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CDOT offers free bike riding classes

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New to bike riding? Or do you just want to brush on up on your rusty bicycling skills? Either way the Chicago Department of Transportation has you covered. CDOT is offering free bicycle riding classes for adults from July to September on Chicago’s South and West Sides.

CDOT’s Learn to Ride program features 30 free bike riding classes throughout the summer designed to help novice and veteran bike riders feel comfortable and safe navigating the city’s streets on two wheels. The city also created these free classes to encourage more people to ride bikes, especially as the city installs more protected bike lanes and the Divvy bike-share program grows throughout Chicago.

“Under the leadership of Mayor Emanuel, Chicago has been working hard to connect more neighborhoods by building new and better bike lanes and expanding the Divvy bike-sharing network into the South and West Sides,” CDOT Assistant Commissioner Sean Wiedel says. “Free adult riding classes are a natural fit with the city’s efforts to get more people on bikes.”

CDOT’s Bicycling Ambassadors teach the two-hour classes, which run from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Participants start out on bikes with no pedals until they can coast, steer and brake for at least 20 seconds without putting their feet down. The instructors then install one pedal. Once the students have mastered riding with one pedal, the second pedal is installed. The ambassadors then lead the students on a one- to two-mile ride on a quiet street to test their new skills.

Attendees receive a free helmet, courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield, the sponsor of Divvy.

Participants may bring their own bikes, but Divvy will loan bikes to those who need them. The classes are open to children, too. However, they must bring their own bicycles because Divvy bikes are only available to riders 16 and older.

The free bike classes will take place in two locations on the South and West Sides this summer. During July and early August, the classes will be held at the Garfield Workforce Center at 10 S. Kedzie Ave. In mid-August and early September, classes will take place at Kennedy King College at 710 W. 65th St.

Garfield Workforce Center
10 S. Kedzie Ave.

  • July 25-29, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Aug. 8-12, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Kennedy King College
710 W. 65th St.

  • Aug. 15-19, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Aug. 22-29, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Aug. 29-Sept. 2, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Participants must RSVP to attend a class. To RSVP, please call 312-744-8147.

To learn more about the classes, please visit http://chicagocompletestreets.org/learn-to-ride-a-bike/.