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On the go: Divvy bikes in the Loop.

We?ve been watching the Divvy website for weeks, waiting for Chicago?s new bike-sharing program to open one of its sky-blue stations near our house. (Check out the map to see where they?re already up and running.)

??Meanwhile, we test-drove one of the clunky--but fun and pretty--bikes. Here?s how to prep for your two-wheeled excursion. ??

Plan Your Route Before you ride your first Divvy, enter your starting and ending points on the Ride the City website or app to find ?safe? and ?safer? routes that will keep you on streets with designated bike lanes. (Divvy?s own app will launch soon.)??

Bring Your Gear Helmets are a must on Chicago?s potholed roads, and so far, bringing your own is the only way to go. Pick up a ladylike version ($104) at Heritage Bicycles and tote it everywhere in a bike-friendly bag from Roll ($115).  ??

Take Little Jaunts A 24-hour Divvy pass costs $7, but you can ride only in 30-minute increments. Think about your day like this: Start with coffee in Streeterville. Grab a bike, head south, dock your ride and catch the fashion exhibit at the Art Institute. Hop on a new bike, proceed to the station at Morgan and Lake streets and meet a friend for lunch at Little Goat. Saddle up again and ride on.

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