What are Bike Jams and Buses?

An intro to our direct actions.

Sunday, June 26

View of a Bike Bus to Jamapalooza

Why Direct Action?

Here at Chicago, Bike Grid Now, we are working to make our city safer for all by demanding a network of safe streets on 10% of our streets. The grassroots campaign is how we can collectively pull to bring transformational change to Chicago and beyond. Here’s why. We need the Mayor, Alderpeople, and City Officials to do something that shows they are serious about making it safe to move around the city on a bike or as a pedestrian. The City needs to see that Chicagoans are fired up, engaged, and on the march for change. Our direct actions, Bike Jams and Bike Buses (which also include people on foot, scooters, wheelchairs, and skateboards), empower every Chicagoan who walks, bikes, or rolls to show up and demand something that can be rapidly deployed and have big impact.

What is a Bike Jam?

At the core, Bike Jams are super slow bike rides with a purpose. What’s the purpose? Jam up the streets to draw attention to the lack of safe streets infrastructure and to have fun. We ride as a group on bikes, Divvys, skateboards, unicycles, ebikes, cargo bikes, etc. Our first bike jam had 9 folks join and our largest bike jam had nearly 300! Signs are encouraged to connect with bystanders. We usually jam for 3-4miles and go ~4mph. We keep bike lanes clear and make way for buses and emergency vehicles. Our protests are also an opportunity for elected officials and candidates to come speak to constituents about what they will need to do to make Chicago safer for all.

What's a Bike Bus?

Bike Buses are our way of creating a safer way to get around where the city fails to provide protective infrastructure. We mass up in numbers and ride together as a group, safety in numbers. Our most common type of bus is the morning commute into the Loop but we have also organized Bike Buses to events like the Chicago Fire game with Chicago Family Biking, the "I'm Late Protest" with Commuters Take Action, and our monthly City Hall Bike Jam. We post our route, the stops we will be making, and have a bike bus tracker here. We ride at ~10mph and all wheels are welcome to join.