League of American Bicyclists
Smart Cycling Courses
in the
Chicago Area

League of American Bicyclists Certified instructors offer 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, scout troop, or group of friends.  

Learn to Ride a Bicycle at Any Age - Bicycling Instruction for Adults

You're never too old to learn to ride a bicycle!      

If you never learned to ride a bicycle or need a basic reresher session , Learn To Ride instruction will get you balancing, starting, pedaling, stopping, turning, and shifting successfully in short order.   Learning to ride a bicycle as an adult is fast and easy.  Learning time varies from person to person, but most people are riding on their own after two to three hours of instruction.  

Free Group Lessons

League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructors offer free group classes for adults and children who have never learned to ride a bicycle.   June 2024 classes are filled.  Check back in July.

Private One-on-One Coaching
League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructors offer private instruction at numerous locations around the city and suburbs.  The lessons are by appointment and are one to two hours long.  

Private instruction is offered when the temperature is above 50F,  which is typically from April through mid November.

The instructor can provide an adult bicycle.  You will have to provide your own helmet.

We do provide instruction for children, hower we do not have bikes for children. Parents must provide a bike for children not tall enough to straddle an adult bicycle. If you do bring a bike for your child please remove any training wheels before the lesson.

The student must sign a liability waiver. Those under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver. Additionally, those under 16 must have a parent or guardian present during the lesson.

Tuition for private instruction is $85/hour.

Click here for more information on private instruction, testimonials, and contacts for instruction in other parts of the country.

Click here to register for Private Learn to Ride instruction.

Lessons are held in these areas in 2024.  
Highland Park
Elk Grove Village
Evanston (includes Evanston,  Skokie, and Morton Grove)
Northwest Side
Oak Park
Downers Grove   (includes Downers Grove, Lombard, Vila Park)
Southwest Suburbs
South Cook County  (includes Chicago Heights , Homewood, Tinley Park, Blue Island)
Urbana-Champaign  (incldes Urbana-/Champaign metro area)
St. Louis Metro East

Email info@chicagobicycle.org if you have questions about private bicycling instruction.

Bicycling 1 2 3  Youth Program

Bicycling Skills 123  was designed by the League and the National Bike Dealers Association to  encourage cycle safety within the community. The League provides the materials and training for community volunteers, bicycle store owners, employees, and store affiliated volunteers to teach safe riding in short and entertaining classes.

A 4 hour Instructor session shows volunteers how to teach basic handling skills to adults and children.

A 4 hour Youth Skills session shows volunteers how to teach the Youth Bicycle Skills Clinic.  The clinic  has 9 activity stations and 4 administrative stations.  Several of the activity stations are similar to a Safety Town, except the entire clinic is very highly focused on specific skills needed to control a bike and to ride safely on streets.  There are also activity stations for children too young to ride on streets.

 Click here to have an instructor contact you.

Smart Cycling - Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Instruction
(Formerly 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 Smart Cycling  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 with 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 those above age sixteen (or 13 to 15 with parent attending), 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 Suggestions
Pre-ride Safety Check
Basic Maintenance and Fixing Flats
Using Gears for Comfort and Safety
Brake & Derailleur Field Adjustments
Avoiding Crashes
Common Errors at Intersections
Riding Safely in Traffic
Ride Enjoyment
Trail Etiquette
Nutrition Basics
Essential Bike Handling Skills  and Emergency Maneuvers (on bike)
Supervised Traffic Cycling Practice   (on bike)

The 9 hour course is taught by  League of American Bicyclists Certified Cycling Instructors.

Part 1:    4 1/2  hours of classroom instruction;  
Tuition for Part 1 alone is $75.

An alternative to the classroom instruction is available on line, free of charge.   Click here to take the free on line session.   Complete the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced sections, then complete the Exam.  

Part 2:    4 1/2 hours of on-bike instruction.
It covers basic bike handling skills, emergency maneuvers, and a supervised road ride.    The road ride takes you into the community, riding  in real world conditions, putting the course concepts into practice.  
Tuition for Part 2 alone is $75;

Part 1 with instructor + Part 2 within 6 months of Part 1 - $125
If Part 1 was taken with an instructor within the previous 6 months, Part 2 tuition is  $50.
That is, the total price for Part 1 with an instructor + Part 2 within 6 months  is $125

A student manual is available for an additional $10.

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

Group discounts are available.  Click here to have an instructor contact you about scheduling a private course for your organization, club, business, or group of friends.

The officer in the photo is executing a quick stop, one of the emergency maneuvers you will learn in a Smart Cycling lesson.

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!

The course is intended for participants at least 18 years of age. Those between 12  and 18 years of age may attend, but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian age 21 or older.

The course consists of 1 1/2 hours of classroom instruction and 1 1/2 hour of hands-on parking lot drills. Participants  must bring their own bike and helmet to participate in the course.  Participants  should dress appropriately for cycling and bring their water bottles.

The schedule is posted at the League of American Bicyclists web site

Private Group Riding Skills classes can be scheduled for your group, team or club.

 Click here to have an instructor contact you.

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.  

The schedule is posted at the League of American Bicyclists web site

Private Group Riding Skills classes can be scheduled for your group or club.

 Click here to have an instructor contact you.


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.  

 Click here to have an instructor contact you .

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.  

Click here to have an instructor contact you.

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

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 Seminar Schedule page.  

For more information, e-mail Larry@ChicagoBicycle.Org  or contact the League directly by email at  education@bikeleague.org or by phone at 202-822-1333 or.

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 of services from the Chicago Area League Cycling Instructors

Why Ride a Bike?

We encourage you to check out Ira David Levy's Pedal America, a Public Television program that explores the joys of bicycling.  Pedal America celebrates the liberating world of bicycling as an economical, eco-friendly, and healthful means of activity that friends and family can enjoy safely.  Ira David is also an LCI.

Click here more information on the League of American Bicyclists

Support your local bicycle advocacy organizations..

Active Transportation Alliance                                           Ride Illinois