Cyclists pedal with a purpose; support local communitiesSeptember 1, 2020
Streets Calling Bike Club, a cycling group formed in April, was created to provide an environment to socialize at a safe distance and promote health and wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What started with a few cyclists quickly turned to more than 800 individuals who are passionate about biking and giving back to their community. ComEd employees Jeremy Rykard and Brigitte Love are among them.
Rykard, who has been part of the cycling community for several years, joined the club to socialize safely amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Riding with this group was an escape from sitting in the house all day,” he said.
After hearing about Rykard’s experience, Love wanted to get involved.
“I haven’t been on a bike since I was a child, and on my first ride, I used my daughter’s bike,” Love said. “Fast forward a few weeks later, I woke up and told myself I would do a 100-mile ride in one day. On August 9, I did just that by riding my bike from the South Side of Chicago to the border of Kenosha, Wis., and back.”
People of all backgrounds can join the bike club, but riders are mostly African Americans from the Chicago metropolitan area. Rides occur twice a week and range from 12 to 23 miles each ride.
Members of the club come together to ride, but also to support their communities.
“After most rides, the group patronizes black-owned business,” Love said. “We also recently went on a ride in honor of Juneteenth.”
They even bought someone interested in joining the club a new bike to help support his mental health challenges during the pandemic.