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2016 Illinois Bike Summit

Join us for the fifth annual Illinois Bike Summit, Monday, September 19, 2016, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

Come for a day of learning and networking with hundreds of advocates,  planners, civil engineers, public health researchers, business leaders, and elected officials from all corners of the state.  Leave inspired and better equipped to improve bicycling in your community and beyond as we focus on Better Biking for All.

  • All people: Making bicycling accessible, safe, and attractive to people of all backgrounds, genders, ages, incomes, and abilities.
  • All places: Meeting the needs of all communities in Illinois: rural, suburban, and urban; college campuses and manufacturing districts; flat and hilly; upstate and downstate.
  • All purposes: Recognizing that people use bicycles for all kinds of reasons, including out of necessity during all the seasons.
  • All planning: Ensuring that best practices for bicycle accommodations are integrated into policies and design guidance at local, county, and state levels.

With these big picture goals and a range of session topics – from design and data to kids and community building – the summit will offer strategies to help you make progress in your town.

Explore all the Summit has to offer below and register soon!

Summit Registration & Location

Summit Registration  – Monday, Sept. 19
Regular rate – $65
Ride Illinois member rate – $50 (Join here)
Student rate – $30

If the summit cost is an obstacle to your attendance, contact summit@rideillinois.org to apply for a scholarship or reduced fee.

The Illinois Bike Summit will be held at Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal.

Sessions, Speakers, and Schedule

Monday, Sept. 19 Summit Schedule

(all breakout sessions approved for CM credit, * = sessions with PDH credit)

8:30-9:15 – Coffee talks: see next drawer for topics

9:30-10:15 – Opening plenary: includes a mayor’s national perspective on bike issues (Normal’s Mayor Chris Koos), discussions of trail tools and economic benefits (Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Brian Housh), and more.

10:30-11:30 – *Your Bikeway Toolbox: a snapshot of bicycle infrastructure options (TY Lin International’s Nate Roseberry, with IDOT’s Jon McCormick).

10:30-11:30 – How Normal became a Bicycle Friendly Community (Normal’s Mercy Davison and others TBD).

10:30-11:30 – Illinois bike law and practical issues of civil law (Attorneys Michael Keating and Brendan Kevenides).

11:40-12:25 – *Trail tools/resources and economic benefits (Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Brian Housh, expanding on his plenary introduction).

11:40-12:25 – Starting a kids’ education program (Alta Planning & Design’s Cynthia Hoyle) and encouraging families to ride (Rebecca Resman, organizer of Kidical Mass).

11:40 am-12:25 – Breaking barriers and rolling towards equity (Chicago Dept. of Public Health’s Margarita Reina; Romina Castillo from CLOCC, Women Bike Chicago, and Slow Roll Chicago; Ride Illinois’ Gin Kilgore).

11:40-12:25 – * “The dirt on bicycle-friendly communities”: local benefits, design, and development of natural surface (dirt) trails (Central Illinois Trails Association’s Loren Easter).

12:30-1:30 – Lunch: includes IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, Ride Illinois award presentations, and a video featuring people who bike by necessity.

1:40-2:40 – Illinois Trail Corps program (Trails for Illinois’ Steve Buchtel) and trail corridors serving multiple user types (IDNR’s George Bellovics).

1:40-2:40 – *Collecting and using bicycle data (Alta Planning & Design’s Kristen O’Toole and Cynthia Hoyle).

1:40-2:40 – Advocacy session: Bikeways for All Suburban Report (Active Transportation Alliance’s Jim Merrell) and “Making Biking Better” road/trail improvement requests (Ride Illinois’ Ed Barsotti).

1:40-2:40 – Mobile workshop: tour of Bloomington-Normal trails/bikeways, led by Bike BloNo – bring your own bike! More details in drawer below.

2:50-3:35 – Peer-to-peer advice from Illinois’ Bicycle Friendly Community designated towns (Normal’s Mercy Davison, Schaumburg’s Richard Bascomb, Urbana’s Charlie Smyth)

2:50-3:35 – Health departments’ role in improving bicycling and active living conditions (Chicago Dept. of Public Health’s Margarita Reina, DuPage County Health Dept’s Becky McFarland)

2:50-3:35 – Share the Trail campaign (Cook County Forest Preserve’s Jacqui Ulrich) and Bloomington-Normal’s trail friends group (Friends of the Constitution Trail’s Patrick Dullard)

2:50-3:35 – Illinois’ bicycle and bike infrastructure history (Illinois Wesleyan University’s Chris Sweet)

3:45 – Networking reception at Medici in Normal, 120 North St (one block away)

Coffee Talks - Early Morning Session

Coffee Talks will take place from 8:30-9:15 am.

Finding Your Spokeswomen – Creating and building a women’s cycling community (Bloomington Cycle & Fitness’ Caryn Davis)

Walk In, Bike Out – A Community of Volunteers Rehabs Bikes for Those in Need (Julian Westerhout, Bloomington)

Summer Bike Camp – Having Fun While Being Safe (Leo Covis and Charlie Smyth, Champaign County Bikes)

Show Me the Money – How to Fundraise for Capital Projects (Champaign County Bikes’ Jeff Yockey and Ride Illinois’ Frank Brummer)

Using Bicycle Master Planning to Make Your Community Bike-Friendlier (Champaign County RPC’s Gabe Lewis and City of Urbana’s Kevin Garcia)

Safe Routes for Healthy Kids (Active Transportation Alliance’s Jim Merrell)

Share The Road – Are There Better Signs Directed to Drivers? (Ride Illinois’ Ed Barsotti)

Mobile Workshop Session

The Mobile Workshop Session will take place 1:40-2:40 pm and requires your own bike.

With more than 40 miles of multi-use trail, Normal-Bloomington is a statewide destination for recreational bicyclists. With additional on-street bicycle facilities in key locations, the trail is also the primary component of the local bicycle transportation system. Get a first-hand look at this amazing bicycle system during the afternoon mobile workshop at the Illinois Bike Summit!

The ride will be at a casual pace, covering approximately 3.5 miles of trail and 1.5 miles of on-street bike lanes.  Key features include:

  • The Veterans Parkway underpass, which provides a safe and beautiful creek-side passage under a 8-lane state highway
  • Sister Cities Gardens, including a Japanese tea house and plantings from Russia
  • The Connie Link Amphitheatre, the Town’s premier outdoor theater rebuilt at a trailside location
  • Uptown Circle, a national award winner for multimodal transportation design and environmental friendliness
NACTO Training Info & Registration

Tuesday, September 20, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Normal Public Library, 206 W. College Ave.
Registration – $100, NACTO Guidebook – $40

Register here

The day after the summit, professional engineers and planners will be the primary intended audience for a training on NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide and related suburban/rural content. The highly-acclaimed class will be taught by T.Y. Lin International’s Nate Roseberry, with 6 continuing education credit hours available for engineers and planners.

Participants will learn state-of-the-practices for on-street bikeways, based on lessons learned from the world’s best bicycling cities. The design charrette format  incorporates classroom and field activities, and provides a forum for dialogue and engagement between engineers, planners, and other professionals.


• Become familiar with innovative bike facilities covered in the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, including cycletracks, protected bike lanes, and bicycle boulevards.
• Learn how to tailor on-street bikeway solutions to local communities
• Apply principles of the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, including short-term and long-term strategies
• Learn appropriate context and warrants for facility implementation.

Continuing Education Credits

All of the summit’s 15 breakout sessions have been approved for planners’ CM credits. Some breakout sessions are also eligible for PDH credits and are noted in session schedule above.

6 continuing education credit hours will be available for engineers and planners completing the NACTO Bikeway Design Training.

Attendees Bike Ride and Reception

Join us on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 4pm, the evening before the Summit, for a special ride and reception sponsored by Epstein. Participants must bring their own bike and indicate their interest when registering for the summit. Two route options will be available:

Get Your Kicks on Route 66
McLean County leads the state in the design and construction of the Route 66 bike trail. Experience the newest section of trail, set to be completed by the end of August. At just under 20 miles total, the ride will head northeast out of Normal toward the Village of Towanda and feature a National Register property at 305 E. Pine Street (an original Route 66 gas station),  the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home (a historically significant campus that served as a state orphanage from the Civil War through the late 1970s), a view of the historic Duncan Manor, and a beverage stop at Kick’s.

In-Town Ride-Around
Ride one of Illinois’ premier rails-to-trails projects – the 40+ mile Constitution Trail! Pedal at a leisurely pace down the old rail line and see many successful features of this treasured linear park: the Connie Link Amphitheatre, the National Register landmark Camelback Bridge, the historic Evergreen Cemetery, and the historic Downtown Bloomington. At approximately 15 miles, this is the perfect ride for the casual bicyclist and ardent advocate.

Both routes will start and end in Uptown Normal at the Summit conference center and take approximately 2 hours. A reception will immediately follow at 6pm at the Hyatt Place’s newly opened outdoor patio, where participants can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and network with other summit attendees.

Other Group Bike Rides

In town or arriving earlier on Saturday or Sunday? Check out these other group ride options open to the public:

  • Bike BloNo’s Tour de Taco event on Saturday from 9:30am-4pm (registration on Bike BloNo’s site required)
  • McLean County Wheelers “show-and-go” ride on Sunday at 9am (no registration needed)
Getting there on Amtrak

For those near the Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak line, the train schedule is favorable for both northbound and southbound – and the station is a block away. Bikes are allowed on some of the runs. Book soon, as seats do sell out.


These hotels have discounted room blocks under “Illinois Bike Summit” codes for summit attendees, for Sunday night (Sep. 18):

  • The summit’s hotel, the Bloomington-Normal Marriott, 201 Broadway Ave, Normal.  $124 (until Aug. 29), call 888-236-2427.
  • The Chateau Hotel, 1601 Jumer Dr, Bloomington – a 2.8 mile “commute” on the Constitution Trail.  $79 (until Aug. 20), call 309-662-2020.