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Learning the basics about bicycling

May is National Bike Month and Champaign-Urbana is gearing up to promote bicycling for fun, transportation, and health with C-U Bike to Work and School Day on May 3rd.  Last year over 700 people signed up for the event.  This year our goal is to get even more people bicycling.

Consider the following facts:

  • 40% of daily trips are 2 miles or less
  • 90% of those trips are by car
  • Cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
  • The health benefits of cycling in an urban environment outweigh risks posed by air pollution and crashes.
  • The average person loses 13 lbs. their first year of commuting by bike.
  • Switching to cycling was found to benefit public health because it would eliminate 500,000 car trips a day, leading to a reduction in air pollution
  • Recreational bike riding is a safe, low-impact, aerobic activity for Americans of all ages. A 150-pound cyclist burns 410 calories while pedaling 12 miles in an hour — almost the equivalent calories of a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder®.

During last year’s event a number of participants told us that they enjoyed riding to work that day, but they were uncomfortable on the roadway and lacked confidence in their bicycling skills.  This year we are offering workshops to help folks learn how to bicycle. 

The Basic Bicycling Skills workshop will cover basic bicycle handling skills including signaling, turning, stopping, using bike lanes, and more.  After classroom instruction, participants will practice their skills in a nearby city parking lot.  The workshop is being offered on Monday, April 25th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Urbana Free Library. 

This workshop is being conducted by instructors who are certified through the League of American Cyclists and have been trained to teach bicycling skills.  Common Ground Food Coop, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, The Bike Project, and Champaign County Bikes are sponsoring the workshop.  You can register at Common Ground Food Coop.

For more information on this workshop and others you can check out the C-U Bike to Work Day website:

For additional information and resources on bicycling check out these websites:

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