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Green Team to host bike tour

DeannSkeels Bike Psychos Cycling Club says several hundred people are expected for Green Team's Bike Tour  through Oak Lawn

Deanna Skeels, of the Bike Psychos Cycling Club, says several hundred people are expected for the Green Team's Bike Tour through Oak Lawn on June 22. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times

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Hundreds of bicyclists will take to the streets June 22 during the Oak Lawn Green Team’s second annual bicycle tour.

Last year, the inaugural event drew about 200 bicyclists, said organizer Deanna Skeels, of the Bike Psychos Cycling Club, one of the event’s promoters.

This year, she thinks that number might double.

The event is a chance for residents to enjoy a fun day pedaling around town. The route will take folks on an eight to 10 mile tour of Oak Lawn, using residential streets and not asking people to pedal down busy and dangerous thoroughfares such as 95th Street or Cicero Avenue.

And, coming on the heels of Bike To Work Week, it’s a way to promote an environmentally friendly alternative to driving, she said.

Skeels, who lives in Oak Lawn, said the event’s main goal is “to increase awareness” about bicycles.

“Last year was fabulous,” Skeels said.

The ride will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Oak Lawn Patriot Station (the Metra train station) at 9525 S. Tulley Ave.

Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. On-site registration will not be available so bicyclists should register in advance at www.oaklawn-il.gov or at the village clerk’s office in the second floor of the village hall, 9446 S. Raymond Ave.

Registration also can be completed at the Green Team’s booth at the village farmers market on Wednesday. The final day to register is June 19.

The ride has the best price, too. It’s free. The first 200 people registered get T-shirts.

Skeels, 49, has been riding bikes “on and off for years.”

“I love being out in the fresh air, in the environment. (It’s) a chance to relax and not worry about anything else. Well, you’ve go to worry about cars.

“As a club, we do a lot of different rides. We do one in Michigan, there’s one from Oak Forest out to Peotone, Channahon to Morris, the botanical gardens. Plus, we do local rides during the week,” she said.

Some club members will be in a bike ride in Joliet on July 4, she said.

“We try to ride with the other bike clubs because we really want to get people out there riding their bikes. That’s what this is all about. Get out there (and) ride your bike no matter what your size or age is,” she said.

This year, there will be some kid-friendly events for children age 10 and younger, including a bike rodeo and safety information, she said.

For people new to bikes, or who may be rusty, it’s best to “learn where the (traffic) lights are and cross (busy streets) at intersections,” she said.

And, she said, always wear a helmet.

For more information about the June 22 event, call Skeels at (708) 220-2769.



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