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

Divvy Drag Race to debut at MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive this Sunday


May 20, 2015


Media Contact: 
Ted Villaire
Active Transportation Alliance
Communications Director 
O: (312) 216-0484
C: (312) 563-1118


Divvy Drag Race to debut at MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive this Sunday

Retired professional bike racer Christian Vande Velde is the one to beat


Chicago, Ill, May 20, 2015 — Chicago’s iconic cycling event is amping up the fun this weekend with the introduction of the first-ever Divvy Drag Race, where local VIPs will go helmet to helmet as they race Chicago’s Divvy bikes. 

On Sunday, May 24, more than 20,000 cyclists will take over Chicago’s famous Lake Shore Drive, enjoying the city’s scenic front yard — the breathtaking skyline, the big lake and the leafy parks along the way. 

The Divvy Drag Race will be held on a sectioned-off portion of Lake Shore Drive between Jackson Dr. and Monroe St. Participants will try to beat retired world class cyclist Christian Vande Velde, a native of suburban Lemont. 

Confirmed race participants include Vande Velde, NBC 5 sports anchor Mike Adamle, WXRT DJ Jason Thomas, and Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Ron Burke. 

Each contestant will ride one of Divvy’s “Chicago Blue” bikes that have become a very popular transportation choice, averaging around 12,500 rides per day last summer. Divvy bikes are designed for safety, durability and comfort. Because they are not designed for racing of any type, the participants — except, of course, for Vande Velde — will have their work cut out for them. 

“Christian VandeVelde can leave me in his dust riding a hi-tech bike at the Tour de France, but can he beat me with both of us on Divvy bikes for one block?” asked Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke. “The answer is, yes, of course he can beat me. My only hope is that he slips at the start! Otherwise, I’ve got my sights on Adamle.” 

Divvy Drag Race contestants will line up at 7:15 a.m. and start at 7:30 a.m. The starting line will be just north of Jackson in the southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive. Bleachers are available at the finish line, just south of Monroe, for viewing by the press and public.

Online registration for the MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive is open until 1 p.m. on Saturday at, with in-person registration accepted the day of the event at Butler Field in Grant Park, near the intersection of Columbus and Jackson.  

Among the many highlights of his 16-year career as a professional bike racer, Vande Velde took first place at the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge and placed fourth at the Tour de France in 2008. He rode for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Track Team in Sydney and for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Road Team in Beijing. 

Since retiring, Vande Velde has been providing color commentary on the Tour de France and living with his family in the southwest suburban community of Lemont, where he grew up. 


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The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, 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.


MB Financial Bank N.A. is a Chicago-based commercial bank with approximately $15 billion in assets and a more than one hundred year history of building deep and lasting relationships with middle-market companies and individuals. MB Financial Bank offers a full range of powerful financial solutions and the expertise and experience of bankers who are focused on their clients’ success. MB Financial Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MB Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBFI). Learn more about MB Financial Bank at