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Exploring the Windy City: A Guide to eBike Riding in Chicago Spring 2023

Exploring the Windy City: A Guide to eBike Riding in Chicago Spring 2023

Ali Randazzo |

Discover the beauty of Chicago on an eBike this Spring! Chicago is a vibrant city with an array of sights and sounds to explore. From its iconic skyline and stunning architecture to its beautiful parks and scenic lakeshore; there's no shortage of things to see and do.


Electric bikes have quickly become a popular mode of transportation in Chicago, offering riders and families the opportunity to explore the city at their own pace while enjoying the fresh Spring air and sunshine. In our comprehensive guide, we'll take a closer look at riding your eBike in Chicago this coming Spring, from the best trails and scenes to safety tips and more!




Why eBikes are an Exciting Way to Explore Chicago this Spring

Fresh air + movement + an efficient way to get around town? Yes, please! Electric bikes offer fast and fun way to get around town and explore our city. We all know the hassle of Chicago traffic. So, swap Lake Shore Drive for the Lake Shore Path and fly by traffic. Skip backups and jams and cruise through bike friendly side streets and bike lanes (discover quiet streets like Wrightwood, which is parallel to main streets like Fullerton, and offer a bike lane!) Plus, when birds chirp in the morning and there is extended daylight in the evening, we’re itching to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Choosing an eBike for your commute or errands allows us to get outside and add fun into daily routines.

Environmentally Friendly

Choosing an electric bike can help minimize your environmental impact without changing your habits and schedules. Using an eBike for commuting, errands, or school drop off are a greener solution compared to gas powered cars. Studies show that 920 kg of CO2 emissions (that’s 104 gallons of gasoline consumed) were avoided by replacing a car with an e-cargo bike (Becker and Rudolf, 2018).

Affordable and Convenient

Like many personal sustainable solutions (like rooftop solar panels), this electric solution can save money over time. Consider car repairs and gas prices, can be an affordable solution compared to gas powered cars. They can supplement car use for shorter trips or replace a car all together. One study found a 41% reduction in private car trips with the introduction of cargo bikes, with 69% of respondents noting the cargo bikes was their primary choice of transportation (Riggs, 2016).

Enjoy the Outdoors

Between work, school drop off, dance classes, soccer practices, tutoring, and everything in between, it can be tough to find time to get outside. Whether you’re looking for solitude time outdoors for self-care or a new way to get the family outside, an eBike is a great solution to add fresh air and sunshine while you get from A to B.

Great for Solo or Family Adventures

Radio Flyer’s Flyer™ eBikes offer a variety of custom accessories. Discover accessories like the Kid & Cargo Carrier that transforms to fit two kids for a full family adventure or cargo when you want a solo ride. Plus, accessories like the front storage basket or front rack are great for carrying backpacks and diaper bags when you ride with your crew, or yoga mats and small bags for solo trips.


Best eBike Trails in Chicago and Surrounding Chicago 

Chicago offers a variety of great walking and biking trails around the city. Many are accessible from main roads, so you can easily ride your eBike to the trailhead of choice.

Be sure to confirm if the trail near you allows electric bikes. If you are not sure if the trail allows eBikes, check with the local park district or ride in pedal-only mode.

Lakefront Trail

The Lakefront Trail is one of the most popular paths in Chicago. With its long stretch of trail and iconic skyline views, it’s the perfect spot to take your Flyer™ eBike. The trail is 18 miles and connects Chicago north and south shores. Walking and bike lanes are separated on this trail, making it a fan favorite for commuters, runners, tourists, and bikers alike.

312 RiverRun

This trail connects three parks along the North Branch of the Chicago River. It’s a 1.5-mile path that was recently finalized in 2021. The purpose was to create a car-free connected between Horner Park and Clark Park.

The 606

The 606 is a 2.7-mile trail that connects northwest neighborhoods. The elevated trail was formerly a rail line. Plus, a large park with a playground and plenty of green space is at the Ashland trailhead. Ride on this trail in pedal-only mode.

Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk is a scenic spot to stroll or watch boats, kayakers, and pedestrians go by. The Riverwalk may appear on downtown commutes. This is often a more crowded spot and has elevators to get down to the riverwalk. Be aware of these two factors before planning your trip.

Lincoln Park Trail

This 5-mile loop is a great way to access different spots around Lincoln Park (a trip to the zoo, anyone?) It’s popular among bikers, runners, and walkers, and often more crowded, so be prepared to go slower if crowds are present.

North Branch Trail

This asphalt trail is 21 miles and connects Highland Park to Chicago. There are parking lots, bathrooms, and picnic spots available on the trail, making it a great (and green) escape from the city.

Des Plaines River Trail

Tis trail runs along the Des Plains River in Lake and Cook Counties. Its often considered a lush oasis outside the city. Easily ride your bike from the city to the trail or store your bike in your trunk If you prefer to park at the trailhead then hop on your bike and go.



eBike Safety Tips for Chicago

No matter where you ride, the following safely tips will help you feel confident before you take off. The following eBike safety tips are a great checklist to run through as you prepare for your bike ride. Just as you would use a seatbelt and mirrors while you drive, these following safety tips are bikers must-do to ensure other pedestrians and drivers stay safe. As always, check city and community rules and regulations before you ride.


Wear a Helmet

Wearing a helmet is non-negotiable. Keep your helmet near your eBike for easy access so it becomes a routine before you ride. Need a new helmet? Here are some of our favorites.

Follow Traffic Laws

Flyer™ eBikes are a Class 2 electric bike. That means that riders do not need registration or license to ride the bike. However, bikers are still subject to the rules of the road. So, abide by traffic signals, red lights, pedestrians, and traffic.

Stay Alert and Aware of Surroundings

Eyes on the road! Be aware of your surroundings to avoid surprises and sudden braking. As you watch the road, also tune into your LCD display to keep an eye on your battery charge and milage.

Stay on Designated Trails and Paths

Designated bike paths and trails ensure safety for everyone on the road. Be sure to stay within the path and abide to other bikers. Also, it’s a good practice to check that your local trails and paths allow electric bikes before mapping your route.

Check the Weather Forecast

Chicago in the Spring = unpredictable weather! From wintery mix in the mornings to sunny afternoons, it’s a good idea to layer up and check road conditions prior to hopping on the bike. Preparing for the ride will help you gain confidence on the road and avoid any unexpected weather.

Rules and Regulations for Riding an eBike in Chicago.

Electric biking rules and regulations vary state to state and city by city! Flyer™ eBikes are a Class 2 electric bike, meaning wherever you can ride a bike, you can ride your Flyer™.

Always check local rules and regulations before riding.

Illinois Bicycle Laws

According to Illinois bike laws, residents can ride electric bikes on streets and bike paths if they abide by local rules. Electric bikes are subject to the same laws as bicycles, do not require registration or insurance, and are restricted to riders 16 years or older.


Q: How fast can an eBike go?

A: Flyer™ eBikes can reach up to 20 mph with the throttle engaged. This is a Class 2 eBike regulation.


Q: Are there any age restrictions for riding an eBike in Chicago?

A: Yes, riders must be 16 years or older in Chicago. Flyer™ eBike riders also must be 16 years or older.


Q: Can I ride my own eBike on Chicago's trails and paths?

A: If your eBike meets local rules and regulations, then it is permitted on trails and paths. Always check local rules and regulations before you ride.


Q: Can I ride an eBike on the Chicago Lakeshore path?

A: Yes, the Lakeshore path allows electric bikes. Always check regulations for updates to rules.


Q: Are eBikes allowed on sidewalks in Chicago?

A: It is recommended to ride in bike lanes, bike paths, or the street. Do not use sidewalks where pedestrians are present. Always check local rules and regulations before riding.


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