Chicago Cycling Club
The granddaddy of Chicago’s cycling clubs, with 250 members and four or five rides a week during its peak season, the 19-year-old Chicago Cycling Club offers a plethora of themed rides. Annual membership costs $20 for individuals and $25 for families, but you don’t have to be a member to participate in rides like Wednesday's Ride of Silence, a yearly ride held worldwide that honors cyclists who have been killed or injured on public roadways. Meet at Daley Plaza.
Chicagoland Beer Exploration Society
“The idea of riding to breweries is not new,” says Serge Lubomudrov, founder of Chicagoland Beer Exploration Society. His grandly named bicycle group functions as you’d imagine: Ride to a bar or brewpub. Drink. “But I thought instead of going to Three Floyds or Flossmoor all the time, why not try to explore every bar and brewpub around [the area]?”
When Lubomudrov set up a group on Facebook and the biking site the Chainlink, response was swift and favorable—not surprising, given that beer’s in the name. Though the first ride was sparsely attended (“the weather was horrible”), Lubomudrov is confident attendance will spike with warmer weather.
On June 1, the club rides to Geneva Lake Brewing in Geneva. (Don't worry: First you take the Metra to the Harvard station.) Find more info on the CBES site.
“Everything I’ve read says that women are an indicator species,” says Ash Lottes, founder of Chicago’s iteration of Canada’s Critical Lass, a monthly, womencentric cycling club. (Kids often ride along, too.) “Protected bike lanes are directed at us and children,” Lottes says. “Women are leading this cycling movement.” There's no ride this month, but meet at Frontier Tuesday at 6:30pm to discuss future rides.
Red, Bike and Green
Red, Bike and Green, a collective of black cyclists dedicated to promoting cycling among African-Americans, has a no-drop policy, according to Eboni Hawkins, founder of the Chicago chapter. (RBG began in Oakland in 2007.) That means rides rarely go faster than ten miles per hour so all participants can keep up, and there’s often a pit stop at a black-owned business. RBG Chicago, which had its first ride in 2011, has collaborated with Critical Mass to create routes on the South Side. “A lot of it is about education,” Hawkins says of traditional barriers to black cycling such as a lack of bike access and an assumption that cycling is too sweaty to be a viable transportation source. Of that latter point, Hawkins says with a laugh, “I’ve biked to the Shrine in my heels.” Saturday is the group's annual Ride to the River, which starts at 9am at the Dan Ryan Woods trail head, 83rd St and Western Ave.