Biking to my job in Chicago- Need input from the Chicago monkeys

Elbridge-Eater's picture
Rank: Monkey | 46

Hey everyone-
I've accepted a job at a trading firm in Chicago-
I'm looking at housing and would like to know your guys' input.

I have two choices-

I can live in a 4 bedroom-3 bathroom apartment (roommates are taken care of by the apartment complex) that's a mile away from the firm.
I can bike there within 10-15 minutes. How doable is this in the Chicago winter? Should I just uber when the weather gets brutal? This would cost about 960 in rent a month (I would get a private bathroom)
The firm isn't formal so I can go in wearing anything I like.

Or do I go for a 1400-1500 a month flat that's a 5 minute (.2 mile) walk away from the firm?

I'll probably have no social life for the first year or two so prestige/flaunting anything isn't a concern
(I won't have anything to flaunt, haha)

Comments (29)

Nov 14, 2017

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Oct 26, 2017

I currently live in Chicago. Biking will be miserable in the winter, but definitely doable. My boss bikes in the winter and everyone thinks he is crazy for it. Even if you can't bike it should be pretty easy/inexpensive to take public transit. What neighborhood is the apartment located in and where is your office?

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Oct 26, 2017

I walk 20 min from Ogilvie to the heart of the loop each day, and in the winter it is hell. I can't imagine biking on those days when it is so cold I cant feel my face even with gloves, a hat, a warm jacket, etc.

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May 6, 2018

Sorry for the late reply, my email account got phished and recently recovered most of the accounts associated. I'm basically biking from Greektown to Willis Tower! I went to school in the midwest and biked during the winter so I'd say I'm used to the general cold weather, but I don't know how well it'll translate to a city like Chicago.

Oct 26, 2017

Please don't talk about prestige/flaunting. This site makes me cringe hard sometimes.

I'm also curious how it takes you 10-15 minutes to bike a mile. It should be 15-20 minutes walking. The $400-500 savings per month on rent would be nice. You should try to meet the roommates before - you might get a preview of the kind of people they are and if they are worth living with.

Walking/biking in the winter sucks. It's not the cold so much - the wind is the killer. You think "Oh, it will be better when it's warmer in March/April." Nope, the rain blowing sideways is even worse than the cold.

Also forget about Uber in the morning rush. From my experience, it's worthless.

So, really you are deciding whether the $400-500/month savings is worth the 12-16 minutes you save walking each way.

    • 3
May 6, 2018

Thanks for the reply.
Sorry about the prestige/flaunting comment, just had to make it because some people would say "traders salary? You should just buy a car and drive every day or uber"
And I have no idea how fast I could bike in the city- just wanted to make those times to give me a little longer than I would normally expect to bike.

Oct 26, 2017

Blue line. Can bike down Milwaukee, 52 or L when cold, save hundreds on rent.

Congrats on the trading gig

Oct 26, 2017

I used to live in Chicago, America's greatest city along with NYC. Biking during the winter is utter insanity. During the summer, it's fairly common to bike to work, as the bike lanes are pretty safe. But during the winter, you really have to take the CTA or uber. Even walking more than 10 minutes will be painful, as Chicago winters can get absolutely brutal.

On a side note, I heard the last 2 winters in Chicago were fairly mild by historical standards and that this winter may be mild as well. Damm, I want to move back.

Oct 26, 2017

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Oct 27, 2017

I'd also be worried about your bike being stolen.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
    • 1
Oct 27, 2017

Jeez... it's only a mile... you must be from somewhere warm?

May 6, 2018

I'm from the west coast but went to school in the midwest... I'm used to the cold but I don't know how terrible biking in the city environment would be

Oct 27, 2017

I have been a dedicated bicycle commuter my entire time as a student and I can give you a few insights.
1. Cycling a mile in any city environment should take you a maximum of 6-7 minutes.
2. the cost savings will be beneficial, use some of them towards neoprene bar mitts and gloves.
3. you can always take public transport if the weather is foul.

May 6, 2018

Thanks for the clarification- do you wear thermals under your clothes when you bike or did you just wear jeans? Definitely planning on buying bar mitts, didn't know what they were, thanks!

Oct 27, 2017

Good luck biking in the cold slush with the wind hitting your face in winter. I'd save the money and live with roommates and take a bus to work if not invest in a good jacket, bundle up, and walk to work.

May 6, 2018

Most of the places I've looked at are corporation owned (which make you sign in the contract that you cannot have roommates (people living in the same room). Finding independently owned apartments was pretty difficult for the location I was considering.

Oct 27, 2017

I biked to work in the Loop for three years. I biked for the first winter out of necessity. If Uber is an option for you, you're going to go with the Uber. I'm weird about seeing what I can endure and still hated it. I'd arrive at work and at home with numbed out hands and feet every day. It would be like 15 minutes before I could type.

It's also incredibly dangerous and I'm glad I don't have to do it anymore. Over t=infinity, I die on a bike all day. And I'm a great rider. How does Goldie die if he keeps biking? 9/10 times it's on that bike. I've only been down twice. Once, a woman stepped out of a car into the bike lane carrying boxes. The other, someone opened a taxi door mid traffic.

Also bad for your prostate. I got the special thicker seat with the hole in the middle.
But really though my man you are going to die if you don't know what you're doing. It's not a game.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

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Best Response
Oct 27, 2017

why don't you just carpool with Chance the Rapper?

    • 4
Oct 27, 2017

Live where you drink, not where you work.

    • 3
Oct 27, 2017

Not sure if it changed in the past year, but it was only $100/month for unlimited public transit when I was there. Public transit in Chicago is super easy and should be your first choice. Both those distances are next to nothing in a city, choose the location you like better. Saftey should also be a priority depending on the locations you're looking at. If money is an issue, choose the cheaper of the two and save the extra cash for when you're hungover and need to take a taxi so you don't vomit on the bus. Chicago is awesome, enjoy yourself. Plenty of people on here should be able to help you out with any questions surrounding the city.

Oct 27, 2017

Yeah it's still $100 a month. I will say that despite city biking being incredibly dangerous, it is the fastest way to get around unless you're going on the highway for a bit with no traffic. I used to get to work quicker on my bike in the morning than when my wife dropped me off.

Bike > Car > CTA
Can't really comment on CTA as I avoid public transit at nearly all cost.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

    • 1
Oct 27, 2017

That's a great value. I'm from around Philly and hate public transit here. I never thought I'd utilize it in Chicago, but once I did I was happy I gave it a shot. I lived in the Hanover House on W. Goethe and worked in the loop on N. Clark. A bus in the morning to get there and a bus after work to get home, if it was nice I'd walk the mile and a half. Just use hand sanitizer and you'll be solid. I had strep twice in the first few months there and I blame that on public transit, as I'm otherwise never sick.

Oct 30, 2017
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