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Bicycling

Shop by Bike and Win Prizes During the “Ride & Seek Lakeview” Promotion

Bike Friendly Business
This sticker in a shop's window means they offer a discount to cyclists.

Smart community leaders brainstorm ways to get more butts on bicycles. After all, more people traveling in the neighborhood on two wheels instead of four means less traffic congestions and pollution. And when more shoppers access retail strips by bikes instead of cars, there are similar (or even better) economic benefits for the area, with less need for car parking. Plus, when people travel at slower speeds, they’re more likely to notice local storefronts and consider patronizing the businesses.

Accordingly, the Lakeview and Lakeview East chambers of commerce are partnering this year on a Bike-Friendly Business District program that promotes shopping local and helps promote the Lakeview neighborhood as a great place to shop by bike. The Lakeview chamber originally launched the initiative in 2014 through a partnership with the West Town Chamber of Commerce and the Active Transportation Alliance. The program includes improved cycling infrastructure, promotional materials and bike maps, plus educational and encouragement activities like workshops and rides, plus a discount program for customers arriving by bicycle.

Both the Lakeview and Lakeview East chambers have installed dozens of branded bike racks on their business strips featuring the names of the neighborhoods, paid for with Special Service Area funds. The Lakeview East racks have temporarily been removed for refurbishing.

Last year the Lakeview chamber installed a fix-it station at the Southport Brown Line station with a pump and tools for simple repairs. Unlike the fix-it stations that West Town Bikes recently installed on the Bloomingdale Trail, which sadly were vandalized soon after installation, the Southport facility hasn’t seen major tool theft problems, according to SSA 27 manager Dillon Goodson.

Bike Fix-It Stand
The fix-it station at the Southport Brown Line station. Photo: Lakeview Chamber of Commerce

To entice people to pedal to local businesses, the chambers are holding a “Ride & Seek Lakeview” promotion during the month of May, in conjunction with National Bike Month. Discount offers promotions for cyclists from dozens of businesses -- ranging from children’s clothing shops to spas to cafes to tattoo shops – are listed on the Bike-Friendly Business District website. You can show your helmet or otherwise prove you rode there in order to take advantage of the deal, generally a 10-20 percent discount on goods or services.

If you post on Instagram and/or Twitter about your purchase with the hashtag #BikeLakeview, you’ll be entered to win merchandise from local businesses, ranging from t-shirts to bike helmets to a gift pack from a local brewpub. New prizes will be awarded via a random drawing every week or two. The more businesses you visit, the more chances there are to win.

“We’re going to get some warmer weather next week, so we’re looking forward to seeing more bikes in the neighborhood,” Goodson says. “Lakeview is a bike-friendly community, so we want to encourage people to bike here and support local businesses.”

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