Busse Woods Cyclists Enjoy Pit Stops from Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove

Submitted by Yasmina Blackburn
Updated 6/26/2018 7:32 AM
  • Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove join Cook County Forest Preserve Police and Conant High School student volunteers for the June 2018 Pit Stop at Busse Woods bike trail.

    Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove join Cook County Forest Preserve Police and Conant High School student volunteers for the June 2018 Pit Stop at Busse Woods bike trail. Courtesy of Yasmina Blackburn

Elk Grove Village is very lucky to have Friends of Cycling (FCEG), an advocacy group started by resident, David Simmons, whose members tirelessly promote cycling, safety and the benefits of riding your bike. They form relationships in the surrounding communities, raise funds to install bike racks at area businesses and sponsor regular bike rides for seasoned and novice bike enthusiasts alike. It's hard not to catch the "bike bug" when you start to follow this group of happy community members sharing what they love with the world.

June of 2018, FCEG sponsored a Busse Woods bike trail "Pit Stop." It started when they noticed that the bike trails attract cyclists of all levels -- particularly on weekends -- which can pose dangers to slower cyclists and other trail users. They brainstormed ways to help; and, the Pit Stop was born. It has turned out to be a fun, positive event with a lot of interested volunteers stepping forward.

The June Pit Stop was set up along the bike trail at the elk den at Arlington Heights Road and Higgins Road. FCEG members and volunteers joined forces with the Cook County Forest Preserve Police. FCEG provides refreshments, area bike trail maps, stickers, free bike bells, lip balm and water bottles. Cyclists, adults and youth, that ride up without a helmet, are offered to be sized for a free helmet provided by the forest preserve police.

The group tracks the impact of the pit stop events and plans to continue and build upon their previous successes. They have connected with thousands of cyclists and trail users; volunteers have provided hundreds of hours of their time; and in 2 years, they passed out nearly 500 free helmets.

Students from Conant High School joined the volunteer team in June to earn community service hours for the Harper Promise scholarship program- and to promote an activity that they already love. Elk Grove High School hosted a Bike-to-School day. Conant kids plan to take the idea across town as well.

FCEG remains committed to work with the community to promote the "5 Es":

• Engineering: Physical infrastructure and hardware to support cycling

• Education: Programs that ensure the safety, comfort and convenience of cyclists and fellow road users

• Encouragement: Incentives, promotions and opportunities that inspire and enable people to ride

• Enforcement: Equitable laws and programs that ensure motorists and cyclists are held accountable

• Evaluation: Processes that demonstrate a commitment to measuring results and planning for the future

Follow the FCEG on their website: http://www.egvbikes.org. They have very active social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook and host regular events throughout the year. One of the more popular events is "Bike with the Mayor." A 503c organization, membership dues and donations are fully tax deductible.

Cycling is a great way to incorporate low impact exercise into your life and to connect with nature. So, grab your bike, put on your helmet -- and let's ride!

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