How will you protect riders from COVID-19?

Our health and safety policies below have changed based on improvements in COVID-19 positivity rates, increased vaccination rates, and decreases in hospitalizations. We prioritize the safety of all participants and will continue to monitor and follow guidance from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). This includes any restrictions on the size of in-person gatherings.

  • Masks: RHA will follow any local, state, federal, or venue protocols required at the time of the event. There is currently no mask requirement for outdoor events, and they will not be required. Participants, volunteers, staff, and guests are encouraged to wear a mask in areas at the event where large numbers of people gather – such as the start line, dinner, etc.
  • Vaccinations: 2 and 3-day riders who are at least 16 years of age and volunteers are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. While the 2022 event will not require 18-mile and 1-day riders to provide proof of vaccination, we strongly encourage all participants to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, we recommend all participants take a Covid test within 72 hours of the event and do not participate in case of a positive test or if they continue to show symptoms.
  • Social distancing: Social distancing guidelines will be encouraged throughout the event.
  • Event participants, volunteers, and vendors who may be experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, or who have recently been in contact with a person experiencing symptoms, are asked not to attend the event.


Is there day-of-event registration?

No! Online registration closes approximately 24 hours prior to event day. After that time, call (312) 628-0210 to check availability as last minute cancellations may create open spots to participate.

I’m riding CowaLUNGa by myself. Do others ride alone?

Yes! The CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour hosts families with their young children, groups who register together, and individuals who ride alone. No matter who you are, you will meet lots of people with similar interests and by the time the ride is over, you’ll have many new friends. Everyone becomes part of the CowaLUNGa family (CowaLUNGa can even take credit for a number of marriages!). If you think you’d feel more comfortable being part of a team, read more about joining Team CowaLUNGa here.

Am I required to fundraise?

Fundraising is required unless you are participating in the virtual ride only. Funds raised by CowaLUNGa riders support RHA’S mission to promote healthy lungs and clean air through education, research, and policy change. We’ve set reasonable minimums and have many past participants who’ve raised well above that amount. Review the requirements and deadlines and explore our fundraising support resources to help you reach your fundraising goals.

Please note: If you do not meet your fundraising minimum by the fundraising deadline, August 19, 2022, the credit card number provided at the time of registration will be charged the difference between the current amount raised and the minimum required.  If the credit card information is not current when we charge, you will be notified to provide a valid credit card number. You are not allowed to participate in this year’s ride if you have not fulfilled the minimum pledge requirement from a past event.

I don’t own an expensive bike. Will I have to purchase a new one for CowaLUNGa?

No. It’s not important to own an expensive bike. What is important is your bike fits you, you are comfortable on it, and you have trained on it. Also, it’s important your bicycle is in good condition. We suggest a tune-up at one of our sponsoring bike shops, Never Ending Cycles or Wheel & Sprocket’s eleven locations. CowaLUNGa participants ride different types of bikes – road bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, recumbents and even tandems. Rode bikes are suggested rather than mountain bikes.

I’ve never been on an organized ride before and I’m a little nervous.

Your nervousness is completely understandable! Respiratory Health Association (RHA) has hosted 25 successful bike tours and will be there to help you along the way. You’ll receive lots of support throughout the ride. Safety and Gear (SAG) drivers patrol the route in case you need a ride or other assistance. Mobile bike shops are available for on-the-road repairs. Medical volunteers keep an eye on our riders and remind everyone to stay hydrated. Veteran Cow riders will also support you every mile. As a new rider, your custom fanny flag (like a bike license plate) will identify you as a first time rider with one large Bessie Cow sticker.  Likewise, all fanny flags will be marked with Bessie Cow stickers to represent each year ridden. We supply food, arrange overnight accommodations, transport your gear, and get you and your bike back to the start line location. RHA even provides pre-ride training opportunities and fundraising coaching. We make available the tools you need for a successful and enjoyable experience.