Special events are planned in Evanston for Chicagoland’s Bike to Work Week, June 13-20.

Sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance, local employers participating include the City of Evanston, Northwestern University, and Rotary International.

Bikers can take advantage of several special events throughout the week on their way to or from work.

quick morning snack and  free bike tune-up by Wheel and Sprocket will be a feature of the Bike Pit Stop on Tuesday, June 17, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., at Fountain Square in downtown Evanston.

The first 35 bikers who stop by will receive a free water bottle in celebration of 100 years of clean water in Evanston.

Additionally, Rotary International will be handing out reflective bike stickers to the first 50 bikers in honor of Rotary’s commitment to community service both locally in the City of Evanston and around the world. 

City of Evanston staff will also be on hand to gather input on an Updated City Bike Plan. The Bike Pit Stop is organized by the City of Evanston, Rotary International, and Downtown Evanston.

Then on Thursday, June 19, Evanston pub and eatery, Bat 17, at 1709 Benson Ave., will host a “Bike and Brew” event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., featuring discounts on drinks and appetizers for bikers, as well as the opportunity to become a member of the Active Transportation Alliance.

“Bike to Work Week is a great opportunity for commuters to shift gears and take advantage of this healthy, economical, environmentally-friendly and fun transportation option,” said City of Evanston Sustainable Programs Coordinator Catherine Hurley.

“Whether it’s a short trip to the Metra station or all the way to the office, biking puts the brakes on air pollution and traffic congestion while giving commuters a break from the driver’s seat,” she said.

The Alliance listed these reasons why people should bike instead of drive:

Biking is one of the most environmentally, economically and physically healthy ways to move around Evanston.

Cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent.

Cycling to work can increase cardiovascular fitness by 3 to 7 percent.

The health benefits from cycling 30 minutes daily can reduce medical bills by $544 for the average American adult.

The yearly cost of owning and operating a vehicle is more than $9,000, while owning and maintaining a bicycle can cost as little as $120 per year.

Cutting out short car trips in favor of bicycling provides a disproportionately large reduction in CO2, particulate matter and other dangerous pollution, significantly improving air quality.

More information is available on the Bike Commuter Challenge website.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Bikers

    Is it really a good idea to have a bunch of bikers getting alcoholic drinks before they ride off into the night in city traffic?? Many (NOT ALL) of them can't follow normal traffic "rules of the road" when they are sober!  I wish they would have to get a "bike driver's license" so when the police stop them for such violations as; running red lights, stop signs & riding 2,3,4 abreast we know who they are & be able to collect fines for those violations. 

    1. Lets fix this problem at the

      Lets fix this problem at the root. We should continue to improve bike infrastructure, such as adding protected bike lanes.  That way, a lot of these problems will go away.  There are sidewalks for pedestrians, lanes for cars, and there should be lanes for bikes too.  Or, the streets could be shared between all three, like they used to, but it's hard to imagine that now that cars completely dominate the road.


    2. More bike riders are victims

      Your so-called concern for safety is just an excuse for another anti-biker diatribe. I've come to expect such reactions whenever EvanstonNow or other news site reports on biking infrastructure improvements. I'll admit not all cyclists are perfect, but I can assure you I read more stories about cars killing bike riders than vise versa.

    3. Require a safety course for bikers

      I have a been a year round bike commuter for a decade, half of which has been in Evanston, and I am in favor of requiring a safety course for riders who dangerously disregard the law. In the last week, I was nearly hit by another cyclist riding the wrong way down the one-way section of Sherman. I also see many people riding without lights in total darkness. For the record, two abreast is often legal and "running" stop signs needs to be further defined. I have been hit twice by cars, both from behind while obeying the law by stopping at empty intersections.

      In my experience, many drivers in this area expect riders to obey Idaho rules at 4-way stops, but car rules at stoplights which can be confusing for inexperienced riders, especially when drivers consistently implore us to behave like cars in conversation and news story comments. If I obeyed all of the rules of the road, I wouldn't be alive to smugly brag about my year round bike commuting and disguise it as a comment from a concerned citizen.

      The best thing cyclists can do for bike rights, space allocation, and awareness is to multiply. Designated lanes are great, but we can further establish our own lanes in the meantime. The best thing a cyclist can do for their own safety is to ride more often and figure out which behaviors work best in which intersections, weather conditions, and times of day. Don't just ride in sweaty summer, spring and fall are usually better. Bike Evanston!


      1. Bikers who ignore the laws

        Sunday a biker in his spandex outfit was riding very fast on the Sherman side walk past Taco Bell.  I told him it was against the law and he said "the police will never do anything" and sped off still on the sidewalk.

        Many days but esp. Sat. and Sunday A.M. groups of bikers ride down Sherman though stop signs and cause pedestrians to move out of the way and don't even look for cars.

        Bikers have come to realize the police won't do anything until the biker causes an accident—either to a pedestrian or causes a car to loose control.  If you tell them there is a law, they just keep going.   It is little wonder we have so many crimes in Evanston.  NYC learned that if the police go after the 'little stuff' [graffiti, broken windows, etc.] people learn to take the law seriously—and crime dropped substantially.

        1. Bikers crave your attention

          Bikers who wear spandex outfits are begging for you to notice them. Where is there a better place for them to get a lot of attention other than in the downtown business district. They are not there to shop or to eat or to go to the library or to catch a train downtown. They are there for you to notice THEM. They are strong, and handsome and pretty and young and athletic. What's the use of having those physical attributes if you can't show them off? And some have even figured out that riding the wrong way (against traffic) or better yet, on the sidewalk, will really get your attention. But do you ever see them riding in the BIKE LANES?

          1. Confounding

            I'm intrigued by the aggression and disdain toward cyclists by some of the commenters here, the previous remark going so far as to belittle cyclists for being good looking and athletic. Huh?

          2. attention craving!?!?! well, maybe….

            I wear spandex in the summer (on Sherman, no less) for four reasons: 

            1) I am obnoxious and vain

            2) It is much cooler than anything else, including cotton, so I arrive at work (on Sherman…) much less sweaty than I would otherwise. 

            3) The jersey is cut long in the back and short in the front so it doesn't get all crinkled up and pinch my stomach when I hunch over and also prevents plumbers crack.

            4) Bike shorts have crotch padding which mostly eliminates saddle sores. A person can easily get these riding 10 miles every day.

            Given how nice an area this is to bike and that is is a connection between the Green Bay and Lakeshore bike trails, lots of people like to stop at the better coffee shops, like Other Brother, on weekend mornings as a sort of iride ntermission. Evanston also has great bike shops that are near downtown (Pony Shop and Wheel & Sprocket) where we can buy more super-tight spandex.

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