• FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Expand/Collapse General Tour FAQ
    • Expand/Collapse Where is the meeting point?

      All bike tours begin at our office, located at 910 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 130, Chicago, IL 60605, at the south end of Grant Park. Our entrance is located on 9th Street, steps away from the intersection of Michigan Avenue and 9th.

    • Expand/Collapse What's the closest Subway (L) station to the office?

      We're located midway between the Roosevelt stop (Red, Orange and Green Lines) and Harrison (Red Line only). Chicago's transit system provides real-time updates to the Google Maps app on major smartphones and more information can also be found at TransitChicago.com for routes, stops and timing.

    • Expand/Collapse How can I work for Fat Tire Tours?

      We are always on the lookout for fresh faces to help provide the best tours possible in Chicago. For more information on our positions and how to apply, please see our Employment page.

    • Expand/Collapse Is there parking available near the office?

      We have several parking options within a few blocks of our office and all have rates posted as you enter. Please note that the open air lots will require you to pre-pay for parking and tow violators regularly for not having a ticket on their dashboard. Additionally, parking rates are subject to special event pricing on busy weekends when there are festivals, concerts and other major events, so please plan accordingly.

    • Expand/Collapse Can minors come on tour alone?

      Minors (anyone under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult on tours.

    • Expand/Collapse Are your tours offered in any language other than English?

      At this time, our tours are only offered in English.

    • Expand/Collapse Do we go inside the museum and monuments?

      Due to time constraints, we do not enter the museums or attractions listed on our tour page as we devote as much time as we can to the tour itself. We will make short stops to learn about the museums and other attractions and give you a great orientation of the city so you'll know exactly where you will want to go after the tour.

      We allow plenty of time to take photos at each stop. 

    • Expand/Collapse What makes you different from some of the others in town?

      Fat Tire Tours has been guiding guests around the world since our first bike tour in Paris in 1999, and we've been a leader in Chicago's world class tourism community for over a decade. 

      Our tours focus on giving each customer the fantastic private and personal experience they seek through our limited group size, unparalleled touring knowledge and outstanding reputation. While many others have tried to replicate our efforts, we hope you will choose to explore Chicago with us and see for yourself why we believe we stand head and shoulders above the rest.

       

    • Expand/Collapse Are reservations required?

      Reservations are required for every tour we offer.

      All walk-up customers will be accommodated in the best possible manner based on availability. Our group size is set by the City of Chicago which means we have a specific tour guide to guest ratio we must adhere to. We also believe that limited group sizes allow a more personal and memorable experience for all guests!

      For this reason we highly suggest making a reservation online or contacting us directly to make a reservation.

    • Expand/Collapse What time do I need to get there for my tour?

      Please arrive 15 minutes prior to tour departure time. Your tour will start promptly at the scheduled time, so it is imperative that all guests arrive on time. We do not have the luxury of waiting for guests or catching them up after the fact. 

      We have multiple tours departing throughout the day, therefore if you arrive more than 30 minutes early we may still be working with other guests.

    • Expand/Collapse Are tours cancelled in case of rain?

      All tours run rain or shine. In the event of rain, guides will have ponchos that are free of charge.

    • Expand/Collapse What is your cancellation policy?

      We are happy to offer full refunds if the reservation is cancelled more than 24 hours (1 day) before the scheduled tour. We do not offer refunds for any reason once we are within the 24 hours of the scheduled tour.

  • Expand/Collapse Bike Tour FAQ
    • Expand/Collapse I haven't been on a bike in years, is biking in Chicago difficult?

      While all of our tours maintain a leisurely pace, we want our guests to have fun and be safe, so being able to ride a bike is paramount. Chicago is a very bike-friendly city and cars are used to sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians. If you're not sure how you'll fare, we invite you to come to our office about 30 minutes prior to your tour start time to try the bikes. 

      We believe there is a tour for everyone, therefore each of our bike tours fall into one of the following categories, which you can find identified on the individual tour page:

      Leisurely Cycling - Perfect for novice bike riders or those that haven't been on a bike in years. You should have average balance, be able to start and stop comfortably, and be familiar with hand brakes. We will be riding on bike lanes, through parks, and occasionally with traffic. Safety is our number one priority but confidence in yourself is the first step to overall group safety.

      Intermediate Cycling - You should have good balance, be able to start and stop comfortably, and be familiar with hand brakes. Riders should be prepared for small hills, riding single-file behind other riders, and riding in a group. Safety is our number one priority but confidence in yourself is the first step to overall group safety.

      Athletic Cycling - Tours that fall under this category are by no means strenuous, but they cover a greater distance than our other tours and/or spend more time cycling in the roads than our other tours. You should have good balance, be able to start and stop comfortably, and be familiar with hand brakes. We vary between single-file & group riding. Safety is our number one priority but confidence in yourself is the first step to overall group safety. We have children join us on tours at this level all the time so it completely depends on your confidence with a bicycle! 

    • Expand/Collapse Is a helmet included? Do I have to wear a helmet?

      Yes, helmets are provided and we require all riders to wear helmets on our tours.

      Your safety is top priority for us and studies have shown that helmets can reduce head injuries by at least 85%.

    • Expand/Collapse Do we ride bikes in the streets or on bike paths?

      Most of our tours ride in wide bike/pedestrian paths, but we do occasionally ride in the street depending on the tour.

      We carefully designed each tour route with safety as the top priority. Whether on the street, bike lane, or pedestrian path, you always have a tour guide who is an expert and safely maneuvering your group around the city.

    • Expand/Collapse Are bike tours appropriate for children?

      Absolutely! We have tons of families as we're a great family activity. We have several options for children depending on their age, size, and riding ability:

      • For children under 18 months of age or 45lbs (20kg), we have baby seats that can be attached to the back of a bike.
      • For children children weighing up to 65lbs (30kg), we have trailers that can be left open or zipped up to fully enclose the passenger.
      • For children up to 12 years old or 100lbs (45kg), we have 2 wheeled tandem trailers. The passenger sits on a seat and can pedal or coast. All riders over 100lbs (45kg) must ride their own bicycle. We have various smaller sized mountain bikes for those able to ride on their own, and of course, our regular beach cruisers for children big enough to ride them.
      • Unfortunately, we do not have any adult tricycles or bikes with training wheels for adults that may be less confident in their riding ability. If possible, please let us know if you would like one of our tandems, trailers, baby seats, or child bikes in advance that you'd like to reserve either a child seat or trailer.
      • Please Note: All child bikes use hand brakes. There are no pedal brakes available.