South Side History Bike Tour

20 miles, 100+ years of history...get a street-level view of Chicago's South Side with Dean Boyer, Prof. John Mark Hansen, and Professor Terry Nichols Clark

TIME CHANGE:  Due to forecast rain beginning Saturday (10/2) afternoon, we have changed our ride's start time to 9 AM.  We will still meet at Regenstein Libary (in the plaza on 57th street/south entrance). 

REGISTRATION CLOSED:  Thank you for your interest in this event!  Registration is now closed, as the ride AND our wait list have both reached capacity.

For over 20 years, UChicago students, staff, and community members have been learning the history of UChicago's neighboring communities on their bicycles, guided by notoriously avid bikers College Dean John W Boyer (author of The University of Chicago:  A History), Professor John Mark Hansen (Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Political Science (and author of The City in a Garden: A Guide to the History of Hyde Park and Kenwood), and Professor of Sociology Terry Nichols Clark. Our 20-mile Fall tour takes participants on deep dives into the stories of key figures and significant places across the South and Near West Sides of the city, including Hyde Park, Bronzeville, Bridgeport, and the Near West Side. The tour is free and open to students, faculty, staff -- we are sorry, but due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, members of the general public will NOT be able to attend this year. Registration is limited to 50 riders; a wait-list will be maintained. Registration is now closed.

Participants must provide their own bicycles and helmets. Bikes should be in good working order, and appropriately sized for their riders.  Note that short-term rental Divvy bikes are not appropriate for this ride, due to the long distance between Divvy stations in the areas we'll be exploring. Chicago Studies will offer bottled water, individually wrapped snacks, hand sanitizer, a bike pump for general use, and a support vehicle equipped with a bike rack in case of emergencies.  All participants must continue to abide by the UChicago Health Pact during the ride, maintaining appropriate social distance at stops and wearing masks during the event.  Specific safety protocols will be announced the day before the ride, if necessary.

Riders will meet at the north plaza of Regenstein Library (at 1100 E. 57th St.) no later than 9 AM on October 2nd (October 3rd in case of rain) to check in and top off their tires if need be. The tour will depart no later than 9:15 AM, and will return to campus no later than 3:00 PM. The tour's total length is approximately 20 miles, with frequent stops.

Please contact Tess Conway (, Programming Coordinator with any questions. 

This event is open to all invitees regardless of vaccination status and, because of ongoing health risks to the unvaccinated, those who are unvaccinated are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures advised by public health officials (masking and social distancing, etc.). Public dining may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others, including venue staff, and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.