League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Courses in the Chicago Area

Source: Chicago Bicycle


Chicago Lakefront Trail

League of American Bicyclists Certified instructors are offering 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, 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 pedaling, 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 typically people are riding in two to four hours.

  • Click here for more information, plus testimonials and contacts 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.

Traffic Skills 101

The officer in the photo is executing a quick stop, one of the emergency maneuvers you will learn in 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
  • Avoiding Crashes
  • Common Motorist Errors at Intersections
  • Riding Safety in Traffic
  • Ride Enjoyment
  • Trail Etiquette
  • Nutrition Basics
  • 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 4 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 3 hours are on-bike, riding on local roads with a League of American Bicyclists Certified 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 normally $50. A student manual is included.

If you take the free on line course, the total tuition for the bike handling and road ride sessions is $30. A student manual is available for an additional $10.

  • Click here 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.

The schedule for both classroom and on-bike sessions is available at the League of American Bicyclists website.

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!

  • Click here for schedule, registration, and payment instructions.

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.


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

League of American Bicyclists Logo

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.

Review the LCI Seminar descriptions and FAQ here. Register for an LCI Seminar at the League’s Instructor Seminar Schedule page. For more information, e-mail Larry@ChicagoBicycle.Org or contact the League directly by phone at 202-822-1333 or email at education@bikeleague.org.

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 from the Chicago Area League Cycling Instructors
  • Click here more information on the League of American Bicyclists

Support your local bicycle advocacy organizations