Chicago Bike Winter’s 23rd annual Santa Cycle Rampage

Santa Cruise
3 min readNov 23, 2022




Get your ho-ho on in Chicago Bike Winter’s 23rd annual cycling & sipping singularity, to fester and festinate festive festoonery.

Delight and debauch diffident downtown denizens!

Open to Santas, dreidels, elves, and reindeer.

Like the Rampage on Facebutt!

Where to get Santa garb:
Chicago Costume (North Side)
Party City (South Side)

Freakingly Asked Questions

How long will the ride last?
Three to four hours. It depends on how long Santas pause at each stop: to sing, pose for photos, and march thru a department store to visit a “stationary” Santa. (Not a stationery Santa, cuz then we’d have to fold.)

What’s this about singing?
Each Rampager will receive an official Chicago Bike Winter edition of the Santa Rampage Songbook. At every spot where a crowd might gather — like Millennium Pork’s Christmas Tree — Santas will circle up and belt out traditional Rampage carols, such as “Santa Is Invading Your Town.”

How far? How fast?
The Rampage typically has gone no more than 5 miles. (Check out the 2021 map.) Expect a slow, reindeer-canter pace — similar to Critical Mass.

So, it’s like Critical Mass?
For sure — except with surrounding crowds going mad at the sudden sight of cycling Santas.

We hope to find retail establishments along the route where Rampagers may “let the ice melt.”

May I bring kids?
While we all know Santa brings kids presents, the Santa Rampage has known no presence of kids. Some Rampagers find the rampant adult indulgences inappropriate for children.

If not kids, what should I bring?
Bring clothing layers — to handle very cold & windy, or sunny & mild. (Check the weather forecast!) And while many Rampagers bring on-bike consumables from home, the Rampage always stops first at Binny’s Beverage Depot for spirit surfeit.

What about masks?
Santas want no microbes to sleigh their deer ones. So they trust yule use your (progressively challenged) judgment around whether to mask up when bringing Rampage presence indoors or near to others.

Where will it all end?
The Rampage typically parks its sleighs at a tavern not far from the Rampage’s start point. In the past, Santas have favored Matchbox on Ogden Ave., and Billy Goat on Grand Ave. The end gathering lets Rampagers practice the traditional refrain: “Buy Santa a drink?”

Who’s responsible?
Each person participating in this or any other bicycle ride is responsible for their own safety and behavior. Each participant makes their own decisions about actions and behaviors. The Santa Cycle Rampage is a voluntary event whose participants and/or advertisers do not claim, nor have they agreed to accept, responsibilty for the actions of others.

Links to past Rampage photos and annals:
2022 collage
2021 collage
2020 collage
2019 collage
2018 collage
2010 collage
2005 collage
2004 Bike Winter poem
2003 Bike Winter testimony
2002 Bike Winter chronicle
2001 Bike Winter recounting
2000 Bike Winter tale
1999 Bike Winter narrative
Santa Cruise