CDOT Announces Upcoming “Learn to Ride” Bike Riding Classes for Adults and Children in 2024

May 24, 2024


A group walking with  bikes at a Learn to Ride class

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced the 2024 schedule for its popular Learn to Ride program, which offers free bike riding classes for adults and children throughout the summer. The classes are led by the SAFE (Streets Are for Everybody) Ambassadors, the outreach and engagement team within CDOT providing direct education and encouragement to Chicagoans regarding traffic safety and active transportation options. There are multiple classes designed for all experience levels – from Chicagoans who have never ridden a bike to those who want to brush up on skills and gain confidence.   
“We are thrilled to continue offering the Learn to Ride program to Chicagoans of all ages," said CDOT Commissioner Tom Carney. "There’s never been a better time to ride a bike in Chicago. By investing in infrastructure and programs like Learn to Ride, we are committed to making cycling a safer, more accessible, and convenient option for everyone, regardless of age or experience level. Whether you're a beginner or looking to refine your skills, this program is a fantastic way to gain confidence and enjoy biking throughout our city.” 
Adult Learn to Ride   
The summer series kicks off on June 1 and will be available throughout the summer at four Chicago Park District locations. 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.  Classes are offered in both English and Spanish to better meet the needs of city residents and serve more people.    
There are three different classes based on experience levels:  

  • Beginner Learn to Ride for people who don’t know how to ride a bike yet, as well as those who learned long ago and would benefit from a refresher course. Classes are taught on a car-free course. 
  • Skill-Builder Learn to Ride for people who have completed the beginner course and those who already have basic riding experience on their own. These lessons support the 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 prepare to bike on city streets. This class will also be conducted on a car-free course.  
  • Road Ride, the third Learn to Ride class offered this summer, features SAFE Ambassadors leading 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 over the city. 


Beginner and Skill-Builder Learn to Ride classes will take place at Horner Park, McKinley Park, Riis Park, and Washington Park. Road Ride classes will start and end at Seward Park. More routes may be added throughout the summer.  
Participants who have pre-registered for the two-hour classes will receive a free helmet, subject to availability. The classes are for adults and teens ages 13-17 accompanied by a parent or guardian, if space is available.
For more information about the 2024 schedule and to request a class, please fill out this form or visit

For any issues accessing the form, please email or text 773-312-3283.  

Kids Learn to Ride 
In partnership with the Chicago Park District, the SAFE Ambassadors also offer Learn to Ride classes for children ages 6-12. Each two-hour class will be facilitated by peer-to-peer educators known as Junior Ambassadors, who are Park District recreation leaders.   
Children already enrolled in the Chicago Park District's Day Camp programs will receive priority for class registration. Once slots are filled with Day Camp participants, registration will open to others in the areas where classes are hosted. From June 11 to August 8, classes will be held for 9 weeks at the following locations and dates: McKinley Park and Washington Park on Tuesdays, Portage Park on Wednesdays, and Riis Park and Humboldt Park on Thursdays. 
Parents or guardians registering a child must provide a fully functional bicycle that is the right size for the child. The Ambassadors will supply a new helmet for each child and perform a customized helmet fitting. Thanks to the generous support of sponsors, each child will keep their new helmet. Each class can accommodate six children, and parents must stay onsite during the lessons. 
To request a class for a child for a Learn to Ride class, please fill out this form or visit  


For any issues accessing the form, please email

The Learn to Ride program is one of many ways CDOT is working to make cycling a safe, accessible, and affordable transportation option for more Chicagoans. Chicago is continuing to invest in more and better bike infrastructure, with an emphasis on low-stress bikeways that make cycling a safe and comfortable option for people of all ages and abilities. These efforts are informed by the Chicago Cycling Strategy, which outlines CDOT’s community-driven approach to expanding Chicago’s bike network and creating a more equitable, safe, and inviting city for cycling.  


In 2023 CDOT completed more than 50 miles of bikeway installations, including 27 miles of new and upgraded protected lanes and 18 miles of new neighborhood greenways – all annual records. These infrastructure investments have helped fuel record bike ridership throughout Chicago. A recent analysis from the mobility data company Replica shows that biking is up 119 percent in Chicago since 2019. This is the highest growth among the 10 largest cities in the United States and spans across demographic and neighborhoods, reflecting citywide enthusiasm for bicycling. Divvy, Chicago's bikeshare system, also reached a new high in ridership in 2023, recording over 6.6 million bike and scooter rides in its 10th year of operations. 


Learn to Ride Class


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