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 - Bicycling Instruction for Adults
You're never too old to learn to ride a bicycle!
If you never learned to ride a bicycle, Learn To Ride instruction will get you balancing, starting, pedaling, stopping, turning, and shifting successfully in short order. 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.
Private One-on One Coaching
League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructors offer private instruction at numerous locations around the city and suburbs. The lessons are by appointment, scheduled at your convenience, and are one to two hours long.
Private instruction is offered when the temperature is above 50F, which is typically from late March through November. The instructor can provide a bicycle, but you must provide your own helmet.
The instructor can provide an adult bicycle. You will have to provide your own helmet.
We do not have bikes for children. Parents must provide a bike for children not tall enough to straddle an adult bicycle. For children under the age of 12 we suggest group lessons offered by the Chicago area REI stores.
The student must sign a liability waiver. Those under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the liability waiver, and a parent or guardian must be present during the lesson.
Tuition for private instruction is $65/hour.
Click here for more information on private instruction, 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 was designed by the League and the National Bike Dealers Association to encourage cycle safety within the community. The League provides the materials and training for community volunteers, bicycle store owners, employees, and store affiliated volunteers to teach safe riding 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.
Smart Cycling - Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Instruction
(Formerly 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 Smart Cycling 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 with 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 those above age sixteen (or 13 to 15 with parent attending), 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 Suggestions
Pre-ride Safety Check
Basic Maintenance and Fixing Flats
Using Gears for Comfort and Safety
Brake & Derailleur Field Adjustments
Common Errors at Intersections
Riding Safely in Traffic
Essential Bike Handling Skills and Emergency Maneuvers (on bike)
Supervised Traffic Cycling Practice (on bike)
The 9 hour course is taught by League of American Bicyclists Certified Cycling Instructors.
Part 1: 4 1/2 hours of classroom instruction;
An alternative to the classroom instruction is available on line, free of charge. Click here to take the free on line session. Please register in the Northern Illinois region.
Tuition for Part 1 alone is $75.
Part 2: 4 1/2 hours of on-bike instruction.
It covers basic bike handling skills, emergency maneuvers, and a supervised road ride. The road ride takes you into the community, riding in real world conditions, putting the course concepts into practice.
Tuition for Part 2 alone is $75;
Part 1 with instructor + Part 2 within 6 months of Part 1 - $125
If Part 1 was taken with an instructor within the previous 6 months, Part 2 tuition is $50.
That is, the total price for Part 1 with an instructor + Part 2 within 6 months is $125
A student manual is available for an additional $10.
Group discounts are available. Click here 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
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.
Click here to have an instructor contact you to schedule a session for your organization.
Click here 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
Click here 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.
Click here for a brochure of services 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.
Click here more information on the League of American Bicyclists
Support your local bicycle advocacy organizations
Active Transportation Alliance Ride Illinois