We invite you to ride this historical route, created by the Newberry Library and the 1919 Chicago Race Riot Commemoration Project, to learn about an important piece of Chicago history and raise funds for Blackstone Bicycle Works. Our goal is to inspire 300 riders to complete the route before October 31st. If we accomplish our goal, we have the opportunity to raise $7500 (thanks to our generous sponsors - SRAM & ABUS) but we can't do it without you!
Please "Join" this challenge and record your ride using Ride Spot. Once you've completed the route, save your ride on Ride Spot and it will automatically be counted towards our goal. If you'd like to use another platform or device to record your ride, you can export the route's GPX file (on desktop, click "Save>Download GPX") and import it onto your device to navigate. If you don't record your ride using Ride Spot, please send a link or screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your ride count towards our goal.
Visit CRR1919RIDE.COM to access the free audio tour, purchase a limited edition CRR 1919 Route Guidebook (all sales go to Blackstone & CRR19) and access information about each stop along the way.
The information shared here is simply an outline of the history to be discovered in the audio tour and guidebook.
The free audio tour is narrated by C. Peter Cole and Franklin Cosey Gay of The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project, featuring information and anecdotes to accompany each historical stop. The limited edition CRR1919 Route Guide is a handmade booklet with a letterpress cover designed by Chicago designer Sam Scipio and built by Mordecai Book Building.
Again, please visit CRR1919RIDE.COM to download the audio tour and/or purchase a handmade guidebook.
Note: Parking can be unpredictable during the pandemic. There are parking lots along the lakefront, but they have been regularly closed off, so consider parking on the street west of Lakeshore Dr along MLK and then riding to the starting point of the route. There are bridges over Lakeshore Dr. at 31st and 35th (35th is a bike/ped bridge).
Note: There are Divvy Stations at 31st and Fort Dearborn and at the 35th St Bridge.
The route begins at the Eugene Williams marker on the Lakeshore path just north of 31st.
Start at Eugene Williams Marker.
Stop #1: “The Vortex of Violence” - 35th & Michigan at Green Line Station. Near the former location of the Angelus Building where four Black men and one white man were killed during the riot.
A scene near the beach where the riot began.
Stop #2: The Chicago Defender Building - 3435 S. Indiana Ave - Note the historical plaque on the building.
Note: Bombing at 3365 S. Indiana.
At this location, just a few months prior to the riot, a house bombing killed a 6-year old Black girl. In the two years prior to 1919, more than two dozen bombings of Black homes occurred. In none of these acts of domestic terrorism was a single one of the bombers brought to justice by the Chicago police and courts.
Stop #3: Armour Square Park.
Armour Square Park
Stop #4: Hamburg Athletic Club.
Gangs of white youth headed east from Bridgeport into Bronzeville to participate in the riot.
Stop #5: Union Stockyards Gate - Historically notable as the capital of US meat production at the time, staffed by predominantly Black and immigrant workers.
Union Stockyards Gate
Stop #6: Metcalfe Park - Named after noted olympic athlete and congressman, Ralph Metcalfe.
Stop #7: Chicago Bee/Chicago Public Library - 3647 S. State St.
Stop #8: Ida B. Wells historical marker.
Ida B. Wells marker at the SE corner of 37th & MLK.
Stop #9: Victory Monument at 35th & MLK.
End Point: Eugene Williams Marker, 29th St and Lakeshore Trail.
When you have completed the route, be sure to tap "Save" on Ride Spot to have your ride contribute towards our goal. If you record your ride using a different app or device, please submit your ride through CRR1919RIDE.COM
Thank you for your support and participation.