The Evanston Bike Club was formed with 30 members in 1971 under the sponsorship of Evanston’s Recreation Department. Today we have more than 500 members who live in Evanston (35%), Chicago (20%), Wilmette (10+%), Skokie (5+%), Glenview (5+%) and other places (20+%). Our membership is about evenly split between men and women. What hasn’t changed since 1971 is EBC’s focus on safe, recreational cycling for adults. Fun. Friendship. Fitness. And, OK, Food.
Every day but Monday we have rides leaving from Evanston or Wilmette week in and week out. Our official “season” runs from St. Patrick’s Day through October, but the hardier among us ride year round when weather permits. From time to time on weekends, rides may start at “remote” locations in the northern suburbs or southern Wisconsin.
We offer rides in a broad range of paces and distances. Some of us cycle leisurely to an interesting site or restaurant; some of us cycle to achieve speed or endurance goals; some of us do both. The vast majority of our cycling miles are ridden on roads, though some of our rides may include bike paths or trails. We generally follow a “no drop” policy except on the very fastest of our rides.
There are also opportunities for multi-day destination rides with EBC. In recent years, we’ve offered summer rides in Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan and winter rides in Arizona, California, Texas and Florida.
For a more complete description, check out About EBC Rides and the Rides & Events schedule.
Many bike styles may be suitable for an EBC recreational group ride with our emphasis on safe riding. Most of us ride multi-gear road bikes on club rides – usually with classic dropped handlebars, but flat bars are not uncommon. You’ll also see the occasional recumbent or tandem. Some of us are fortunate enough to own more than one bike and may choose to use a vintage bike on a more moderately paced ride. Generally, the faster the pace, the lighter the bike and the more minimal the gear.
Sharing and Caring
The Evanston Bicycle Club has been the organizer of the North Shore Century ride since 1984. It is our pride and joy. It is entirely produced by 100+ club member volunteers. We welcome about 2,000 riders each year and are delighted to see their joy in the journey cycling through the northern suburbs and up to Kenosha.
We are equally delighted to donate a portion of the net proceeds from the North Shore Century to not-for-profit organizations that promote biking and bike safety. Recent grant recipients have included biking advocacy groups, youth bicycle programs, local biking programs and biking programs for the disabled.
On the third Tuesday of every month, we meet at the Evanston Ecology Center to catch up on each other’s recent adventures, have some snacks and hear a cycling-related program. We also publish a newsletter monthly.
Dollars and Cents
EBC members may enjoy discounts and/or rebates on:
- Membership in Ride With GPS, a route planning and ride recording website and app
- Rental of bike carriers (for shipping/flying)
- Purchase of a new bike helmet
- Discounts at local bike shops
Details are available upon joining EBC.