Bike parking in Hyde Park
July 27, 2008 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Bicycle advice in Hyde Park (Chicago)

I am going to be moving to Hyde Park in about a month. I'll be living near 54th and Lake Park, so I'm pretty close to a Metra stop and the Jackson Park Express bus route. But I'm about 1.8 miles from both the Garfield and 51st Green line stops.

Is locking up a bike at either of these stops during the day a dumb idea? What about around Hyde Park in general? If it makes a difference, I have a newish but cheap (downtube shifters) road bike. My seat and wheels aren't quick release, but they can be unscrewed with an Allen wrench.
posted by puffin to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't try it at either of those stops if I were you. Just take the 55 Garfield bus over to the Red line or the 55th street Green line. Yeah it may suck to take a bus and to get to the El, but that seems to be what everyone else without a with or without a bike does in HP.
posted by bluenausea at 11:44 AM on July 27, 2008

Why not just take your bike onto the bus or train with you?
posted by nax at 12:28 PM on July 27, 2008

A few things:

- Hyde Park is bike theft central for the city simply because of the number of bikes and their proximity to the ghetto. It's easy pickings especially with an influx of clueless kiddies every term who have no experience locking their bikes securely.

- For a 1.8mile trip any beater bike should do as long as it's in safe running condition. If you love your bike and the thought of it being stolen unsettles you, buy a $40 Schwinn from CL and use that. The uglier the better.

- Locking your bike securely will be key to keeping it safe. I'd suggest two U-locks locked through the front wheel and rear wheels and the frame. Even on a beater. Google around for tips on bike security.

- If your bike is locked in a public space during the day it will be significantly safer than locked over night. Don't leave your bike out over night. Ever.

- On a long enough time line your bike will be stolen. The trick is to minimize the window of opportunity that thieves have and to make your bike as frustrating and time consuming as possible to steal. Which is why I suggest two u-locks. Bike thieves go after the low hanging fruit.
posted by wfrgms at 1:40 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had a nice (ish - approx $500) bike stolen in Hyde Park. The theif dug a stop sign out of the ground and left it (the sign, pole, and nice-sized hunk of concrete) sitting there waiting for me. Wow. This was basically *on* campus (by the gym which is now a dining hall). The bike was left outside for a weekend.
posted by zpousman at 3:19 PM on July 27, 2008

I would actually avoid either of those El stops, mainly because the bus and/or metra is going to be faster if you're going downtown.

The Jackson Express gets you downtown in like 20 minutes, even during rush hour. It's fast. I usually never used the Green Line because of that, and also because the other option was the speedy Metra trains, which would get me downtown is something like 12 minutes.

Nthing the other posters, thoigh. Get a beater and use that for commuting if you need.
posted by waylaid at 5:44 AM on July 28, 2008

Looks like consensus seems to be either take the bike with me on the train, just take the Metra or bus (which I can walk to), get a beater, or some combination of the above three. Good to know. Everyone's response was helpful so I'll just mark this as best answer.
posted by puffin at 7:17 PM on July 29, 2008

Classy move puffin...
posted by wfrgms at 10:22 PM on July 29, 2008

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