Everyone is a Bike Person

At Divvy, everyone is a bike person. That includes older adults, people with disabilities, and anyone else who might not look like the “stereotypical” cyclist.

This summer, CDOT and Divvy, operated by Lyft, will kick off a series of free adaptive cycling sessions for riders with disabilities, led by Adaptive Adventures, a leading national organization providing adaptive recreation experiences.

The Divvy-sponsored adaptive sessions will offer riders with disabilities access to an adaptive mobility device—such as a tandem bike, hand cycle, or recumbent trike—for recreational use at convenient locations in the city. Participants must be able to follow directions and effectively communicate with or without assistance provided by themselves to be eligible for Adaptive Adventures sessions. Adaptive Adventures staff and volunteer guides will be on site to answer questions, help riders select the right cycle, provide training and encouragement, and offer safe storage for riders’ personal belongings, including their mobility devices. With Lyft’s support, Adaptive Adventures is expanding to more locations this summer, including parks on the south and west sides, where novice and experienced riders alike will find safe riding locations–and a welcoming community of adaptive cyclists.

Interested riders can view the schedule of events and sign up at: AdaptiveAdventures.org.

  • Thursday, June 30 (10am-12pm) at Douglass Park

  • Thursday, August 4 (10am-12pm) at Montrose Harbor

  • Thursday, August 25 (10am-12pm) at Marquette Park

  • Thursday, September 1 (10am-12pm) at Douglass Park

  • Thursday, September 29 (10am-12pm) at 31st Street Beach Lakefront Trail

  • Tuesday, October 18 (10am-12pm) at Marquette Park

“The goal of the adaptive cycling sessions is to extend access to cycling to people with disabilities. Adaptive cycles can be expensive, cumbersome, and for many Chicagoans with small apartments, difficult to store. These sessions allow novice and experienced riders alike to hop on a bike and enjoy the ride with a community of cyclists.” Caroline Samponaro, VP of Transit, Bike and Scooter Policy at Lyft.

The Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities led extensive community outreach that helped to shape this adaptive cycling program, including research into several successful adaptive cycling programs in New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon.

During this outreach, community members said they want an adaptive cycling program that provides recreation, socialization, and exercise—rather than one-way trips, commuting, or errands. Riders cite several barriers to accessing adaptive cycling: the expense of purchasing and storing adaptive cycling equipment, a lack of training or familiarity with adaptive cycling, and lack of physically safe opportunities to attempt cycling.