Midnight Bike Ride
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders.
Since 1989, Loyola University history professor Timothy Gilfoyle has conducted a "midnight bike ride" for his students and friends. The event introduces students to major themes in American history by visiting various historic sites in Chicago.
The adventure begins at 9 p.m. in the circle between Mertz Hall and the Gentile Center on the Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University. Riders normally return to campus between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. the following day. The ride takes place in the late evening and morning hours in order to avoid daytime and rush-hour traffic and because participants always see and learn more on a bike than during a bus ride or walking tour. Riders pedal at a leisurely pace (this is not a race), frequently stopping at important historical and architectural sites. Pit stops to eat, drink, and visit the rest room are frequent. All Loyola students, faculty and alumni are invited, and they are encouraged to bring family and friends.
Participants are urged to dress warmly, preferably wearing layers of clothing in order to adapt to the frequently changing Chicago weather. Gloves are also recommended in the event of cold weather, particularly in the early morning hours. Participants should bring money to pay for food and drink, and are also required to sign a legal waiver of release prior to the ride.
Past bike rides have visited the following places:
A. Finkl & Sons Steel Works
Unicom Cooling Plants on State Street and Wacker Drive
Site of the Haymarket Tragedy of 1886
Lower Wacker Drive
Where the Chicago Fire of 1871 began
Pre-1855 "Sunken Houses"
Bucktown and Wicker Park
"First" Apartment Building in Chicago
Prairie Avenue Historic District
St. Ignatius College Prepatory School (origins of Loyola University)
World's First "Skyscraper District"
St. Valentines Day "Massacre" site
Oldest Railroad Station in Chicago
Thursday, 11 Sept. 2014 (rain date 18 Sept. 2014)
Thursday, 23 April 2015 (rain date 30 April 2015)
Thursday, 10 Sept. 2015 (rain date 17 Sept. 2015)