(I searched for any prior threads on this and found nothing recent.)
I'm writing a blog post about how I think the McDonald's Cycle Center is at an odd location. I realize that I never hear people in the bike community mention the cycle center. But supposedly 500 people are members, and there is a waiting list. So I ask here: Do you use it regularly? Ever? Why or why not?
there is a recent discussion. Give me a minute and I'll find it. The search function on Ning is pretty lacking and is on the list of improvements when we do the site overhaul.
Thanks, I didn't find that. I have to check whether I'm misspelling Millennium -- that was part of the problem. Will now read the thread.
Thanks also Kevin C.
Julie Hochstadter said:
At the time it "happened" there was plenty of griping about the location, and I think we were sweet-talked with "think of it as a model-- if its successful there will be others at more convenient locations."
Well, here we are... how many years later?
Kevin C said:
I used it regularly for 18 months or so from about January 2009-mid 2010. I got the same pitch about what their member census was, but was irritated by the fact that I was a monthly payer, who during the winter months was parking in the members area with the other 5 or so bikes there. Bike and Roll is not based in Chicago, and is not a particularly supportive member of the local bike community. As you correctly point out, it is at an extremely odd location, and the inconvenience of walking 4+ blocks each way from/to my office was the principal reason I stopped using it.
I've used it for over 2 years now. I get the feeling most of the people using it come in off the Lakefront Path so it's a good location. I use it because my job is a few blocks away. I think a lot of the people that work in the Aon center across the street use it, too.
No complaints. I hadn't been a monthly member for a year yet, but they let me switch over to an annual membership when they realized I was one of only a few females still using the locker room over the winter. They've always been extremely helpful and, in my eyes, seem to care about the local community. I've signed several petitions at their front desk.
Reviews of the McDonalds's Cycle Center seem generally favorable. I've been there myself and was impressed with what I'd seen, although I've never used any of their services. It did seem very secure.
I wish there were more facilities like this in the loop itself. I had to search around before I found a parking garage (at 401 S. Financial Place) that offered bike parking. New York city law requires that all commercial parking garages provide spaces for bikes. We need that in Chicago, as well.
I considered joining it for the showers, but the location killed it for me. Neither Randolph, Michigan, nor Columbus is very bike friendly making it a difficult place to cycle to, and it was still over a ten minute walk to my office once I’d parked my bike.
Thanks for the replies, all. My post will go up later today on Bike Walk Lincoln Park (still the featured blog on Chainlink's home page -- thanks, Julie!).
A friend of mine who says she can't log on says she LOVES the bike station and uses it throughout the spring/summer/fall. She works across the street. Another friend works across the street and uses it all the time too. It's great for those who work nearby.
I have not used it for years. When it first opened I would use it periodically. I liked the facility. Towel rental was a buck. Not sure if that's still the case. However, its set up to accommodate regular users. The pricing and ability to use lockers was set up for the regulars. If I recall you could no longer buy a day pass. You had to buy a book of 10 and they would expire. I was not an every day commuter so I abandoned. It was also about 3/4 mile from my office. I would have to go to my office, get the clothes I leave at the office, go to the bike station and then come back. It was far enough that I rode to the station rather than walk from the office. Too much hassle. It was most useful one year my wife and I rode down to the jazz fest on our anniversary. We used the station to take showers and dress up a bit. We went to dinner in Greek Town and then listened to jazz at the park. That was kind of cool.
I've used it nearly everyday for the last 3 years and can't speak highly enough about the place. I do work nearby so I find it very convenient for getting to/from my office. The facilities are quite clean, I never have to wait (or very little) for a shower and the staff is great.
By now, I've met most of the people who arrive/leave on my schedule and I find it great to have like-minded folks to chat with regarding commuting, the bike center, weather concerns etc.
I feel the choice for location was two-fold - serve a portion of business district employees that would be commuting up/down the LFT anywhere from Evanston to Hyde Park and at the same time cater to tourists renting bikes giving them the option of travelling to tourist sites north or south along the LFT.
I come into the city off Elston avenue and I find it very easy to navigate to the bike center. The place is awesome and to me the only question is....how do we get more of them throughout the city?