As the weather warms up, a new Logan Square Cycling Club will be hitting the streets near you.
The group formed after local activist Min Wang turned to a neighborhood Facebook group in search of an active Logan Square cycling club. No commenters could name a local group operating during the pandemic, so Wang proposed forming her own. About 30 commenters showed interest. Four weeks later, the Logan Square Cycling Club has a solid 55 members.
Wang credits her ability to take initiative in creating the cycling club to her recent activism. She said organizing work taught her that “if there’s not something you’re expecting, why don’t you just do it yourself?” In March, when Wang couldn’t find a protest to attend after the mass shooting at a spa in Atlanta, she co-founded Stop Asian Hate Chicago. The group planned its own rally at the Illinois Centennial Monument, drawing hundreds of supporters.
“Just being in Logan Square I really got a sense of community,” Wang said. “If you want to do something, people are gonna support you.”
Cycling Club Collaboration
Wang is fostering a supportive community through her group. Her intention is not to be the only admin or organizer. Everyone in the club is free to plan their own rides, ask each other questions or share information about local cycling events.
Wang is happy to use the group page as a forum for helpful biking info. She regularly shares useful links for other cyclists, including Bike Lane Uprising’s new ride directory, a brief history of biking in Chicago and details about a gear swap earlier this month. No question is too simple for the group to answer. “My intention was to create a safe space, because in the cycling world there is a lot of jargon,” Wang said.
Wang and a former neighbor organized the club’s first ride in the beginning of April. It was small but a success. Most recently, the local bikers joined BFF Bike’s ride on the lakefront trail.
Wang started biking seriously last year, and said she understands the concerns of cyclists joining group rides for the first time. Teaching safety standards like hand signals and group ride commands is important to her. “That’s something I didn’t learn until I rode in a big group,” she explained. “So now, I want to pass my knowledge to them. So they can enjoy riding in a big group more and more and join more of our rides in the future.”
“I think my next step may be like planning some historical or architectural tours of Logan Square or Avondale,” Wang said, “because this [area] is really rich in history and especially immigrant history.” Cycling history too, due to the former presence of the Schwinn family in Logan Square and Hermosa.
Wang is also interested in modeling future rides after Cycling in Solidarity Chicago. It’s a group that bikes to locations to volunteer together. Wang said she would love to replicate this concept in Logan Square, envisioning the cycling club delivering food to neighbors or helping with local events.
“Anybody who volunteers for any community service or social service organization, feel free to reach out to us if you are in need of volunteers,” Wang said. “As the organizer of Cycling Club, I would love to just dedicate some volunteers to help.”
To anyone unsure about joining the cycling club, Wang said, “No matter what kind of bike you have and how many years and miles you have had on your bike, we’re just a bunch of cyclists who love to make friends, care about the community and enjoy the good weather in our lovely neighborhood. So feel free to join us and we will help you in whatever way we can.”
Featured photo: BFF Bikes hosts group rides every other Sunday. Photo: Min Wang