League of American Bicyclists
Smart Cycling Courses
League of American Bicyclists Certified instructors offer the League's Smart Cycling Courses at a number of Chicago area locations. They will also help you to set up private courses for your own park district, organization, club, company, scout troop, or group of friends.
Learn to Ride a Bicycle at Any Age
You're never too old to learn to ride a bicycle!
If you never learned to ride a bicycle, this one-on-one coaching will get you balancing, starting, pedaling, stopping, turning, and shifting successfully in short order. Lessons are scheduled at your convenience. Individual sessions are one to two hours long. Learning to ride a bicycle as an adult is fast and easy. Learning time varies from person to person, but most people are riding on their own after two to three hours of instruction.
Instruction is offered when the temperature is above 50F, which is typically from April through November.
For children under the age of 11 we suggest group lessons offered by the Chicago area REI stores.
for more information or to have an instructor contact you There are also testimonials and contacts for instruction in other parts of the country .
Getting Back on a Bike
You want to get back on a bike, but It's been a long time since you rode one. This two hour course will show you how to set up a bike to fit you comfortably, plus how to start and stop safely, how to ride straight and confidently, and how to shift efficiently. The fee is $25.
Bicycling 1 2 3 Youth Program
Bicycling Skills 123 is designed to support National Bike Dealers Association member dealers as they encourage cycle safety within their community. The League provides the materials and training for bicycle store owners, employees, and affiliated volunteers to teach safe riding to their customers in short and entertaining classes.
A 4 hour Instructor session shows volunteers how to teach basic handling skills to adults and children.
A 4 hour Youth Skills session shows volunteers how to teach the Youth Bicycle Skills Clinic. The clinic has 9 activity stations and 4 administrative stations. Several of the activity stations are similar to a Safety Town, except the entire clinic is very highly focused on specific skills needed to control a bike and to ride safely on streets. There are also activity stations for children too young to ride on streets.
Traffic Skills 101
Experience the enjoyment of bicycling for fun and exercise. Preserve the environment and save money by running errands by bike rather than by car. Whether you are a beginning cyclist, an experienced cyclist, or are returning to cycling after years away from it, you will find something useful for you in the Traffic Skills 101 course.
The course will help you refine and refresh your cycling skills; to ride your bike confidently and safely for transportation, fitness and recreation, in traffic and on trails. Learn to be visible and predictable, to ride on roads and through intersections, to ride in groups, and to avoid crashes.
The course covers bicycle safety checks, basic maintenance, fixing a flat, essential bike handling skills, crash avoidance techniques, and a supervised road ride. Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this fast-paced, nine-hour course prepares cyclists to confidently use their bikes in a variety of road conditions. Topics include:
Finding the Right Bike for You
Setting It Up to Fit Comfortably
Clothing and Equipment
Pre-ride Safety Check
Basic Maintenance and Fixing Flats
Gears for Comfort and Safety
Adjusting Brakes & Derailleurs
Common Motorist Errors at Intersections
Riding Safety in Traffic
Essential Bike Handling Skills and Emergency Maneuvers (on bike)
Supervised Traffic Cycling Practice (on bike)
The full course takes roughly 9 hours. Complete all three parts, and pass written and on-bike tests to receive a Certificate of Completion for Traffic Skills 101.
Part 1: Approximately 5 hours are classroom instruction; A convenient alternative to the classroom instructon is available on line, free of charge . This part may be taken independently of parts 2 and 3.
Part 2: Approximately 2 hours are on-bike, learning and practicing basic bike handling skills and emergency maneuvers. This part may be taken independently of parts 1 and 3.
Part 3: Approximately 2 hours are on-bike, riding on local roads with a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor. The road ride takes you into your community, riding in real world conditions, putting the traffic skills instruction into practice. Part 1 is a prerequisite for part 3.
The total tuition for the live classroom session, the bike handling session, and road ride session is $65.
If you take the free on line course, the total tuition for the bike handling and road ride sessions is $50.
A student manual is available for an additional $10.
to take the free on line session. Please register in the Northern Illinois region. You will receive an e-mail from a League Cycling Instructor when the on-bike sessions of Traffic Skills 101 are scheduled in your area.
to have an instructor contact you about scheduling a private course for your organization, club, business, or group of friends.
The officer in the photo is executing a quick stop, one of the emergency maneuvers you will learn in Traffic Skills 101
Traffic Skills 201
For those who already have an understanding of vehicular cycling principles, this twelve-hour course includes fitness and physiology, training for longer rides, advanced mechanics, pace line skills, advanced traffic negotiation, foul weather riding and night riding. Student manuals are included with each class. The fee is $60 for the 12 hour course.
Group Riding Skills
Bicycling in a group is one of life’s more enjoyable activities. If you are considering riding with a club, or riding in a large event, such as RAGBRAI or the National MS Society events, this class is for you.
Have fun and be safe while sharing the road with 13,000 of your best cycling buddies! This course will prepare you for the unique experience large group rides. Topics include basic rules of the road, lane positioning, group communication skills, proximity riding, and more. Practice scanning, emergency stopping, obstacle dodge, and riding close to others in large groups. This is a great three hour course!
The course is intended for participants at least 18 years of age. Those between 12 and 18 years of age may attend, but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian age 21 or older.
The course consists of 1 1/2 hours of classroom instruction and 1 1/2 hour of hands-on parking lot drills. Participants must bring their own bike and helmet to participate in the course. Participants should dress appropriately for cycling and bring their water bottles.
Private Group Riding Skills classes can be scheduled for your group, team or club.
Smart Cycling Quick Courses
Would you like to try some of the Smart Cycling classes, but only have a few hours to spend? Try one of the Smart Cycling Quick Courses for adults or children offered at various locations.
Private Group Riding Skills classes can be scheduled for your group or club.
For adult cyclists who wish to explore the possibility of commuting to work or school by bike. This three hour follow-up to Traffic Skills 101 covers topics including route selection, bicycle choice, dealing with cargo and clothing, bike parking, lighting, reflection, and foul weather riding. Included with the class are handouts and student materials. The fee is $30.
Find and Get Comfortable on a Route
Want to commute to work or ride somewhere regularly, but not sure about the best way to go? A League Cycling Instructor will help you find the mix of bicycle, bus, and train transportation to get where you want to go. They will even ride along with you a few times to help you become comfortable with the route.
Tips and Tricks for Smart Cycling
This one hour session with helpful hints for riding comfortably and safely can be scheduled for a luncheon meeting of your club or organization.
to have an instructor contact you to schedule a session for your organization.
for links to web sites with Smart Cycling resources, links, tips and tricks.
League Cycling Instructor Certification Seminar
Becoming a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) certified to teach Smart Cycling classes is a great way to help cyclists in your community. Certified instructors are trained to teach Smart Cycling classes to both adults and children. The LCI certification seminar will help prepare you to bring the joy of safe, confident cycling to others.
If you are an experienced cyclist and would like to teach others, please consider taking the next step towards certification. Becoming a League member and taking Traffic Skills 101 are prerequisites for a certification seminar. Seminars are scheduled around the country.
Contact an Instructor
to have an instructor contact you about currently scheduled courses or to schedule a private course for your company or group. Indicate the course or service in which you are interested and the general area in which you live. Your request will be forwarded to the nearest available instructor.
for a brochure from the Chicago Area League Cycling Instructors
Why Ride a Bike?
We encourage you to check out Ira David Levy's Pedal America
, a Public Television program that explores the joys of bicycling. Pedal America celebrates the liberating world of bicycling as an economical, eco-friendly, and healthful means of activity that friends and family can enjoy safely. Ira David is also an LCI.
more information on the League of American Bicyclists
Support your local bicycle advocacy organizations