CDOT is expanding its “Learn to Ride” bike classes for adults this summer

A previous CDOT "Learn to Ride" class. Photo: CDOT
A previous CDOT "Learn to Ride" class. Photo: CDOT

With cycling ridership and interest in biking sharply increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chicago Department of Transportation is expanding its “Learn to Ride” educational program for adults. CDOT added an advanced level course along with a “Learn to Commute” class. All “Learn to Ride” classes are taught by CDOT’s SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) walking and biking ambassadors and participants will use Divvy bike-share cycles if they don’t have a bike of their own. These classes are offered for free and funded by Divvy sponsorship revenue. SAFE ambassadors will be wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. Participants are encouraged to wear a face mask and use provided hand sanitizer. 

If you’ve never ridden a bike, haven’t ridden in a while, or would just like to feel more confident on the road, there’s a class for you. “Learn to Ride” classes are just what they sound like. The “Learn to Commute” class is targeted towards those who would like to gain confidence riding in heavier traffic. Learn to Commute classes will be held during the morning rush and will provide guided rides of five to seven miles from five different locations on the South, West and North sides ending at the Daley Center.

Test-riding e-Divvys at a community event. Photo: CDOT
Test-riding e-Divvies at a community event. Photo: CDOT

Learn to Ride classes are open to anyone 16 or older. Classes will last two hours and provide instruction on how to position yourself when riding in the bike lane, how to plan the safest routes before going on a ride, signaling turns, and more. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to get around Chicago by bike.

Here are the dates, times, and locations of 2021’s Learn to Ride Classes:

Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Divvy station at 300 N Central Park Ave at Garfield Park Conservatory:  

  • June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 
  • July 6, 13, 20, 27 
  • August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 

Thursdays, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Divvy station at 500 N. Sacramento Blvd. next to the Greater West Town Training Partnership: 

  • June 3, 10, 17,24 
  • July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 
  • August 5, 12, 19, 26 

Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon at 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. in Douglass Park: 

  • June 5, 19 
  • July 3, 17, 31 
  • August 14, 28 

Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon at the Divvy station at 500 N. Sacramento Blvd. next to the Greater West Town Training Partnership:  

  • June 12, 26 
  • July 10, 24 
  • August 7, 21 

For individuals 16 and older, who have successfully completed a “Learn to Ride” class and are looking to build confidence riding on the streets of Chicago, CDOT will be offering “Advanced Learn to Ride” classes at Seward Park at 375 W. Elm St. on the following dates from 1-3 p.m.: 

  • June 12, 26
  • July 10, 24 
  • August 7, 21 

Reservations are required and classes fill quickly so if you or someone you know is interested, you’re urged to sign up now. You can sign up via a Google form, by sending an email to sturner[at]samschwartz.com, or calling 312-736-2534 and leaving a message.

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