The Chainlink

Hi community!

I recently learned to ride a bike and I am hooked. I am looking for clubs/groups/individuals with whom to ride. I live in Uptown and frequently ride the lakepath. I'd like to get on the roads a little more but need to practice and build some confidence. Would be great to ride with more experienced riders.

Are there group rides around Chicago that are beginner friendly and accessible for someone without a car? I am 31 and pretty fit but the avg speeds on some of the group rides seem a little higher than I can hit on my flat bar commuter bike.

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I can't give a helpful response to your questions, but I wanted to say congratulation on learning to ride!

The Chicago Critical Mass ride.  The last Friday of every month.  Meet downtown at Daley Plaze by the Picasso.  The ride leaves shortly after 6 PM.  

Thousand in the summer, fewer in the winter.

Young, old, kids, families.  Explore all parts of the city, and feel safe since you're in a large group.

I second Bob's suggestion! The reader ran this article about the history of this ride:

Lots of friendly people and a mellow pace.

Hasnat - Congratulations on learning to ride!

The Chicago Cycling Club offers many group rides (although there is only one upcoming ride listed right now) - including some fun neighborhood and landmark tours that I've done. Here is a link to the website:

Also, I believe some bike shops offer group rides - I'm sorry I don't have and specific suggestions.

I wish you lifelong enjoyment of riding!


Check out the calendar here, Chicago cycling club, critical mass (all already mentioned).  That's a good start!

Your first step in building confidence to ride in traffic would be to try to ease into street riding during the lower congested hours. Try starting off on a early Sunday morning when it's quiet and then slowly progress into busier traffic as you go. You don't always need a large group to get confidence but it is reaffirming to ride along with one. It takes time for everyone to gain the sufficient amount of confidence for street riding but you can do it. Eventually befriend someone along whatever commuting route you are on and tell them your situation and ask if you could ride along and get tips, advice and warnings. There are enough of riders in the cycling community who will help for a short time. Every day use your sense of observation of other cyclists (hopefully careful ones) and learn from them. Good luck and ride safe.

Check out the Evanston Bike Club.  Weekend rides start at Panera Bread, Wilmette.  All ride captains are there, you decide which group and pace you want and go with that group.  Nice people, good rides, lots of fun.

Evanston Bike Club



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