lobby Ornamentation

Shedd Aquarium – Entrance Lobby

Even the ceiling is beautiful at the Shedd! They have some lovely chandeliers in the lobby as well, that are decorated with all sorts of sea creatures, but my photo didn’t come out very well.You’ll have to make do with this photo of the turtles on the ceiling.

Shedd Aquarium - Lobby Ceiling

Shedd Aquarium – Lobby Ceiling

The kids loved the aquarium – giant tanks of all kinds of fish and sea creatures, and giant statues of Sea Horses – what’s not to like? Eventually though, we all wanted to head back outside to the sunshine. As we walked around outside and played in the grass,  I of course was checking out the bike racks.The museum campus is one of the spots with a B-station – a pilot bike sharing program started in Chicago this spring. The B-station rack was about 3/4 full of bikes, but since it was mid-day on a weekday, and this was a destination spot, that may not have been so unusual.  I also noticed 4 or 5 rental bikes locked up over in the public bike racks. These are bikes that you can rent per day or per weekend and they have a variety of bikes listed on their site. I see these bikes all over the lakefront, downtown and the near north side of the city. They all have distinctive handlebar bags and small placards within the frame of the bike.  While the bike share program is getting the most press these days, I think the bike rental program has been very popular — especially with tourists– based on my own observations.

Rental bikes outside the Shedd Aquarium

Rental bikes outside the Shedd Aquarium

Another rental bike and Oma outside the Shedd Aquarium

Another rental bike and Oma outside the Shedd Aquarium

After showing off Oma, Willa asked if she could take a ride on Oma since she has been thinking about getting a bike.  But of course!

Taking a test ride on an Omafiets outside the Shedd Aquarium

I think she looks great on a WorkCycles bike – don’t you?  Willa asked me a few questions about my bike, and I told her that I know there are a few different Dutch bike brands available for sale in Dublin because I’ve been reading some of the Dublin bike blogs. Since I told Willa I’d send her some info on the bike, I think I’ll be doing my next post on Dublin city biking, bike blogs and where to purchase Dutch or Dutch-style bikes in the city of Dublin. If you’re a Dublin bike blogger, send me a note or add your comments to this post with any useful tips.

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