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LIVE GRIT WEEK- END GETAWAY
RAGBRAI® TRANSPORTATION

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From Chicago to the Start of RAGBRAI

Arriving in Chicago

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All participants must arrive at the main transportation staging point by 7:30 am
unless you are staying at the Chicago hotel the previous night without your own transportation or arriving on several specific Metra train lines (see below)

Main Transportation Staging Point
All participants must arrive at the main transportation staging point by 7:30 am
unless you are staying at the Chicago hotel the previous night without your own transportation or arriving on several specific Metra train lines (see below)

  • Click Here for more information about the Main Transportation Staging Point.

Arrival Via Local Public Transportation
You will be able to arrive at the Chicago staging point before the check in time if you take any CTA L trains or bus.

If you will be arriving in Chicago on most Metra trains, you will be able to arrive at the main transportation staging point at or very close to our staging time including the walking time from the train station. However, the following trains arrive in Chicago up to 45 minutes after our check in time:

We can still accommodate you if you will be arriving on one of these train lines since we will still be busy checking people in and loading their bikes and baggage, but you must inform us you will be doing so when you register so that we will expecting you to arrive late. If you do not specifically inform us that you will be arriving on one of these Metra trains we will not wait for you.

  • Click Here for the earliest arrival and latest departure times in downtown Chicago for all CTA L and Metra train lines.

Parking
Our parking garage in Chicago is very close to the main transportation staging point. If you will be parking your car in Chicago during the week of RAGBRAI you should first arrive at the main transportation staging point, check in, and then load your bike and baggage onto our vehicles. You will then need to drive over to the parking garage, park your car there, and walk back to the main transportation staging point. There will be plenty of time to do this and directions and a map will be provided.

  • Click Here for more information about getting to and from Chicago.

Chicago Hotel Transportation Staging Point
If you are staying at the Chicago hotel on Friday night before the start of RAGBRAI and DO NOT have your own car or alternate means of transportation we will pick up your bicycle and baggage directly there at 6:30 am Saturday morning.

Because the Chicago hotel is too far from the main transportation staging point to quickly, easily, or safely transport both your bicycle and baggage between them youself we will have an additional transportation staging point directly at the hotel. You must pre-register to use our Chicago hotel transportation staging point otherwise you must use the main transportation staging point.

  • Click Here for more information about the Chicago Hotel.

We will only be picking up your bicycle and your baggage at the Chicago hotel and we will not be transporting any participants themselves. You will still need to transport yourself to the main transportation staging point after we pick up your bicycle and baggage. We strongly recommend splitting a taxicab there with your fellow participants and we estimate this would cost approximately $12.00 (plus $1.50 per additional passenger) and is only about a 10 minute ride. Otherwise you could also take a CTA L train or bus there as well.

  • Click Here for more information about the CTA L Train Stations serving the Chicago Hotel and Main Transportation Point.
  • Click Here for more information about Local Bus Service in Chicago.

After we arrive at the main transportation staging site we will unload your baggage off our truck and watch it for you but we will NOT load it onto the coach bus for you - you will still need to do this yourself. Not only will we be extremely busy loading other participants' bikes onto our truck but this way you be absolutely sure your baggage gets properly loaded onto the coach bus.

We feel it is best for us to arrive at the Chicago hotel before the majority of other participants arrive at the main transportation staging point since this spreads out the work to be done and ensures the fastest and most efficient departure time from Chicago and arrival time at the start of RAGBRAI.

We also feel it will be best for you to transport yourself from the Chicago hotel to the main transportation staging point since plenty of options already exist to do so quickly and easily in downtown Chicago. We do not feel picking up participants at the hotel in our coach bus would be a good idea since the coach bus would then sit empty longer at the main transportation staging point which would only increase the congestion there as well as the cost for every participant. In addition, the staging area at the hotel for a coach bus is very small and only allows 15 minutes for loading which we may easily exceed as we load everyone's bicycles and baggage onto our truck.

If you are staying at the Chicago hotel the previous night and DO have your own car or alternate means of transportation you should drive over to the main transportation staging point yourself and arrive by 7:30 am. This is because you will need to drive over to the parking garage to park your car anyways and the parking garage is very close to the main transportation staging point.

Pre-Event Bicycle Drop Off
We will be offering a free pre-event bicycle drop off service!

Taking advantage of this new service could be very convenient for you, particularly if you work downtown and/or will be arriving via public transportation. You won't have to deal with the hassle of transporting both your bike and your baggage among everyone else who will be arriving early Saturday morning, and you might not have to convince your friends or family to give you a ride. By pre-loading as many bikes as possible beforehand, it will also help assure a much quicker departure time for everyone from Chicago.

Our friends at the Live Grit triathlon store will be letting you drop off your bike at the store in the west loop during normal business hours (M-F 11:00 am – 7:00 pm) on the Thursday and Friday before RAGBRAI for free! In addition, we will also have our moving truck stationed in front of the shop on Friday afternoon when we will actually be loading the bikes ourselves.

There are a couple of limitations to this service:

  • We can only accommodate upright style bikes only. We cannot accept any oversized bicycles (recumbents, tandems, etc.)
  • You can only drop off your bicycle, but not your baggage. This is because we can store your bicycle securely locked up inside our truck but not your baggage since it will be transported underneath our coach busses.
  • This opportunity is limited to the first 26 people on a first come, first serve basis because our truck can only fit 26 bikes inside.
  • Bikes must be dropped off during normal business hours only (M-F 11:00 am – 7:00 pm).
  • After the end of RAGBRAI bikes cannot be stored at the shop and all participants must take their bikes with them.
  • Pre-registration is required so we know who to expect and won't miss anyone.

And while you're in the shop, Live Grit is a full service shop that works with everyone on anything. When you bring your beloved bike in for Ragbrai they would be happy to answer any questions you may have to prepare you better for the ride of your life!

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
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