Training & Safety

Need some help getting into CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour cycling shape? Do you want to invite someone to join you on the tour who’s new to cycling and needs practice? Multiple training opportunities are available to help you prepare and be ready for a great CowaLUNGa ride.

Wheel & Sprocket (Evanston) Training Rides

Longtime CowaLUNGa sponsor Wheel & Sprocket, a great group of family-owned bike shops in Illinois and Wisconsin, hosts CowaLUNGa training rides from its 1027 Davis Street, Evanston, Illinois location. The weekly rides begin in May (weather permitting) and depart at 6:30 pm from the store, where parking is available. Each ride is approximately 30 miles and non-registered cyclists are welcome. Have a Cow jersey from a previous year? Wear it to promote CowaLUNGa while you train.

CowaLUNGa Training Rides

Join veteran CowaLUNGa cyclists for training rides and meet fellow tour riders.

Training rides are designed to support all riders in a group ride setting, to have camaraderie, get a feel for longer rides, introduce new riders to others riders, inquire about what to expect during COW weekend and so much more.. like ice cream!

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Bike Club of Lake Country Ramble ride:

June 9. Fee required.
http://bikebclc.com/ramble-ride/

  • a variety of mileage options available
  • Seeking COW riders to ride.
  • (contact) [email protected] cell: 312-315-0463

CowaLUNGa Training Redux

  • From Richmond Grade School  (5815 Broadway Rd, Richmond, IL)
  • Sunday, June 30th, Sunday July 7th and Sunday, July 28th 
  • Time: 8:00 AM roll out
  • Distance: Approximately 50 miles
  • Led by Jim Bove III        Team Fusion      Fanny Flag: Carbon Phoenix
  • Cell # 815-245-0982
  • This is not a supported ride.

Routes will vary but will all go to Lake Geneva. Courses are similar to roads that will be ridden in CowaLUNGa event. Rolling hills and some climbing.  Bring money there will be three rest stops, one of which will be a lunch stop. (Past stops have been a gas station, Subway, and Ice cream shop) Plenty of places in Richmond also to stop before returning home from ride.  Multi year CowaLUNGa veterans may remember routes form Howard’s training rides.

No rider will be left behind. Group will regather at each of stops if slower or faster riders
get separated. From past experiences I expect all riders will be back at school about
2:00 pm (6 hours for 50 +/- miles). Course maps on morning of rides showing turn by turn.

Richmond Training Ride

  • From Richmond to Lyons and back
  • Sunday, July 14
  • Meet up time 8AM at Richmond Elementary School parking lot located on 5815 Broadway Rd, Richmond, IL 60071
  • 40 miles along roads we will ride on day one and two of CowaLunga.
  • Led by Laura Mazzenga (aka fanny flag Pazza) and team captain of Team CowaLUNGa.
  • [email protected], cell: 312-315-0463
  • This is not a supported ride. We will support one another. I will have turn by turn queue sheets available.

Super Dawg Training Ride:

  • From forest preserve parking lot, northeast corner at Milwaukee and Devon, riding to Chicago Botanic Gardens and back
  • Sunday, July 28     
  • Meet up time 9AM
  • Led by Laura Mazzenga (aka fanny flag Pazza) and team captain of Team CowaLUNGa.
  • [email protected], cell: 312-315-0463
  • This is not a supported ride. We will support one another.
  • We will ride along the bike path to the Botanic Gardens, where we will take a break, then return for a shake or a dog or both at Super Dawg, if one desires.

Check back as additional training rides may become available

Other Invitational Rides/Events

The list below include other invitational rides/events that you can choose to use as “warm ups” for the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour. Registration is required and all have fees associated with participation.

Folks on Spokes, Park Forest, Illinois

Bike the Drive, Chicago, Illinois

Bike Club of Lake County’s Ramble, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Biking with Beanzie, DeKalb, Illinios

Venus de Miles (women’s ride), Lake Forest, Illinois

Local Cycling Clubs

Local cycling clubs have a variety of rides to choose from and are a good way to help you train for CowaLUNGa. Check out a club in your area for more information.

Chicago Cycling Club Rides

The CCC is a social club dedicated to promoting safe group cycling while highlighting the city of Chicago as a viable place to tour. Click here to learn more about these rides or to check the CCC ride schedule. If you attend any rides or functions with the CCC, please make sure to mention that you are with the CowaLUNGa Bike Tour.

Other Local Cycling Clubs

Arlington Heights Bicycle Club
Bicycle Club of Lake County (Libertyville)
Chicago Cycling Club
Elmhurst Cycling Club
Evanston Cycling Club
Fox Valley Bike & Ski Club (St. Charles)
McHenry Cycling Club (Crystal Lake)
Naperville Cycling Club
Oak Park Cycling Club
Schaumburg Cycling Club
Starved Rock Cycling Association
Wheeling Wheelmen Bicycle Club (Buffalo Grove)

Safety

Your safety is important. For your own safety and the safety of others:

  • All CowaLUNGa riders are required to wear secured bicycle helmets while on their bikes. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.
  • Please obey all traffic laws at all times.
  • Ride within your ability and physical condition.
  • Carry personal identification.
  • Bring a bike in good condition, with a spare tube, basic tools (optional), a water bottle, sunscreen, etc. (see the CowaLUNGa Packing List for additional suggestions).
  • The routes are on public roads which must be shared with motorists. Local Illinois and Wisconsin law enforcement authorities may patrol the roads and may issue citations for traffic violations.
  • Personal SAG vehicles are not permitted on the route. Please understand our need to reduce vehicular traffic for your safety. We provide SAG vehicles and full route support.
  • RHA reserves the right to have individuals removed from the ride.

Need information on bike safety and bike laws? Visit Ride Illinois and take their Bike Safety Quiz. You can find Wisconsin’s bike laws here.

CowaLUNGa Communities

Please be respectful of the communities that support and welcome CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour! Their hospitality makes this event possible. Every effort is made to keep you safe. Where possible, local law enforcement agencies have been recruited to help you travel safely through intersections and on shared roadways.

Identification

A Fanny Flag will be issued to each registered CowaLUNGa rider. SAG service and rest stop services will be available only to those riders with a Fanny Flag. See ride logistics for more details.

Ready to ride? Sign up for Cow emails.

You’ll receive occasional event updates throughout the year and alerts when registration for the CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour opens.

 

Still have questions? Visit CowaLUNGa FAQs or contact Gina Schwieger, Senior Director of Special Events, via email at [email protected] or call (312) 628-0210.