Riding your bike can be a cost-effective way to get around — and it's also a great way to get exercise. Even better yet, it is a fun activity made even more fun when participating with a big group of people. Luckily there are several die-hard bikers in the state of Illinois that cycle through all kinds of weather and they have organized monthly group rides that you can join.
If you choose to ride for a team or whether you want a fun way to test your pedaling prowess, several websites give the information you will need. This site provides free listings
for group rides that meet for the fun of it. More low-key, these rides are for those who wish to ride for a cause or join a group for a weekend for a fun outing.
For those wanting to do more with their riding, check out the Illinois Cycling Association
to find clubs and cycling teams to join. On this site you'll find membership fees, what city they are based in, as well as links to each group's specific website. Some groups are open to riders of all levels, and some cater to a specific type of riding. Either way, you're bound to find one club near you that will be perfect for your riding needs.
One adventurous trip for the avid biker is a 90 mile trek via bike paths
up to Milwaukee, Wisc. This trip will take you from one metropolis to another with plenty of beautiful sights to see along the way, any time of the year.
Other bike activities
There is so much more to owning a bike than simply riding one. For those truly passionate about bikes, proper care and management is a major part of their joy. Some bike shops offer maintenance classes for anyone interested in learning proper care. In Chicago, there are five non-profit bike education centers throughout the city including West Town Bikes
, the Recyclery
and Rapid Transit cycle shop
For female riders
interested in learning bike maintenance, shops such as West Town and Ciclo Urbano offer some women-only classes where the usual male-female ratio in maintenance is reversed. Through instruction by female cyclists, women can learn the tricks of the trade so that even petite women can muscle through the generally tough rigors of maintenance.
Get out and ride
The best part of riding is the pure joy of doing it. With so many activities to do throughout the year, there is no reason you have to put your bike in storage for any part of it. There is a riding niche for every rider and for every reason, so the best thing to do is just get out and ride.