Ride IllinoisRide Illinois

Biking Info for Adults

Most adults learned how to ride a bike when they were kids.  For many of us, there’s more to learn!  Those who expand their knowledge of safe bicycling practices have better safety records and are more confident riding on streets to more places. A great place to start is our Bike Safety Quiz, which helps you discover what you don’t know—and fills in the gaps with illustrated explanations.

Safety isn’t the only concern for adult cyclists. Bicycling can be a terrific way to commute to work, run errands, and skip the parking quagmires around popular destinations. Figuring out how to dress, carry items, handle inclement weather, and select pleasant routes can help you get the most from your bicycle.

What to Ride

A bike that is the right size and type for your needs is a bike that will actually get used. A petite woman might need smaller than standard brake levers. A parent who uses a trailer for the trip to day care might prefer a sturdy, upright bicycle to manage the load and increase visibility. A year-round long distance commuter might combine the speed of a road bike with the utility of  fenders and waterproof panniers. A local bike shop can help you find the right fit and accessories to suit your travel needs.

What to Wear
Cycling does not require specialized clothing. Many people simply wear their regular outfits—including suits and dresses. An ankle strap or chain guard keeps pants out of the bike chain. Another option is to change at the destination. Rolling clothes in your panniers, bike bag, or backpack helps minimize wrinkles. If concerned about sweat, ride at a leisurely pace or plan to freshen up after the ride.
How to Ride

lanepositionThe Illinois Vehicle Code states: Bicyclists riding on a highway are granted all of the rights and are subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, with certain exceptions. In other words: Same roads, same rights and responsibilities. BikeSafetyTips will help you ride safely, comfortably, and legally. Download our wallet-sized Bike Law Card for the main state statutes affecting bike riders.

How to Find a Route

We like to say that the road network is the bike network. Except where expressly prohibited, people can and do ride bicycles everywhere, from calm rural roads, to busy state routes, to congested downtowns. Ride Illinois works to make our state a better place for people ranging in comfort level and trips ranging in purpose. Read more for route selection trips.