Commuter Basics


Stay active, healthy and happy, save some money, and reduce your carbon footprint, just by biking!

Biking is good for you, the environment, and your community- so give it a shot! We've got the basics to get you commuting like a pro in no time!

Fun Facts   |   Bike Commuting Basics   |   Riding with Traffic   |   Door Zone   |   Quick Check   |   In Your Bag


Fun Facts: Biking in Chicago 

   A 2014 study found that bike commuting boosts one's mood more than any other commute method.

   Chicago had the second largest increase in bike commuter participation from 2005-2010.

 Experience Chicago differently on   bike: use the 18.6 miles of barrier protected bike lanes, 67 miles of buffer protected bike lines, and 38 miles of trails, including the amazing 18.5 mile Lakefront Trail, to help get around.

 By 2020 there will be 645 miles of continuous   on street bikeways (barrier, buffer, marked, and other bike lines), currently there are about 225 miles. Find out more about protected bike lanes here.

   Chicago has the most bike racks (13,000+) out of any major city.

   In 2012, Chicago was ranked the 5th most bicycle friendly city with over 95,000 residents.




Back to the Basics

Riding with Traffic   |   Door Zone   |   Quick Check   |   In Your Bag


Your safety is our number one concern. Please do not put yourself or others at risk by violating traffic laws or riding inappropriately.

For more safety videos check out the Active Trans YouTube Channel


Get out of your comfort zone!











Ride predictable and make yourself visible

 Ride with traffic, not against it.

 Practice, "same road, same rules," by observing all traffic laws, signs, and signals.

 Don't ride on the sidewalk.

 Communicate your intentions to others



Avoid the "Door Zone"

 Keep 4 feet from parked cars' mirrors to avoid being hit by a swinging door.

 Be 360 aware- know what's happening behind, in front, and to your sides in case you need to make a defensive or evasive move.

1 in 5 of Chicago's bicycle crashes occur from a door opening into a bikeway, don't become a statistic, be 360 aware!





A-B-C Quick Check        

 Air: Check your air. Your tires should feel firm

 Brakes: Brakes should be tight enough to stop your bike. Leavers should stop short of reaching the handlbar when pulled.

 Chains: Your chain should move freely, be free of rust, and slightly oiled.






In Your Bag   

For your ride: wear an ankle strap if you have pants on and make sure you have your lock key.

In you bag: ID, debit and/or credit card, lock, cell phone with emergency contacts labeled as" ICE," work clothes or an extra outfit, an extra jacket, cell phone charger, spare tube, mini pump, patch kit, waterbottle, transit fare or Ventra card.

Check out this article from our friends at Chainlink about everything you should have with you and/or on your bike to be a commuter pro!



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