Necessity is the mother of invention – so it may not be surprising, but it is welcome and interesting to find realtors and the Active Transportation Alliance joining together to create a unique collaboration — Home-Hunting by Bike events.
The currently scheduled events are outside Chicago in Homewood and Oak Park. Both suburbs offer good public transportation options, including being able to get downtown easily without resorting to driving a car. These two suburbs are bike-friendly, and they are looking to lure Chicagoans who are used to bike lanes and are considering moving.
The Homewood event will be held Saturday, June 19 and the Oak Park ride takes place Sunday, June 13. The bike tours will include maps featuring open houses, local businesses, schools, parks, transit and other amenities. The Homewood ride is a “led ride”; in Oak Park, riders navigate to the homes by themselves and the realtors show the homes.
“A neighborhood great to ride in is a neighborhood great to buy in!” said Active Trans Southland Coordinator Steve Buchtell. “Search for neighborhoods with good home values, school districts, and walking/biking connections to the things you need, and you get the American Dream without the rude awakening of weight gain, traffic headaches, and dollars down the tank.”
In Oak Park, participants visit homes at their own pace, and they can pick up a ticket at each stop. Riders can exchange four tickets for a gift or coupon from a local business. Details of the tours are below.
For Chicagoans and anyone else who wants to see what the city has to offer, there is one tour left in the Big Shoulders Realty THE CHICAGO BIKEXPOSITION 2010 series. On Sunday May 23 beginning at 1 p.m. is a ride through Humboldt Park . The ride starts at California and Division (see the starting point .)
Located four miles west of the Loop, Humboldt Park is a community area, a neighborhood and a huge city park, all three named for Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist. The neighborhood extends from Western Avenue to Pulaski Road and from Armitage to Chicago Avenues, leaving half the total neighborhood and half the park in the community area of West Town.
The tour is roughly 15 miles and 4 to 5 hours in length and is completely free, but Big Shoulders asks that you make a free will donation to West Town Bikes. Please visit the following link and put “HUMBOLDT PARK TOUR” in the space for “Designation” to make a donation in the amount you see fit.
Here is the fine print for the Homewood and Oak Park tours:
- When: June 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Register at activetrans.org/greenstreets. The deadline is 5 p.m. June 11.
- What: Tour a mapped route through Homewood with other homebuyers. Maps highlight up to five homes in a range of prices currently on the market, as well as village parks, schools and amenities. Total tour time: 2-3 hours.
- Where: The tour begins and ends at the Homewood Art Festival on Martin Avenue and Ridge Road (one block east of the Homewood Metra Station – bring your bike on the train!). Homewood is located about 25 miles south of the Loop.
- Who: Active Transportation Alliance and the Village of Homewood.
- How it works: Real estate agents will host showings at each stop, and “score cards” will include listing information for each house so you can follow up on your favorite homes. Enjoy a hosted luncheon after the tour at the art festival.
Oak Park Tour:
- When: June 13, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (No pre-registration needed.)
- What: Take a bike tour visiting homes for sale in Oak Park. Participants use a map to take the self-guided tour.
- Where: Check in at the Pasta Shoppe & Café at 116 North Oak Park Ave. in Oak Park. This is where you pick up a map of the homes that are participating.
- How it works: Participants pick up one ticket at each home. If you bring back four tickets to the Pasta Shoppe after the tour, you’ll get a coupon for a local store or restaurant.
- Who: The Active Transportation Alliance is co-sponsoring the event with the Oak Park Area Association of Realtors and the Oak Park Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Contact the Active Transportation Alliance or call 312.427.3325 for information.