Want help learning to ride a bike—or relearning? Join us starting July 9 for a free class!
The Chicago Department of Transportation’s SAFE Ambassadors are skilled bicyclists who will work with anyone who wants to learn. Lessons take place off the street using the City’s Divvy bikes in a safe and supportive environment. The first sessions will be offered at a location on the West Side, and a location for classes on the South Side is in the works.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone—from those who’ve never ridden a bike to those who haven’t ridden in a while—to learn basic bike-riding skills and safety tips from the experts. And these lessons may be more timely than ever before, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to create a surge in popularity for bike riding,” said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi. “We expect these classes in this first round of bike riding lessons to fill up quickly, so act now to reserve a spot if you are interested!”
The two-hour classes will start at the Greater West Town Training Partnership, 500 N. Sacramento Ave., twice a week from July 9 through August 29. On Thursdays, class will be from 6 to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays there is a morning class from 10 a.m. to noon and an afternoon class from 1 to 3 p.m.
Reservations are granted on a first-come, first-serve basis and Divvy bikes are available for students to use. There are three ways to sign up:
- Complete the Google form at this link: https://forms.gle/XdB2SugfDtsNTjss7
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or leave a voicemail at 312-736-2534
Adult participants will receive a free helmet, subject to availability. The classes are also open to children with a guardian if space is available; however, children under 16 must bring their own bike. Adults under 5’ 3” are encouraged to bring their own bike, as Divvy bikes are most comfortable for riders 5’3” and taller.
New bike cleaning and safety protocols are in place in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic. Instructors will wear face coverings throughout each session and will practice social distancing from each other and attendees. Participants will also be expected to bring and wear a face covering, and CDOT will make hand sanitizer available.
The classes are supported by sponsorship revenue CDOT received from Divvy, the City’s bikeshare partner. CDOT has announced plans to expand the Divvy system to cover the entire City of Chicago by 2021. Divvy currently has nearly 600 stations and 6,200 bikes serving two-thirds of the city’s population and covering more than 100 square miles. Chicago has more than 280 miles of protected, buffered and other on-street bike lanes, giving the City a total of network of 318 miles of on- and off-street bikeways.