CDOT’S Learn To Ride Program Offers Free Bicycling Classes For Residents
CDOT’s SAFE Ambassadors teaching more Chicagoans than ever how to ride bikes
Susan Hofer 312.742.2006 | Susan.Hofer@cityofchicago.org
CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced that it is expanding its Learn to Ride program in 2022 to teach adults and children how to ride a bike. CDOT is adding more opportunities for residents to develop safe riding skills than ever before. This year’s expanded Learn to Ride program will kick-off on June 7th and is now open to Chicago residents for free registration. Free classes will be available throughout the summer at six different locations across the city.
“Chicago’s bikeway network is growing at a pace and scale that is unparalleled,” said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi. “Our Learn to Ride program also continues to grow, providing more classes to more people in more locations throughout the city. And this year we’re adding classes in Spanish, too. Whether you’re you’ve never been on a bike or getting back on your bike for the first time since you were a kid, Learn to Ride has a free class for you.”
The SAFE Ambassadors’ free bicycle-riding classes are two hours long and designed for Chicago residents age 16 or older. Each two-hour class allows pre-registered Chicagoans to learn, based on their experience level, the skills they need to be comfortable riding a bike. This year the SAFE Ambassadors will offer classes in both English and Spanish to better meet the needs of city residents and serve more people.
Beginner Learn to Ride is for those who don’t know how to ride a bike yet, as well as people who learned long ago and would benefit from a refresher course. Classes are taught on a car-free course.
Skill-Builder Learn to Ride is for people who have completed the beginner course and those who already have basic riding experience. These lessons will support development of skills such as signaling, turning and interacting with other people biking or walking. The Skill-Builder class will also provide instruction to help riders interested in preparing to bike on city streets. This class will also be conducted on a car-free course.
Road Ride is the advanced class in which SAFE Ambassadors will ride with students on city streets to help them experience everyday situations and build confidence. Topics covered include how to plan routes to your destination, the different types of bike lanes, and how to position yourself on the street in various traffic situations. The course is designed to help Chicagoans expand their understanding of how to travel by bike all around the city.
Registration is now open for all three Learn to Ride classes. Fill out the form here to register.
Following are the dates, times and locations of the first set of 2022 Learn to Ride classes (later dates will be added as the early classes fill up):
Beginner Learn to Ride
- Tuesdays at La Villita Park, 2800 S. Sacramento Avenue: June 7, 14, 21, 28 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
- Thursdays at 500 N. Sacramento Blvd. next to the Greater West Town Training Partnership: June 9 & 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (meet at the Divvy Station).
- Saturdays at the parking lot of CAN TV, 1309 S. Wood Street: June 11 and July 2 from 10:00 a.m. to noon or 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays at Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st Street: July 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturdays at Harmony Community Church, 1908 S. Millard Avenue: July 9, 16, 23 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
Skill-Builder Learn to Ride
- Wednesdays at La Villita Park, 2800 S. Sacramento Avenue: June 22 and July 6, 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturdays at Seward Park, 375 W. Elm Street: July 9, 23; August 6, 20 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Free use of a Divvy bike is offered to participants, although you can use your own bike for all courses. Reservations are required and granted on a first-come, first-serve basis for all courses. The easiest way to register is by filling out this form. If there are problems with the form, email 312SAFEbike@gmail.com, or text or call 773-312-3283.
All Learn to Ride classes are taught by Chicago’s SAFE Ambassadors, who are biking and mobility experts. The classes are designed to help adults who have never ridden a bike, or haven’t ridden recently, to feel safe and comfortable riding a Divvy or any bike.
Adult participants who have pre-registered for the two-hour classes will receive a free helmet, subject to availability. The classes are open to children with a parent or guardian if space is available; however, any child under age 16 must bring their own bike. Students smaller than 5 foot 3 inches are encouraged to bring their own bike, as Divvy bikes are most comfortable for taller riders.
For more information about Chicago’s SAFE Ambassadors click here.