June 1, 2017

CDOT Teams Up with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Divvy to Offer Free Bicycle Riding Classes for Adults

Chicago’s Bicycling Ambassadors Lead the Effort to Encourage Adults to Take Advantage of Chicago’s New Network of Bicycle Infrastructure

Mike Claffey    312.744.0707 | Michael.claffey@cityofchicago.org

Susan Hofer    312.742.2006 | Susan.Hofer@cityofchicago.org

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is again teaming up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), the exclusive system sponsor of the Divvy bike share program, to offer free bicycle riding classes for adults this summer. Classes start June 12 and will be held on Monday evenings on the South and West Sides of the City. Participants don’t need to have a bike, as Divvy is providing bikes for anyone who needs them.

“Whether you have never ridden a bike before or it’s been a few years or couple of decades since you last pedaled a two-wheeler, this is a great opportunity for adults to learn how to bike for the first time or brush up on their skills,” said Sean Wiedel, CDOT Assistant Commissioner.  “Under the leadership of Mayor Emanuel, Chicago has been working hard to connect more neighborhoods by building new and better bike lanes, and expanding the Divvy bike sharing network into the South and West Sides. Free adult riding classes are a natural fit with the City’s efforts to get more people on bikes.”

The classes are taught by the City’s team of Bicycling Ambassadors and are designed to encourage adults who have never ridden a bike or not ridden bikes recently to feel comfortable riding a bike on the city’s streets.

Since 2011, Chicago has installed 115 miles of barrier and buffer protected bicycle lanes and has 300 miles of on-street bikeways and off-street trails.

Divvy, which has played a key role in earning Chicago the title of Bicycling Magazine’s Best City for Biking  in America in 2016, completed its second major expansion last year. The system added 85 new bike stations and pushed its boundaries to serve new neighborhoods on the South and West Sides of the city. Divvy now has more than 580 stations and 5,800 bikes available. Stations within Chicago’s city limits serve nearly two-thirds of the city’s population and cover more than 100 square miles.

Participants in the two-hour long classes running from 6-to-8 p.m. will receive a free helmet, courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield. The classes are also open to children if space is available, however, children under 16 are required to provide their own bike, as Divvy does not allow riders under 16.

From June 12 – August 28, the classes will alternate between two locations:  the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Boulevard, and Kennedy King College, 710 W. 65th Street. In addition to the schedule and details posted at www.chicagocompletestreets.org, the Learn to Ride program is also being promoted by Slow Roll Chicago and other community partners.

Classes will be held on the following dates. Please call 312-744-8147 to RSVP or with any questions.

Chicago Center for Green Technology

445 North Sacramento Boulevard

  • June 12, 6 – 8 pm
  • June 26, 6 – 8 pm
  • July 10, 6 – 8 pm
  • July 24, 6 – 8 pm
  • August 7, 6 – 8 pm
  • August 21, 6 – 8 pm

 

Kennedy King College
710 West 65th Street

  • June 19, 6 – 8 pm
  • July 3, 6 – 8 pm
  • July 17, 6 – 8 pm
  • July 31, 6 – 8 pm
  • August 14, 6 – 8 pm
  • August 28, 6 – 8 pm

You must RSVP to attend a class so we can be sure that we have enough instructors available. To RSVP any time before the class, call 312-744-8147

For more information, see the FAQ at: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/provdrs/bike.html

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 About Divvy

Divvy is Chicagoland’s bike share system, giving Chicago, Evanston, and Oak Park residents and visitors access to nearly 6,000 bikes at 580 stations across the region. Divvy is North America’s largest bike share system based on service area, thanks in part to the support and sponsorship of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. Divvy riders recently surpassed more than 10 million trips taken since the system’s launch in 2013. For more information and a map of station locations, visit DivvyBikes.com.

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