Group bike rides are attracting more interest, spurred on by warm weather and cabin fever. Mel Leverich first embraced biking as a safe alternative to public transit during the pandemic. Now, it’s a huge part of her life.
“I was no longer comfortable taking the bus, so I bought a bike,” said Leverich, 32. “I hadn’t owned a bike in a long time. … It’s very much improved my life.”
Leverich was soon regularly going on rides with friends and using the bike on a near-daily basis.
She casually looked for a more organized biking group to join. Not finding many options, she made her own.
“I just didn’t know of any that were on the Far North Side, where I live, and there also seemed to be a need for it,” Leverich said. “I know plenty of people who aren’t comfortable riding alone or who need a reason to get out and ride, so it just seemed like a good opportunity.”
North Side Bike Ride hosted its first “low-stress, low-speed” biweekly group ride on March 6. Eight people joined North Side Bike Ride’s first group ride last week. Organizers say group bike rides like these are gaining traction, spurred on by warmer weather and cabin fever.
The Southwest Collective sometimes had as many 40 cyclists show up for its monthly rides since the pandemic hit, said Dixon Galvez-Searle, head of the nonprofit bike group.“I mean, people have been itching for something to do outdoors, together, in community with each other, for a long time,” […]