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Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

Chicago Cinder Classic Bike Race Debuts August 20


June 8, 2017


Contact: Clare McDermott
Active Transportation Alliance
312.216.0466 (o)
773.391.7709 (c)


Chicago Cinder Classic Bike Race Debuts August 20
Relay on quarter-mile cinder track inspired by bike race in Breaking Away film


Chicago, Ill: June 8, 2017 —  Inspired by a well-known cinder track relay race at Indiana University and the film “Breaking Away,” Active Transportation Alliance announced that registration will be open tomorrow at 9 a.m. for the Chicago Cinder Classic bike relay race on Aug. 20 in Winnemac Park on Chicago’s north side.

Each team of four racers will ride 100 laps (25 miles) on identical single speed bikes. Unlike the race at Indiana University which is only open to students, anyone can participate in the Chicago Cinder Classic in one of four different races: Open, Men’s Elite, Women’s Elite and Masters. Within each race, awards will be given to the top overall teams and the top Corporate and Bike Club teams. 

“If you've ever seen the race at Indiana University, you know how exciting and fun it is,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “We're bringing that experience to Chicago and expect to see teams forming from corporations, groups of university alumni, bicycling and running clubs, and friends who perhaps play other sports together or simply enjoy bicycling.”

Each team is required to make at least three exchanges between teammates during the race, and the strategy for when to exchange and how often is crucial to winning. Each team will be provided two identical single speed bikes to race, which allows teams to adjust bike seat positions to accommodate riders of different heights. As with the race at Indiana University, the track is cinder at Winnemac Park, which makes for a more gritty and interesting race compared to a paved surface (cinder is crushed gravel mixed with ash). 

Teams have a fundraising minimum to cover expenses and to raise money for Active Trans’ mission to create better cities by improving our biking, walking and transit options. Start positions are first come, first served by the order of registration. 

Team registration and more information is at 



About Active Transportation Alliance

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that advocates for walking, bicycling, and public transit to create healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. The organization works to build a movement around active transportation, encourage physical activity, increase safety and build a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is supported by more than 7,000 members and 1,000 volunteers. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit or call 312.427.3325.