How We Prepare for Bike the Drive

For the last four years, participant Caleb Streeter has joined our Bike the Drive Dream Team biking up Lake Shore Drive. Over these four years, the event has become a family tradition for the Streeters. Caleb’s father, Bill, joins the Dream Team too, and together they typically bike from Buckingham Fountain to Sheridan. But this year Caleb and his dad are looking for a challenge.

Caleb and his father smile at the camera, both wearing purple shirts and blue helmets“We’re going to start from downtown and go all the way to Sheridan this year. That’s 15 miles,” Caleb explains. “Plus, me and my dad’s church friend wanted to accompany us this year. We’ve been talking to him about it, and he decided this is the year to do it!”

Biking with the team is part of what makes Bike the Drive so much fun for Caleb. “It’s more enjoyable than riding by myself. I like having a person to talk to, somebody watching me. My dad and me are used to it because back home we bike together too.” Biking Lake Shore Drive with a team also means that Caleb can look out for his friends and family, and they can help him too.

How Caleb Is Getting Ready

Caleb wears green, the same as Lindsay on the left. Caleb is preparing for his 15-mile bike ride with longer rides, especially since the weather is finally getting warmer. But first, he needed to get his bike checked out at Wheel & Sprocket after the long winter. This year it was time for some upgrades for Caleb’s light gray Giant Revel bike. “I had to install new wheels because my old fat tires were getting hard to lock up outside my apartment, so I got thinner ones.” Caleb continued, “My bike seat was old and it kept getting loose. The bicycle people said I should get a new seat. It would just slip out, and I couldn’t deal with that anymore!”

In preparing for Bike the Drive, Caleb demonstrates responsibility and enthusiasm, but he knows to ask for help when he needs it. His tutor, Ricky, supported Caleb in figuring out how much air should go in his tires and how to secure his bike better after his old bike was stolen. With Ricky’s help, Caleb is more confident and safer when he is biking.

Caleb is excited to continue participating in Bike the Drive and our Bike Club. The club meets on Wednesdays, and Caleb joins Activities Director Jeff Morthorst and several other participants in biking around Evanston. The group often bikes around Northwestern University or along the lakeshore.

How You Can Help Caleb & the Dream Team

Caleb and his dad prepared for Bike the Drive together and stand in front of colorful mosaic wallThe Dream Team fundraises every year to support activities Independent Futures provides like Bike Club. Every dollar donated helps to keep our activities calendar full of exciting events. If you donate today, the funds you contribute will support supplies for Art Club, snacks for Saturday Cinema, and bicyclists in getting to and from Bike the Drive.

Explaining his favorite part of Bike the Drive, Caleb shared, “Doing Bike the Drive, you have a different vantage point than what you would normally see. It’s fun! I’m getting excited about it! The more people the better!”

With the support of our generous community, we hope to continue providing participants like Caleb with opportunities like Bike the Drive for many years to come. Donate today to help the Dream Team achieve their goals!

Join Dream Team on Lake Shore Drive

Join Center for Independent Futures for a biking experience like no other at MB Bike the Drive. On Sunday, May 26, 2019, Chicago’s iconic Lake Shore Drive will be closed to cars, leaving an open expanse of road available to bikers. Watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan and take in stunning views of the city skyline as you soar down the open road.

When you ride with Center for Independent Futures’ Dream Team, you’ll be part of a team of individuals with and without disabilities, including participants, staff, board members, and friends. Our team members participate in this incredible event and raise funds for our programs and services in honor of their ride. Center for Independent Futures makes it easy to participate by supporting riders to sign up for the event, helping with fundraising, and taking care of transportation logistics on the day of the event.

How to Join the Dream Team

We offer incentives for different levels of fundraising, like a refund of your Bike the Drive registration fee and tickets to our annual events. All funds raised by our dedicated riders will support

Center for Independent Futures’ vision of a future where individuals with disabilities have access to all opportunities of a full life.

To learn more about Bike the Drive and to join the Dream Team, contact Jeff Morthorst at (847) 328-2044.

Smooth Riding for Bike the Drive

Lindsay and Mary Grace enjoying the sun after Bike the Drive.

For the seventh year, Center for Independent Futures’ Bike the Drive team joined thousands of other local bicyclists in the early morning on Sunday, May 27th to take advantage of a rare opportunity to bike Lake Shore Drive. Our team met at the office in Evanston just after 5 am, and then they were ready to go into the city and take on the Drive.

Though the day was one of Chicago’s hottest yet, our team stayed hydrated from beginning to end. Two staff members accompanied our team of nine participants and one family member along this unique stretch. For a couple of team members, this was their sixth year of riding with Center for Independent Futures, but the team also had a couple of new members this year too.

Bike the Drive may be just nine miles from its starting point, but most of our team chose to ride all the way back to Evanston! Though some of our newer team members chose to go back separately, the rest of the team each helped on the bike ride back to the office, from showing new riders directions to bringing up the caboose and keeping the team together.

For the rest of the summer, many members of our team will continue to go to Bike Club and practice the rules of the road. If you would like to contribute to the Bike the Drive team, you can still help them reach their fundraising goal!

How to Help the Dream Team

You can donate to an individual team member by clicking on their team member page, or you can donate to the whole team by clicking the bright orange “Donate Now” button. Each donation helps keep the Center for

12 members of Bike the Drive team pose for group photo.
Center for Independent Futures’ Bike the Drive team poses for a group photo.

Independent Futures calendar full of great activities for our community, supporting individuals in fulfilling their hopes and dreams.

Thank you for supporting Center for Independent Futures’ Bike the Drive team again this year!

Support the Dream Team at Bike the Drive

The weather is getting warmer, and it’s starting to feel nice to step outside. Do you know what that means?

It’s time for Bike the Drive!

The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Lake Shore Drive closes to cars bright and early to prepare for many bikers’ favorite ride of the year. Bicycling magazine recently named Chicago the #1 biking city in America, so it’s no surprise that Lake Shore Drive will be packed with bicyclists throughout the morning.

Some of those bicyclists will be riding for our very own Dream Team. Center for Independent Futures participants and community members will be biking the drive, but they need your support!

Our community is biking to raise funds to support the Center for Independent Futures mission: creating innovative service models that support individuals with disabilities and their families to live full, independent lives. The Dream Team has a goal to raise $10,000, and you can help them get there!

How to Help the Dream Team

The team is busy biking and training for this big event, and we’re all getting excited. To support the team, visit our Bike the Drive Crowdrise fundraising page. You can donate online in support of whichever team member you choose — or you can support the team as a whole.

If you’re interested in riding with the team, reach out to the office to find out how to sign up and when to arrive. During this special event available just once a year, the opportunity to have a great time biking and support a wonderful community is a guaranteed fun day.

To learn more about the Dream Team and how to support our riders, contact Niki Moe at nmoe@independentfutures.com or (847) 328-2044.

Counting Down to Bike the Drive 2018

Chicago’s bikers are getting special treatment on Lake Shore Drive in just 53 short days! On May 27, the city is shutting down Lake Shore Drive to all vehicles for bikers to ride between the Museum of Science and Industry to Bryn Mawr on what we all hope will be a gorgeous Sunday. Bike the Drive 2018 is a wonderful opportunity to experience a piece of Chicago that most of us don’t get to see very often.

Past Dream Team poses for group photo prior to Bike the Drive 2018Center for Independent Futures Dream Team is riding again this year! Many of our bikers are riding to raise funds to support our mission: creating innovative service models that support individuals with disabilities in living full, independent lives. Like past years, you and your friends have the thrilling opportunity to ride alongside our vibrant community of bikers. All you need to do is register for Bike the Drive.

Once you have signed up for Bike the Drive 2018, you can make yourself a member of our fundraising team through CrowdRise, a site that hosts fundraisers for nonprofits. Signing up is easy, but if you need any help, please reach out to us.

Want to participate, but know biking isn’t really your thing? You can donate to Center for Independent Futures’ team directly, or you can donate to the account of one of our participants on CrowdRise.

The most unique bike ride of the year awaits — register today and then add yourself to our CrowdRise as a member of Team Center for Independent Futures!

For more information about this event, email Jeff Morthorst or call our Evanston office at (847) 324-2044.

Our Top 10 Moments of 2017

Join Center for Independent Futures in celebrating our favorite moments from 2017, our fifteenth anniversary year. We look forward to supporting more full lives and stronger communities in 2018!

Our Top 10 Moments

  1. We published our 2016 annual report to share stories of support, including Nestor’s full life, students planning for the future, and communities 3 members of 2017 Bike the Drive team smile after successful ride.creating connections. Read the annual report here!
  2. Our annual SPARK gala was an evening of glamour under the stars. Staff member Rob Larson, participant Matthew LaChapelle, and community partner First Bank & Trust received Jane Doyle AWESOME! Awards. Check out the Facebook photo album here.
  3. Staff members traveled internationally to Canada to work with Community Living Essex County and across the country to train Club 21 in Pasadena, California. Click here to learn about our Full Life ProcessTM resources, being shared in Illinois and beyond.
  4. The Dream Team soared down Lake Shore Drive in Bike the Drive, raising funds for Center for Independent Futures while enjoying amazing views of the skyline and Lake Michigan. Read about the ride here.
  5. Life Tools Campers from Evanston Township High School explored their community and learned new skills. Find out where their week took them.
  6. Our young professional board welcomed new members, including a new board chair. Learn about the Auxiliary Board and how to get involved.
  7. Eight runners representing Team CIF took the 26.2 mile journey of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, every step supporting the journeys individuals with disabilities take along the way to full, independent lives. Read more about race day here.
  8. Our community celebrated Halloween in style at our annual party. Check out the creative costumes in our Facebook photo album here!
  9. We celebrated community and local cuisine at our fourteenth annual Executive Director Ann and Board co-chair Jeff smile at Something's Cooking. Something’s Cooking. This fall classic was updated with a new venue, new restaurants and breweries, and live music. Read more here.
  10. Our community raised over $27,000 in 24 hours on #GivingTuesday, supporting individuals with disabilities and the friends, family members, and communities that they interact with every day. Learn about the success here.

Dream Team Conquers Bike the Drive

On Sunday, May 28, the Center for Independent Futures Dream Team woke up before the sun rose. By 5:15 a.m., they were at the office, ready for the first leg of their journey into the city for the MB Bike the Drive.

During Bike the Drive, our Dream Team and thousands of other bikers took over Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, which was closed to cars for the event. The skyline on one side and Lake Michigan on the other perfectly framed miles of open road. The cyclists who rode with the team included participants, staff members, and other community members, some of whom rode for the sixth year in a row. Two father-son duos rode this year, along with three staff members and three members of our Auxiliary Board.

The ride set off from Chicago’s iconic Buckingham Fountain, where the Dream Team headed north. The trip to the end of Lake Shore Drive was nine miles, and many riders continued on their bikes all the way back to Evanston.

Bike the Drive 2017 may be over, but you can still support the riders by helping them reach their fundraising goals. To support the Dream Team, visit their fundraising page at this link. You can donate to the efforts of individual riders by clicking on the photos at the bottom of the page, or support the entire team by clicking on the orange “Donate to this fundraiser” button. Thank you to our team and all who supported their efforts to ride for hopes and dreams.

To see more photos from the event, click here!

Help our Bike the Drive Riders Soar

Before dawn on Sunday, May 28, Lake Shore Drive will become a quiet expanse of pavement, emptied of cars. When Bike the Drive 2017 begins, thousands of cyclists will fill the road to enjoy beautiful views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Though the sights are stunning, some riders are hitting the street for more than a nice view.

Bikers representing Center for Independent Futures’ Dream Team will ride to raise funds for our mission: creating innovative service models that support individuals with disabilities and their families to live full, independent lives. The Dream Team has a goal to raise $10,000, and our riders need your support.

The team is a community of adults with and without disabilities including participants, staff, and other community members, many of whom are riding with us for the sixth year in a row. They’ll gather in Evanston before sunrise and travel to the city together for the ride of a lifetime.

Our bikers are busy training, spreading the word, and getting their bikes tuned up. To support our riders, visit the Dream Team’s Crowdrise online fundraising page at this link. You can donate to the efforts of individual riders by clicking on the photos toward the bottom of the page, or support the entire team by clicking on the orange “Donate to this fundraiser” button.

To learn more about the Dream Team and how to support our riders, contact Niki Moe at nmoe@independentfutures.com or (847) 328-2044.

Join the Dream Team for Bike the Drive

Join Center for Independent Futures for a biking experience like no other at MB Bike the Drive. On May 28, Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive will be closed to cars, leaving eight lanes available to bikers. Watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan and take in stunning views of the skyline as you soar down the open road.

When you ride with Center for Independent Futures’ Dream Team, you’ll be part of a team of individuals with and without disabilities, including participants, staff, board members, and friends. Our team members participate in this incredible event and raise funds for our programs and services in honor of their ride. Center for Independent Futures makes it easy to participate by supporting riders to sign up for the event, helping with fundraising, and taking care of transportation logistics on the day of the event.

We offer incentives for different levels of fundraising, like a refund of your Bike the Drive registration fee and tickets to our annual events. All funds raised by our dedicated riders support Center for Independent Futures’ vision of a future where individuals with disabilities have access to all opportunities of a full life.

To learn more about Bike the Drive and join the Dream Team, contact Niki Moe at (847) 328-2044 or nmoe@independentfutures.com.

Success Stories

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