Detroit on Two Wheels
Check out the ascendancy of bike culture in the “Car Capital” Detroit. The “Slow Roll” in Detroit is bringing new folks’ connections to bike riding. In cities across the US, government support is now joining with activist and advocacy groups in the investment in biking infrastructure (like designating shared and protected bike lanes) to support the new generations and growing ranks of bike users.

Enjoy this well-made video on Bike Culture in Detroit

Here are local grassroots free-access bike rides that you can get involved in in your city:

Critical Mass- Chicago
Slow Roll- Detroit
Critical Mass- San Francisco
Transportation Alternatives- New York
Pedal Dancer- Boulder

Thanks to NBC News for producing this excellent and well-made video documentary on the Slow Roll and biking culture in Detroit. Here are some stills from the documentary:

Flywheel Bike Shop Owner The Hub WheelBuilding


I’ve mentioned these bike rides before (see previous post). But there are so many rides, available almost every weekend. Find a neighborhood interesting to you and RIDE.

Some pre-rides are free, the weekend rides have a fee that supports a good organization, or there are other ways you can earn discounts.

Get all “bikey” with like-minded individuals and explore Chicago….

Register now –

Wednesday October 20, 2010 – 6pm to 8pm
Bridgeport and Armour Square pre-ride
McGuane Park – 29th and Halsted

Saturday October 23, 2010 – 1pm to 6pm
Tour of Bridgeport and Armour Square
29th and Halsted

Thursday November 11, 2010 – 6pm to 8pm
Forest Glen pre-ride – Indian Road Forest Preserve
Central just north of Indian Road

Saturday November 13, 2010 – 1pm to 6pm
Tour of Forest Glen – Indian Road Forest Preserve
Central just north of Indian Road

Thursday November 17, 2010 – 6pm to 8pm
North Park pre-ride
Peterson Park – 5801 N Pulaski

Sunday November 21, 2010 – 1pm to 6pm
Tour of North Park
Peterson Park – 5801 N Pulaski

Submitted by E.O. member,  Lee Diamond

More and more folks are picking up the two-wheeled steed as their primary or preferred choice for transportation (for all the obvious health, fun and green reasons). Then slam/bang Chicago’s winter temps hit and..guess what?… they keep biking throughout the city! You could be one of those intrepid, healthy and hearty souls. Its really not such a big deal to bike in Winter, it just takes a little knowledge, some simple preparations and you could be biking to work, school, a friends and more in a winter wonderland.

Included here is the welcoming salutation from the Bike Winter homepage. If you are thinking of riding into colder weather, they are the group to give you tips, experienced advice–as well as a lot of fun social and active rides to celebrate Chicago Winters on bike.     -E.O.

Bike Winter Welcome: Encouraging Chicago All-Season Cycling!

Each winter, bicyclists in Chicago, and other cities hold events to promote winter bike riding. By taking part in Bike Winter, you will have the opportunity to have fun, socialize with other cyclists, and learn winter biking skills.

The idea is very simple—with the proper gear and a little determination, you can continue to enjoy bicycling year round. Add in the camaraderie of hundreds of riders and dozens of exciting events and you’ve got Bike Winter!

While riding in the summer seems normal, cycling through the winter seems, to the uninitiated, as crazy as trying to drive downtown during the Taste of Chicago. However, during many Chicago winter days, the main obstacles are not snow and ice, but simply cold temperatures and wind. During these days, if you know the secrets to dressing for winter cycling, you can cycle while feeling comfortable, warm, and pleasant. During the typical Chicago winter day, extreme road conditions, such as heavy blizzards or ice storms, are the exception, not the rule. Although cyclists and motorists alike may legitimately avoid travel during these extreme conditions, cyclists may find that they can otherwise enjoy and use their bikes during most winter days. Besides, Winter weather isn’t as bad as you might think.

Bike Winter was born out of a desire to keep bikes out of the basement during our six months of winter. If you’ve ever thought about how nice it would be to drive less (or even be car-free), you can learn how to make your bicycle an all weather, all occasion transportation tool. A bike in motion tends to stay in motion, a bike in a basement tends to stay in the basement. . .even on the “nice” days.

Fortunately, those of us who have taken the winter biking plunge know that it is easy and often more pleasant than gasping for breath during ozone action days! So, each winter, we organize a series of recreational and educational events to inspire cyclists to stay in the saddle year round, regardless of rain, sleet or snow.

Highlights of Chicago Bike Winter events:

See the calendar for the schedule of the Chicago Bike Winter events. (Check back later in the year as many events remain to be added to the calendar.) The following describes some of the events that are already planned.

  1. Bike Winter workshops: Do you enjoy cycling? Do you wish that the cycling season would never end? Attend the free Bike Winter workshops and learn more about using your bike for transportation year round. More on the workshop. Some of the winter cycling tips from the expo are also available online. Contact the Bike Winter chair (see contact information) if you want a free winter cycling workshop presented to your bike club or other organization in the City of Chicago.
  2. Santa Rampage: Cyclists gear up in various Claus inspired outfits and regale harried downtown shoppers on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. More Rampage information.
  3. Baby Doll Polka Club ride: You’d think that a 15-mile evening ride during the brutal cold and long nights of January would be sparsely attended and brief. But not when Bike Winter has arranged for the Polkaholics to play at at Chicago polka club. For the fifth year in a row, cyclists will meander and wiggle their toes through Chicago, drawn by the promise of polka. Polka Ride information
  4. Scavenger Hunt: Teams of cyclists compete for prizes in a scavenger hunt. In a previous scavenger hunt, points were awarded for: identifying road maintenance problems that affect cyclists and calling them into the city’s hotline; placing bike winter stickers on bike racks (extra points for the stickers placed farthest away); gathering artifacts from various ethnic restaurant districts and getting a Bike Winter tattoo (which someone actually did!).
  5. Snow Biking: While some people like to sled down snowy hills, some cyclists like to bike down snowy hills.
  6. Other Events: One of the key principles of Bike Winter is simply “Bikes Are Fun!” So check the calendar for details on other Bike Winter events where you can have fun and meet with other cyclists. Other events that the season might include are a Tiki Ride,an ‘open bike’ poetry reading night, the annual bicycle art show, a New Year’s Day Ride, a film festival, snow ball fights, and more.

If you want to get involved with Bike Winter or learn more about it, please contact us or visit

Join the September Chicago Critical Mass!

September 24, 2010 from 5:30pm to 9pm

Chicago Critical Mass bike rides start from Daley Plaza (Dearborn & Washington) at 5:30 p.m. (Leave around 6 p.m.) on the last Friday of each month, regardless of season or weather. They are free and fun. All you have to do is show up with your bike. The rides are family- and pet-friendly.

A Critical Mass is created when the group of riders take back the streets of our city. The right of the people to assemble is guaranteed in the Constitution and Critical Mass helps people remember that right. The Mass itself has no political agenda though — no more than the people of any other community do. Critical Mass is open to all and it welcomes all riders to join in a celebration of riding bicycles. Why? Because bikes are fun!

Come join this fabulous parade on bikes!

We wanted to promote these excellent educational and recreational bike tours that have been organized by Lee Diamond and sponsored by Big Shoulders Realty.

The kick-off/launch ride through Hyde Park is Sat. Sept. 11th at 1:00 PM
Washington Park Fieldhouse at 5531 S Martin Luther King Drive

The Chicago Neighborhood Bike Tours are back and ready to ride. Here is the link to register:

Our first tour is Saturday September 11, 2010 with a Tour of Hyde Park, our most popular tour to date. Our original July 2009 Tour of Hyde Park drew nearly 150 riders. While it was a thrilling experience to lead that many riders at once, it also proved a logistical nightmare and stressed the limits of the usefulness of a megaphone, so for this and all future tours we are limiting registrations to 80.

The tour was understandably a popular one, as the area is amongst the most architecturally and historically opulent in all of Chicago and justifiably famous throughout the world. Hyde Park is both the name of the Community Area and the neighborhood, and the home of the University of Chicago, the institution that conceived of the very idea of Chicago Community Areas. The University was born out of the idea that every great city deserved and required a great university. Several buildings had been erected by the time that Chicago hosted World’s Fair of 1893 which changed the landscape and waterfront and the very nature of Hyde Park to create the splendor of the World’s Columbian Exposition. The University and the World’s Fair are two enduring, indelible legacies that dominate the neighborhood, but their omnipresence is augmented by architectural beauty in the residences, businesses, civic and religious buildings throughout the area. Frank Lloyd Wright, Keck and Keck, Henry Ives Cobb, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Lorado Taft, Howard Van Doren Shaw, Dwight Perkins and Frederick Law Olmsted all offer marvelous examples of their genius in Hyde Park, and even this “best of” Hyde Park tour will exceed 5 hours in length over its 17 ½ miles.

This is also the first tour of our revamped tour series and the first ride where we charge money. That in and of itself is likely more than enough to put a very severe lid on attendance numbers, but we’re hoping that people find the value commensurate with the fees at a minimum, and if they should feel otherwise after the ride we will happily offer them their money back.

Now when I ask people if they want their money back, it won’t just be a sardonic question.

More information here:

This Saturday the kids are back: They are jumpin’ on bikes for the next…

KIDICAL MASS (bike ride)-

Palmer Square & Logan Square

Saturday June 12th

meetup at 10:30 / ride starts at 11:00am, ends around 12:30
start/end at the Palmer Square Bunny Playground  (map it)
3100 W. Palmer Boulevard (btwn Kedzie & Humboldt Blvds)

Also the Kidical Mass rides are featured in this week’s TimeOut Chicago where you can read a little more about the history of the group.

Tell yer friends; bring your bikes!

Kidical Mass Neighborhood Rides

Join the Kidical Mass for slow, easy-going, fun, group rides focused on kids (of all ages) and families that will tour various neighborhoods and parks. Playground play-time will be included on most rides at beginning and end of rides.
All ages welcome. Please wear helmets! Invite your friends to join us!

Ride with your kids. (Bike trailers, Kid Seats & Add-a-bikes welcome for the little ones). Kids on their own bikes will stay together and explore the neighborhood and enjoy the fun, parade and spectacle of a group mass bike ride. Parents are required to accompany their children while tour guides lead the route and assist in navigating intersections and stopping points.
Riders are expected to wear helmets during the tour. Tours are free and open to the public.

Organized by E.O. members, Jason Greenberg & Todd Allen

Heads Up for the next two Kidical Mass Rides (coming to a neighborhood near you…)


Kids take to the streets (on bikes of course!) for a fun exploratory parade.

Kidical Mass Neighborhood Rides
Join the Kidical Mass for slow, easy-going, fun, group rides focused on kids (of all ages) and families that will tour various neighborhoods and parks. Playground play-time will be included on most rides at beginning and end of rides.

Open to the public; all ages welcome. Please wear helmets! Invite your friends to join us!

Palmer Square & Logan Square

Saturday May 8th, from 10:30am to 1:00pm

Meet: Bunny Playground in Palmer Square
3100 W. Palmer Blvd. (btwn Kedzie & Humboldt Blvds)

Rogers Park & Indian Boundary Park
Saturday May 15 from 10:30am to 1:00pm

Meet: Warren Park / Ice Rink Parking Lot
6601 N. Western Ave. (Between Pratt Blvd. & Devon Ave.)

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