First Time Bicycling Instruction For Adults
At this time, the CDC, public officials, and health agencies are recommending social distancing.
Registration is open, but on-bike lessons, one-on-one instruction, and group lessons will not be scheduled until COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
The lessons are given in a parking lot or playground where there is no interference from cars or other cyclists. The pedals are removed from the bike, and the seat is lowered to where you can get both feet comfortably on the ground. You will learn balance, steering, and stopping by slowly walking, then gliding, the bicycle around in the parking lot.
Once you are comfortable with balance, steering, and stopping, and can glide a reasonable distance, the pedals are re-installed. You will learn to start, ride smoothly in a straight line, and turn. After a little riding practice, you will be ready to learn to shift. The technique, combined with expert coaching, ensures fast, safe, and comfortable learning.
Lessons are scheduled for 1 or 2 hour sessions. Any particular lesson might be shortened if the new rider gets tired, or extended a bit by mutual agreement if excellent progress is being made. Additional lessons can be scheduled with the instructor as desired. Learning time varies from person to person. Most adults are riding on their own after two to three hours with an instructor.
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.
Instruction is offered when the temperature is above 50F, which is typically from late March through November.
In some areas and at certain times of the year it may be several weeks before an instructor can be assigned.
Tuition is $65/hour.
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.
Click here to register for a lesson. An instructor will contact you to discuss scheduling.
Click here to email an instructor for more information.
Click here for links to Learn To Ride instruction in other parts of the country.
Testimonials from first time riders
Here are some comments about first time riding experiences with some of the Chicago area League Cycling Instructors
I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful instructor Ray Del Lago is. I now consider myself a "bike rider" (although I need a ton of practice). He was calm, made me feel totally at ease and instilled great confidence. Although I was sure I was going to kill myself, Ray read my mind and let me know that there was no way he was going to let me fall. He didn't, I didn't and the whole experience was exhilarating and great fun.
I am recommending you and Ray to everyone I know who wants to learn to ride. If I could do it, anyone can.
At 50-plus years of age, it seemed highly unlikely to me that I'd ever conquer my life-long inability to jump on a bicycle and 'break away'. But thanks to Mary-Lynn's patience, creativity and, perhaps most important, relentless motivation, I'm proud to say that I now consider myself a full-fledged rider!
When my husband started looking for an instructor to teach me how to ride a bike, I was scared. I said, "Me, ride a bike? That's impossible. After all, I'm 53 years old.
I grew up believing that I will never ride a bike.
This is my story, My parents had 6 stillbirths before I was born, and then finally, there I was, alive and kicking. What was a father to do - he sheltered me, protected me and kept his eyes on me, making sure that I do not fall or get hurt. I did not learn how to walk until I was about 2 years old. I had a nanny, she told me that my father would get mad at her if he’d see me on the ground/floor. I did not have a scar on me until after I got married. – (doing chores) Everyone around me, my sister, brothers, cousins, they all learned to ride a bike, they all learned to swim, except me. It did not really bother me that they all left me – they were either riding their bike miles away or they were swimming in the pond nearby. I enjoyed reading books and listened to them tell stories of their escapades.
But thanks to Dave Simmons, I can now ride a bike. I met Dave at the church parking lot in Streamwood. A patient, kind, and a gentle man. At first, he gave me the lessons on safety. He noticed how scared I was, he calmed me down by reassuring me that he won’t let go of the bike until I’m ready. He was resolute that I will learn to ride this bike and he persevered, after hours of patient cajoling, reassurance, coaching without criticism, finally, I was riding, with tears coming down my eyes, so proud of myself, so thankful to Dave. There are 2 people that I need to express my gratitude, to my husband for trusting that I could learn it and for Dave for his patience and kindness in teaching it.
Here is one final note, If I can ride a bike, anyone can also ride a bike, just ask Dave Simmons to help you.
Hi Tony, (Riccardo)
How are you? Thank you so much for teaching Ria how to bike. She is a bicyclist now, YEAH!! We are practicing every day and she is getting better and more confident. Your patience and persistent is very much appreciated, especially because Ria is cautious. Please thank your wife for all her help. Ria couldn't have done it without you both. I will be in touch after the triathlon to give you an update.
Thanks so much for the pictures.
Radha & Ria
Tony (Riccardo) is a terrific teacher! He taught my five year old to ride a bike in only two sessions! My child can now start, stop, turn and ride without any assistance. I highly recommend Tony to give you or your child a solid foundation and enjoyment of bike riding for life."
First time riding instruction in other parts of the country
BOSTON: Bicycle Riding School
CALIFORNIA - SAN JOSE and SILICON VALLEY: Herman Wadler, League Cycling Instructor