FAQ/Contact Us
Who is Bobby?
How long/strenuous is the tour anyway?
I couldn’t fit my bike in my suitcase. Do you have one I can use?
Are the walking tours suitable for non-hikers?
All the tours look like fun! Which one should I take?
What should I wear?  And do you have pouches on the bikes for storage?
How large are the groups? What can I expect?
Should I purchase tickets in Advance?
What is your cancellation policy?
I’m bringing an infant/very young child. Should I purchase them a ticket?
Can I leave my things at your shop during the tour/rental?
I took this tour a year ago. Has anything changed?
Are tours only offered in English?
Can I book a private tour?
Should I tip the guide on the bike tour?
Do you offer discounts for travel agents?
Tours are great, but can't I just rent a bike and go out on my own?
What do I get with my rental?  How does it work?
Why should I rent at your prices when I see those Divvy bikes for only $7 a day?
I see so many people riding Schwinns in Chicago. Do you offer these? 
Where are you located? How do I get there and where can I park?
How should we get to you? How do we use/pay for the transit system?
Where does Oprah live? Where does Barack Obama live?
Where is Tourist Information?
Are gift certificates available?
How do I get a T-Shirt?
How do I become a tour guide? What other positions are there?

 

Who is Bobby?
Bobby's Bike Hike was founded in 2002 by Jeremy Lewno, a then 27 year old ambitious (and slightly naive) newcomer to the Chicago tourism scene. He named the business Bobby's Bike Hike as a tribute to his late father Bob, a bus tour operator in Arkansas who instilled Jeremy's passion for travel and the tourism industry. Jeremy's interest in healthy living and a clean environment inspired him to create an interactive bike tour that would let people truly experience the city he loved. Today, Jeremy continues to deliver on his father's advice to never focus on being the biggest, only on being the BEST!
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How long/strenuous is the tour anyway?
“Strenuous” is not in Bobby's vocabulary.  All of Bobby's bike tours are set at a relaxed to moderate pace for riders of all skill levels.  In order of “difficulty,” they are as follows:  "Bobby's Tike Hike: Kid's Edition” and Bobby's “Museums & Parks at Sunset Tour” are each a quick two hours covering less than 5 miles, with a brief rest-stop along the way.

Both Bobby's “Lakefront Neighborhoods Chicago Tour” and “City Lights at Night Chicago Tour” are set at a relaxed pace, covering about 6-8 miles in 3 hours, including a small break at a quiet, outdoor café/beer garden just in case you need a snack (snacks are ala carte and not included in the regular tour price; private groups can include breakfast/lunch/dinner with one of our partners in their package upon request).

Likewise, foodies on Bobby's “Bikes, Bites & Brews Chicago Food Tour” cover about 12 miles in 4 hours, and there are lots of delicious breaks along the way.   We call it “Somewhat Moderate to Easy.”
Bobby's “Southside Chicago Gangster Tour” covers 12 miles in 3 and a half hours with a break as well. It's a bit more moderately paced but not advanced.

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I couldn’t fit my bike in my suitcase. Do you have one I can use?
No bike, no problem! We have hot deluxe comfort bikes for you to ride, and helmets to keep you safe. Each bike is labeled with a name that describes its personality, but you can also tell them apart by their distinctive markings and behavior. They each have front pouches and back racks for storage of smaller items. Although we recommend riding our bikes, you can bring your own and save $5 off our shop rates.  All bikes are deluxe comfort bikes with fat tires, cushy seats, and fenders to keep you clean.
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Are the walking tours suitable for non-hikers?
Absolutely, we call them “Hikes” so you can impress your friends when you tell them about your trip to Chicago.  Our walking tours each cover 2-3 miles at an easy pace.  All of them involve some stairs, but there is no rough terrain (unless you count stepping over the occasional spring pothole).
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All the tours look like fun! Which one should I take?
Each tour is unique, and of course we suggest taking them all.  Here are brief descriptions to let you know what's in store:

Bike Tours:
Bobby’s “Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour” is the signature tour that put us on the map in 2002, taking you off the beaten path and into Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods, parks, and beaches, giving you a glimpse into ‘real’ Chicago life.  

Bobby's “Museums and Parks at Sunset Tour” explores Millennium Park, Museum Campus, and the other beautiful green spaces between the Loop and the Lake.

Bobby’s “City Lights at Night Tour” provides a healthy and fun alternative to Chicago nightlife, as well as the best way to see skyline fireworks.  

Bobby's “Southside Chicago Outfit Tour” checks out the underbelly of organized crime in the city's history.

“Bobby's Tike Hike: Kid's Edition” is ideal for families with younger riders.  Cruise along the lake and through the parks, away from traffic, and check out the zoo and beaches along the way.

Older “kids” (over 18, that is) enjoy Bobby's “Bikes, Bites, & Brews Tour”  and all its gustatory delights: deep-dish pizza, cupcakes, hotdogs, and beer.

Walking Tours:
Bobby's “Chicago Favorites Tour” checks out the hotspots around the Loop and Millennium Park while sampling stuffed pizza (the “other” Chicago-style pizza), hotdogs, and beer.  On cold days almost all of the tour route goes underground, using Chicago's unique Pedway system to get from one destination to the next.

Bobby's “Art and Architecture” tour explores the incredible public art and historic architecture of the most beautiful city in the world.

In the winter, Bobby's “Holiday Hike” explores the unique contributions Chicago has made to holiday traditions celebrated around the world as well as a few things you can't do anywhere else, all while sampling the sort of sweet treats and hot meats that make the Holidays feel so bountiful.

Combine any two tours and save 10% off your ticket price. Easily reserve online or call ahead (312-915-0995) to reserve both spots.

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What should I wear?  And do you have pouches on the bikes for storage?
You should wear clothes, of course, but beyond that you're free to show your expressive nature in what you decide to wear.

Bike Tours:
We suggest tennis shoes and comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of your tour.  You might want to wear layers, particularly in spring and fall, as you can always take a layer off if you get too hot or add a layer if you get too cool.  We offer pouches on the front of our bikes that allow you to store wallets, cameras, cell phones, and other smaller items, and you are welcome to keep any larger items back at our shop while you are out on a tour or rental.

Walking Tours:
We suggest tennis shoes or boots, depending on the season, and comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of your tour.  The key to comfort in Chicago's seasonally variable weather is layering, so you can adjust to changing conditions on the spot.  That's why you see so many Chicagoans wearing light coats even on cold days: odds are good they've got 2 or 3 sweaters under there.

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How large are the groups? What can I expect?
Expect to explore Chicago with up to 20 new friends, learn about its history and have unparalleled fun. Wow, we set the bar so high it’s a wonder people don’t go home disappointed, isn't it?  But they don’t! 
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Should I purchase tickets in Advance?
YES!  We’re popular and not afraid to admit it. We suggest buying tickets in advance for a number of reasons. This will guarantee your spot on the tour and save you money as well as save time once you arrive at the tour.  By paying online, you'll receive an e-ticket which let's you bypass the payment line and go directly to check-in with your guide for some Chicago fun. Plus, you’ll save 10% off of our walk-up prices.


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What is your cancellation policy?
Why would you want to cancel? Don't worry: if there is an unforeseen change in your schedule, you can cancel your tour with 72 hour notice. 
Bike tours are offered from March through November because these are the months you can usually rely on good Chicago weather, while walking tours are offered year-round.  Tours do run rain or shine, and you should always dress appropriately for the day's weather conditions.  Note that Chicagoland is huge, so when they predict “scattered showers” it probably won’t affect the tour.  We provide free ponchos on our bike tours when the weather requires, and on walking tours it's usually easy to duck inside (or stay inside) for a moment until a shower passes.   In the rare event that a tour is canceled due to extreme weather, we will allow you to reschedule your tour (subject to availability) or offer a full refund.

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I’m bringing an infant/very young child. Should I purchase them a ticket?
Children 3 and under will not be charged a full kid price, but instead will be charged a lesser ticket price which goes toward reserving their special equipment. When ordering, include a “Child Under 4” ticket for each infant or toddler who will be attending and also indicate any needed special equipment (child seats, trailers, tag-a-longs) when you purchase your tickets so we can have it ready when you arrive.


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Can I leave my things at your shop during the tour/rental?
All of our bikes have pouches on the front which can hold sweaters, purses, phones, water, etc. If you have larger things, we can store them at the shop while you are out on your tour or rental.  Families, feel free to leave your strollers with us
Unfortunately, our walking tours do not leave from our shop and so we have no storage capacity.  Be sure to leave the extra packages, etc., at home or in the hotel before a walking tour.

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I took this tour a year ago. Has anything changed?
Yes. We change the tour slightly each year. Many parts of the tour remain the same, but we do our best to improve upon and enhance the tour each and every time we go out and every year.
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Are tours only offered in English?
All of our regularly scheduled tours are given in English, but our humor is universal.  We do offer private group tours in a variety of languages (French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and more). Just call ahead and we’ll make it happen.

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Can I book a private tour?
Yes, private tours are available for groups of 1 to 250 people. To inquire about a private group tour, please go to our Tours Page on our website and under the specific tour you're interested in, Click “Group Request.”  Our Director of Group Fun will contact you as soon as possible to set things up.
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Should I tip the guide on the bike tour?
We think that a tip is a direct reflection of how you thought the tour guide performed. 15% to 20% is a customary tip for excellent service professionals, and you're always welcome to tip more. The guide will be happy to take the extra cash and will know they've pleased another guest.
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Do you offer discounts for travel agents?
The travel agent discount is our standard 10% off Adult Ticket. Please reserve online to receive this discount, or supply a business card at the time of tour.
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Tours are great, but can't I just rent a bike and go out on my own?
Yes, you can.  While Bobby's prides itself on being a tour operator first and foremost, we realize that some people prefer to ride on their own.  Our location is perfectly situated downtown right beside the 18-mile lakefront path.  Our convenient location makes it easily accessible from all downtown hotels. Note that if you do sign up for one of our World-Famous Tours, you have the option to add an all-day bike rental for only $10 extra dollars.  Just visit our website rentals page and reserve ahead of time to save 10%.  

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What do I get with my rental?  How does it work?
With your rental, Bobby's provides you a bike, helmet, lock, and map so you know where you are going.  You may rent for two hours, the half day (4 hours) or full day.  We also offer overnight and weekly options.

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Why should I rent at your prices when I see those Divvy bikes for only $7 a day?
Bobby loves Divvy and thinks it's a great commuter solution, but wishes they'd do a better job alerting people to the actual pricing details in the fine print.
Your $7 with Divvy gets you the right to unlimited 30-minute rides for 24 hours, but begins to charge over-time fees at minute 31.  And they add up quickly.  If you keep your Divvy bike for over two hours without plugging it back in, you'll end up paying $29, and Divvy's overtime fees for a ride max out at a cool $119 if you keep it for longer than 6 hours.  Whether renting for a couple of hours or the full day, Bobby's pricing beats Divvy fees hands down.  Divvy will also charge you 3 times as much as Bobby's if you manage to lose the bike, and unlike Bobby's does not supply free locks (and helmets) or optional insurance.
Unless you like hunting down a dock every 30 minutes, we think the choice is clear.

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I see so many people riding Schwinns in Chicago. Do you offer these? 

YES! We're proud to say we have all top-of-the-line Schwinn equipment! Want to know a little secret?  In Chicago, Schwinn rules the roads.  Why?  They have cool, unique, and quality bikes.....and it's a Chicago original (the Schwinn family still resides in the City).  We've got comfort, hybrid, mountain, road, tandem, and child bikes and equipment.  All rentals come with FREE helmet, lock, and map.


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Where are you located? How do I get there and where can I park?
Bike Tours:
540 N. Lake Shore Drive. The entrance is on the south side of Ohio Street just east of Lake Shore Drive, just past the dry cleaner's location.  Please enter through the covered Driveway and once you're through, turn right and follow the signs.
Parking: Please park at 441 E. Erie St., which offers the lowest rate in the neighborhood.  Before leaving Bobby's, ask us for a discount slip that reduces the rate to $14 for 6 hours.   On Saturday and Sunday, you can park for up to 12 hours for only $16.

Walking Tours:
All of our walking tours begin at the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue, across the street from Millennium Park between Washington and Randolph Streets.  
Parking: Millennium Park Garage is located directly beneath Millennium Park, and accessed from Columbus Drive.  The Cultural Center where the tours begin is directly across Michigan Avenue from the north end of Millennium Park.

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How should we get to you? How do we use/pay for the transit system?

First choice would be to walk.  Chicago is flat and easy on the feet.  Second choice for downtown tours would be taking a cab.  Our shop and the Chicago Cultural Center are each a $5 cab ride from most downtown hotels.  Third choice would be the local transit system's trains and buses.

The local train system is called the 'L' because most of it is elevated above street level. It is operated by the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), which also operates the buses and maintains a universal fare system for easy transfers.  The “Directions” feature on Google Maps has full support for public transit options in Chicago and is an ideal way to plan your route.  

Paying: If you take the 'L', you must prepay by going to a station and going to the self-guided kiosk. A one way ticket costs roughly $2.25, and you can make two transfers for $0.25 each within two hours of paying a one-way fare.  The bus costs the same as the 'L' and allows you to just hop on and pay cash, but cash riders have no access to transfers. The bus drivers won't have change but they're usually very helpful if you tell him that you need help getting to your location.

Metra is the fast rail line that takes you between the City and the rest of Chicagoland.  The costs vary depending on how far you are going.  It's less expensive to buy your ticket at the station, but you can just hop on and someone will come around and charge you the fee.  The Metra reminds us of a cattle truck but it is a fun way to get to and from anywhere outside the city.  We recommend sitting on the second story for the best views.


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Where does Oprah live? Where does Barack Obama live?
Oprah is moving out of Chicago, but her Streeterville penthouse is on the market as of Spring 2014.  Bobby’s “Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour” actually makes a stop right in front, though you won't have time to tour the place and see if you want to buy. 
Obama lives in Washington DC right now.  But when he returns to Chicago, he stays in his house in the beautiful neighborhood of Hyde Park.  None of our tours get down there, but renters can ride to his neighborhood via the Lakefront Path.


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Where is Tourist Information?
You're going to learn a lot on our tours, but you can also receive City of Chicago information by going to the Chicago Visitor's Center, located in the pumping station across the street from the Historic Water Tower.  The exact address is 163 E Pearson Street (Southeast corner of Michigan Ave and Pearson Street).  You can also try the Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street, where some of our walking tours begin.
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Are gift certificates available?
Yes, gift certificates are available for all of our tours. To purchase a gift certificate, please visit our “Events” page and click on the Gift Certificate you would like to purchase.  Please note that if you want the Gift Certificates sent to a different address then the billing address provided during payment, you'll need to specify the shipping location in the Comments Section.
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How do I get a T-Shirt?
Bobby's sought long and hard to find the perfect designers and suppliers for our fashionable and oh-so-comfy t-shirts and tech-shirts.  You can purchase them online via our "Events" page or in our shop.  We'll even knock 10% off if you buy it on the day of your tour or rental.
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How do I become a tour guide? What other positions are there?
We're glad you want to join one of the friendliest organizations in the world. We are always looking for tour leaders with a positive attitude, strong leadership qualities, and a passion for Chicago history; previous guiding experience is a plus as well.  We are also looking for Front of House leaders who are looking to get more from their summer work experience.  We strive to offer our employees more than just a 'job', but a positive leadership program that will make you a successful person in life. Email  employment@ bobbysbikehike.com and include your resume, cover letter, and a picture so that we can see your smiling face. 
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Our sole purpose is to educate, entertain, and help in anyway we can! Please feel free to call (312) 915-0995 with questions, ideas or comments. You may also contact us using this email form.

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Lake Shore Drive & Ohio Street
540 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 915-0995 Summer: 8am-8pm
Spring/Fall: 8:30am-7pm
Winter: Call or Email for Hours of Operations