A Blizzard of Divvy Ridership: Snowstorm Doesn’t Deter Chicago’s “Badass” Bikers

Photo: Ovi Olariu
Photo: Ovi Olariu

The six inches of snow that fell overnight may have caused headaches for folks who drove to work. (I wasn’t one of them.) But hundreds of people opted to turn their commutes into a fun adventure by checking out Divvy bikes this morning. The bike-share service reported that 236 people used the big, blue cycles this morning.

Lest you assume that all of these snow bikers were seasoned Divvy users, it turns out that five of the trips were taken via the system’s new $3 single-ride passes. A sixth voyage was made by someone who purchased one of the new Explorer Passes, which allow users to take an unlimited number of trips up to three hour within a 24-hour period. The top station this morning was at Washington and Clinton by the Ogilvie Center Metra terminal, a popular place to use Divvy as a “last mile” solution for getting to workplaces.

On Monday Divvy launched its Divvy Winter Medalist challenge. Those who ride ten times or more in February will win a digital gold medal — 93 people have already crossed this threshold — and will be invited to a victory party at a top-secret location. Word on the street is that a blue Curaçao-based concoction dubbed a Divvy Daiquiri will be served. (OK, I just made that last part up.)

It’s too bad that the city of Chicago missed the memo about all the winter biking that was going on this morning. As people pointed out on Twitter, some of Chicago’s most popular protected bike lanes were clogged with several inches of slush long after the mixed-traffic lanes were cleared.

The Divvy ridership numbers prove that Chicago deserves its recent recognition as a place with “badass winter bike commuters.” But the failure of City Hall to treat cycling as a viable winter transportation mode proves that Chicago still ain’t Copenhagen.

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