FAQ

  1. AnchorGeneral Questions
  2. Our Cause - Charitable Proceeds
  3. Registration
  4. Youth Registration & Riding with Kids
  5. Packet Pick-up
  6. Participant Info and Event Timing

 

AnchorGeneral Questions

Can I Volunteer? 

Yes! MB Bike the Drive relies on volunteers before, during and after the event. There are a wide variety of positions available, and we will work with you to find the most rewarding use of your talents and available time. Visit the volunteer page or contact our volunteer coordinator, mlyons@activetrans.org. 

Why Should I Pay When I Can Just Ride on the Lakefront Trail? 

Good question - we have several reasons: 

  1. MB Bike the Drive is a fundraiser that benefits the Active Transportation Alliance's work to improve biking, walking, and transit. Your registration allows us to continue our fight to make walking, biking, and transit safe and easy. 
  2. Lake Shore Drive is usually crammed with cars, but during the event, the historic road is transformed into a tranquil bicycling utopia. Come enjoy the camaraderie and connect with a larger community of bicyclists. 
  3. Lake Shore Drive is built higher than the Lakefront Trail, giving you stunning views of the lakefront that can only be appreciated from a bike, and an unparalleled view of Chicago's world-famous skyline.

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AnchorOur Cause - Charitable Proceeds

Who Benefits from MB Bike the Drive? 

Unlike many other athletic events in Chicago, MB Bike the Drive is fully produced by and benefits a local nonprofit organization. MB Bike the Drive is produced by and benefits the Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans), Chicagoland's voice for better biking, walking, and transit. 

Active Trans is a member-supported advocacy organization. We have been making cycling better throughout the region for 30 years. Learn more about our mission and work and consider becoming a member when you register or online at www.activetrans.org

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Do I Become an Active Trans Member When I Register? 

Not automatically, but if you're not a member, we sure wish you would join! You can choose a registration option with membership, that allows you to save when registering for the event and joining or renewing. Learn more about the many benefits of membership.

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Why Should I Become a Member of Active Trans? 

Members are the momentum we need to build a movement around biking, walking, and transit. We envision a region where there are half as many crashes - because half the population gets around on foot, by bike, and on transit. You want safer streets and more bike lanes and trails. We need more members to make that happen!

As an Active Trans member, you receive the Chicagoland Bike Map, discounts at local businesses and events, and we'll keep you informed and engaged through our newsletters and volunteer opportunities. Join by registering for MB Bike the Drive with a package option that includes membership and saves 15% on the event and membership. 

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AnchorRegistration

I am an Active Trans member. Do I Get Anything Special? 

Yes! Active Trans members receive a $5 discount on event registration. Not a member yet? You can add a membership to your registration. 

Stop by the Active Transportation Alliance tent at the post-ride festival; we'd love to meet you. We'll have goodies to thank you for your continued support, and news on recent victories for biking, walking, and transit. 

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What Does the Registration Fee Go Toward? 

Your fee pays for the event's costs. The event's costs include permits and food, route closures and police barricades, toilets and tents, and countless other items and services. We would not be able to produce this event if your registration fee did not offset the costs.

Donations and remaining proceeds from MB Bike the Drive support the Active Transportation Alliance's work to make the region better for biking, walking, and transit. We have been making cycling better for 31 years. Learn more about our mission and work

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How Do I Register for the Ride? 

Visit our registration page for more information about registering online or to download a paper registration form. 

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Is the Event Accessible to Everyone? 

Yes, anyone and everyone! MB Bike the Drive is for cyclists of every kind, age, and ability. We want to ensure your participation. If you have special needs and would like to request accommodations at the event, please contact our Registration Manager, Sean Blay at 312-967-1016.

If your barrier to enjoying this event is the expense of paying, consider applying for our Youth Scholarship

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I'm Having Trouble Registering Online. 

If you have trouble signing up online, please contact Sean Blay, Registration Manager at btdinfo@activetrans.org or by calling the Active Trans office at 312-427-3325. 

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I Would Rather Not Register Online. What Should I Do? 

Go green and save a tree. We strongly encourage you to register online because our office has gone paperless as of 2015 for any event registration. If you do not have access to a computer you can always call our office and we'd be happy to register you over the phone. Please call 312-967-1016. 

You can also visit any packet pickup location to register and receive rider materials on the spot, but you will incur a $5 processing and $5 late fee. 

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How Do I Know My Registration Was Received? 

There are three ways to confirm that your registration was received!

  1. Immediate email update: When you submit your registration online, a confirmation screen will appear. You will receive an email confirmation entitled "Thank You For Registering For MB Bike the Drive." Other adults in your registration purchase will receive the message, "Someone has Registered You for MB Bike the Drive."
    If these emails are not received immediately, please check your SPAM folder and/or confirm that you entered the correct email address when registering. 
  2. Your credit card charge will show on your bank statement: Specifically, starting a few hours after the transaction is processed, the charge on your credit/debit card will appear as ATA*Bike the Drive. If will say that because Active Transportation Alliance is the nonprofit organization that produces and benefits from this event (in short, we call ourselves 'Active Trans'). 
  3. You can contact us at btdinfo@activetrans.org and ask us to send a recap of your registration.

Questions? Contact Sean Blay, Registration Manager at btdinfo@activetrans.org or by phone at 312-967-1016.

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Can I have a refund? 

No, registration for MB Bike the Drive is non-refundable. All proceeds from the event support the nonprofit Active Transportation Alliance's work to make Chicagoland safer and more fun for all transportation users. 

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Why is There a $5 Increase Starting on May 8? 

We charge a fee starting May 8 to offset the additional resources it takes to for us to order last-minute t-shirts and food for the rest stops and to process and manage registrations closer to the event. Sign up early to avoid the increase and to have your packet mailed to you at home. 

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Can I Register on the Day of the Event?

Yes, if the ride is not sold out. Day-of-Event Registration is $65 and does not include a t-shirt.

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I've Registered, But I'm Not Receiving Emails About the Event?

Your spam filter might be blocking our messages. Check your junk mail for event communications and add 'donotreply@activetrans.org' to your list of safe senders.

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Why is there a processing fee? Can I register off-line to avoid this? 

The processing fee covers the cost of registering online. This fee is standard among all major registration sites and includes credit card transaction fees.

This amount is typically lower than the $5 paper registration fee, the cost of manually entering and processing data from your registration in our system.

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Can My Registration Fee be Deducted from my Taxes? 

Your event registration is a donation that does not exceed the fair market value of the goods and services received and is not eligible for a tax deduction. However, memberships and donations that are processed with your registration are considered charitable contributions and may be eligible for a tax deduction. Donors will receive a receipt acknowledging the value of charitable contributions after the transaction is processed.

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I Am Having Trouble Logging-In to Register an Additional Person - What Do I Do? 

Our new registration system allows one transaction per registration. You may register more than one person at the time and you will be asked if you want to "Add Another Participant"  or continue and "Checkout". Once you have checked out you will not be able to add any more participants to your transaction or log back in once your confirmation is received to add additional riders. You can, however, register another person but will need to continue as a guest to complete registration. 

Desired changes to your order (for example, change in event t-shirt size) can be made by contacting our Events Registration Manager, Sean at btdinfo@activetrans.org.

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AnchorYouth Registration and Riding With Kids

Can I Register My Child? 

You can register youth participants (17 and under) for $17 each, which includes the official event t-shirt. All paid registrants, including youth, are required to wear wristbands and rider and helmet numbers during the event. T-Shirts are not included for any day-of-event registrations. 

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My Children are Riding in a Trailer - Do I Need to Register Them? 

Our rule is: if you pedal you pay. Children in trailers do not need to register. However, every tagalong or tandem rider must register and wear his or her rider number, helmet number, and wristband. 

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AnchorPacket Pick-Up

When Will I Receive My Rider Packet? 

If you registered before April 10th your packets will be mailed starting April 18th. If you registered between April 10th and May 1st your packets will be mailed beginning on May 5th. The final mailing is for those who register between May 2nd and May 15th and will be in the mail by May 20th.

Did you register before our mailing cut-off dates? If yes, then review your confirmation email to ensure that you entered your mailing address correctly. If the information is correct, but you have not received your materials by May 25, please visit a Packet Pick-Up to collect your rider packet. 

 

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I Missed the Mailing Cut-Off; Can I Pick Up My Packet on the Day of the Event? 

Yes, but it is highly recommended that you pick up your packet before the day of the event to avoid long lines, which cut into your time enjoying the ride on Lake Shore Drive. Find out where and when you can pick up your packet in advance of the event. 

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What Should I Do if my Packet has Not Arrived in the Mail? 

Did you register before the May 15 mailing cut-off date? If yes, then review your confirmation email to ensure that you entered your mailing address correctly. If the information is correct, but you have not received your materials, please visit a Packet Pick-Up to collect your rider packet.

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Why Isn't There a Packet Pick Up Location in my Community? 

While we strive to offer opportunities for people around the region to pick up packets, we cannot be in every community. Everyone who registers before the final three weeks leading up to the event receives their packet in the mail. Packet pick-ups are an unfortunate challenge for last-minute registrants. We do offer the opportunity for one person to pick up multiple packets as long as they have all the registration confirmation emails for the people they are picking up for. 

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AnchorParticipant Info and Event Timing

How Do I Ride with My Group?

Riders who wish to participate in MB Bike the Drive as a group are welcome to do so! Here are a few tips to facilitate riding in a group: 

  1. Consider pre-purchasing a block of tickets to take advantage of our group discounts.
  2. Communicate with your group to determine a meeting place and starting time. 
  3. If you are not meeting at Columbus and Jackson for day-of packet pick-up, make sure that all of your group members receive their packet in the mail or visit a packet pickup before the morning of the event so that you can all start together from a convenient location. 
  4. Remember good riding etiquette: do not ride more than two abreast. 
  5. Enjoy the ride and be sure to visit the post-ride festival to take a team photo in our Ultimate Photo Frame. 

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Where Can I Park Downtown? 

Find Parking Information and Directions on our website. 

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What Do I Need to Bring? 

Rider and helmet numbers, helmets and wristbands are required. In addition, bring your bike, appropriate clothing, a water bottle and spending money. See the event info page for more information. 

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Why are Rider Numbers, Helmet Numbers, and Wristbands Required? 

Your rider numbers and wristbands are proof you have paid for this fundraiser. They entitle you to participate and to access the rest stops, festival refreshments, and services. We will be asking registrants to show their numbers at checkpoints along the route. Your rider and helmet numbers are required for safety. 

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Will Metra Allow Bikes on Trains? 

Yes. A number of Metra lines will get you and your bike downtown for the event, check with Metra for schedules. You can also bring your bike on CTA buses and trains

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Where Does the Ride Start? / Can I Start Anywhere Along the Route? 

For your safety, all participants must start at one of the below locations. We strongly discourage starting at any other point along the route. Visit the Route and Timing page for more information. 

  • Columbus Drive and Jackson Drive
  • Bryn Mawr Rest Stop
  • Museum of Science and Industry Rest Stop (57th Street)
  • Fullerton Checkpoint
  • Oakwood Checkpoint

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When should I Arrive to Start my Ride? 

Visit our Route and Timing page to see the event schedule. We suggest starting early and would recommend getting started at 7:00 AM at the latest. Remember to give yourself ample time to park your car and pick up your rider materials if you have not visited a packet pick up in advance. Participants will not be allowed to start after 9:30 AM as the Chicago Police and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications begin to reopen Lake Shore Drive to cars.  

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What if I Arrive Late? 

If you arrive late, you will not be able to do the ride. The Chicago Police and Office of Emergency Management and Communications won't allow participants to enter the route after 9:30 AM.

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What If It Rains? 

MB Bike the Drive will be held rain or shine. If there is a serious weather warning, please check our website or call the event hotline at 312-216-0488 for further information. Refunds are not available. Your investment in this event directly supports our work to make Chicagoland better for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users. 

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Can I Ride a Divvy Bike? 

Divvy Bikeshare is a transportation alternative in Chicago. Divvy is a fun, easy way to take short trips around the city. Divvy bikes are permitted at MB Bike the Drive, but please keep in mind that users will incur overtime fees if they use the bike for more than 30 minutes without re-docking.
Bike rentals are also available from many of our MB Bike the Drive partners. 

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Can I Use My Inline Skate during MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive? 

No. For the safety of all participants, inline skates, quad roller skates, and Trikkes are not allowed. 

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I don't have a bike. What should I do? 

MB Bike the Drive participants are eligible for bike rental discounts.

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I'm Not Sure I Can Ride 15 or 30 Miles. 

MB Bike the Drive is a fun, laid-back ride where participants can set their own page. If you can walk 1 mile, you can bike 5 miles. And if you get tired, there are three rest areas with water, light snacks, and toilets located along the route. Don't forget to bring a water bottle to fill up at the rest stops and make sure to check out our tips and training guides

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How Many Times Can I Ride the Route? 

As many times as you are able! Lake Shore Drive is 15 miles long. Bike just the southern loop (15 miles), the northern loop (15 miles) or the whole thing (30 miles)! You may bike as little or as much as you like during the event. 

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What Happens If I Don't Make the Cut-Off Times? 

Depending on your location along the route between 9:30 and 10:15 AM, you may either be turned around to head back to the Post-Ride Festival in Grant Park, or re-routed onto the Lakefront Trail, or  not allowed to restart the route from Jackson and Lake Shore Drive or the North and South Rest Stops. Please watch for cars once you leave Lake Shore Drive - the roads that cross under Lake Shore Drive will be open to car traffic. 

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Will Emergency Medical Assistance Be Available at the Event? 

Yes. There will be three ambulances along the route. There will also be basic EMTs at the post-ride festival and the north and south rest stops. Our volunteer Ride Marshals and Course Marshals along the route act as our eyes and ears of the event. In the case of an emergency, they have radio contact with the ambulances, support vehicles, and event management. 

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Can I Go Straight Home After the Ride, Or Do I Have to Go to the Post-Ride Festival?

You certainly don't have to go to the post-ride festival, but if you miss it, you'll be missing live music, food, exhibits, and demos. Take advantage of this time to hang out with your friends, family and the biking community in Grant Park. 

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Where is Volunteer Parking? 

There is no onsite parking provided for any participants, volunteers, sponsors/vendors or staff. Please see our directions and parking page for more information on where you can park nearby.