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  • Mon November 04 2002
  • Posted Nov 4, 2002
This message comes to us thanks to Cindy Trent of the Arlington Heights Bicycle Club. Free Winter Biking Class Heats Up Chicago Cyclists The Veteran Chicago all-season cyclists will be teaching a free winter cycling class to the public on Sunday, November 10, 2002 3-6 p.m. at Vittum Theatre, 1012 N. Noble (Milwaukee and Noble; accessible via #56 Milwaukee bus, 1/4 mile south of the Blue Line Division stop). Current and potential cyclists of all ages are welcome. The class is part of the grassroots Chicago Bike Winter program started by bicycle activists three years ago to encourage all-season cycling in Chicago. Other activities throughout the winter include a bicycle art show, bicycle poetry night, bicycle film festival, and various bike rides. Despite Chicago's reputation for harsh winters too cold for any outside activity, there are plenty of days suitable for winter biking with the proper clothing, technique, and bike equipment. Winter biking helps you keep in shape, save time and money, and reduce pollution-- especially for short trips less than 3 miles that make up most errands. "You don't need to spend a lot of money on new hi-tech clothing or bicycles. An old thrift store bike upgraded with lights and fenders and some clothes you probably already have like sweat pants and a nylon windbreaker will work," according to Bob Matter, chair of the 2003 Chicago Bike Winter season. Dressing tips, bike maintenance, and safety will be covered in the class. The reasons people cycle throughout the winter are as varied as the people themselves. Some like the convenience; you can just hop on a bike and go-- you don't have to let it warm up or scrape ice off a windshield. Some don't like being dependent on CTA schedules or waiting for the bus. Some like the exercise to prevent winter weight gain. Bike Winter co-founder Gin Kilgore says "It's our civic duty. Politicians and planners need to see that cycling is a viable form of transportation every day of the year." Winter cycling does not require any special athletic prowess. Men and women do it. Adults and children do it. West Rogers Park resident Mark Lebowitz takes his 4-year-old daughter Shira winter cycling to see holiday lights and decorations. Wicker Park real estate broker Marshia Jackson cycles through the winter to meet with her clients stretching from the South Loop to the Northwest Side. The most important ingredient is willpower. Taking the class is the first step. See http://www.bikewinter.org for photos and stories of previous Bike Winter activities. Contact Bob Matter at rjmatter@prodigy.net or 219-845-5247 for more info.

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