Ride IllinoisRide Illinois

History & Achievements

Ride Illinois has a long history of promoting bicycling throughout the state. We have been a well-respected, expert advocate for Illinois bicyclists since the organization was incorporated in 1992.

Our accomplishments include the following:

  • State laws enabling Share the Road license plates and requiring at least three feet clearance when passing bikes
  • Leading Illinois delegation in D.C. to save federal funds for trails and bikeways, while preserving over $20 million in funding at the state level
  • Bike plans in over 20 towns around Illinois, help in dozens more
  • Implementation of the state Complete Streets law, and bike-friendly designs of other road projects
  • Bike safety sheets sent to 800,000 school children
  • Trainings statewide for hundreds of Drivers’ Ed teachers, road planners and engineers, and law enforcement
  • Our innovative online learning tool, BikeSafetyQuiz.com, used by over 120,000 motorists and bicyclists since 2013
  • Development of over 40 metro area and local bike maps, longer-distance route guides, and other bicyclist resources
  • Annual GIBT bicycle tour, Illinois’ top week-long supported ride since 2003
  • Our BikeSafetyQuiz mini-grant program has led to over 60,000 students completing BikeSafetyQuiz since 2018

The late Ted Sanders led efforts to create our statewide bicycle organization in 1989. We incorporated in 1992 as the League of Illinois Bicyclists (LIB), a state chapter of the national League of American Bicyclists. LIB grew under Ted’s (1989-1995) and then Al Sturges’ and Eric Hutchison’s (1995-2000) leadership, becoming a separate, standalone organization in 2000.

Ed Barsotti became LIB’s first paid executive director in 2001. Thanks to continued membership growth and funds from board secretary Chuck Oestreich’s GITAP bike tour, the organization continued to mature, hire additional staff, and expand our efforts.

In 2015, we proudly announced our new name Ride Illinois as we look forward to an even more productive future.

Dave Simmons was hired as the current executive director in October 2019 and is thrilled to lead the organization and our continued efforts to “make Illinois better through biking” in the 2020s.

The best is yet to come and we truly appreciate your support. Be safe out there!