I’ve been riding a bike since my dad bought me a second-hand Schwinn Tornado in the summer of 1962. I’m certainly an experienced cyclist, with many years and thousands of miles on the road. I’ve participated in and led rides for the Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen and the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club.
Why should you take a cycling safety course?
I’ve crushed three helmets, taken a couple of ambulance rides and spent a total of five overnights in three hospitals in the past dozen years as the result of crashes I’ve been involved in while riding my bicycles. While many of my cycling friends have not shared these kinds of experiences, some of them have not been so fortunate, suffering from more severe injuries and worse. Not all collisions are avoidable. Some of them are. In my humble opinion, if even one injury is preventable then it’s worth avoiding.
Just last week, I was driving my car to a bike ride in Ahwatukee. I took I-10 to Ray, and went west to 48th street, where I came to a red light. I waited for a break in the traffic coming from my left so I could make a right turn. Just as I was about to pull out into the intersection, I saw a cyclist coming from my right, riding against traffic in the southbound bike lane. Now, I know none of you would ride the wrong way on a bike lane or sidewalk, and I also know that I would have felt very badly if I had struck the cyclist with my car, which I came close to doing. Having taken an LAB sanctioned safe cycling course in 2016, I was aware that many cycling accidents happen when cyclists behave in ways that motor vehicle operators do not expect them to behave. Maybe that’s why I didn’t turn right into the path of this particular cyclist. I’m certainly glad that I had taken the course and hope that you feel the same way if you complete this course.
Kathy Mills, a member of PMBC and a League Certified Instructor for the League of American Bicyclists, has graciously agreed to teach the League’s Smart Cycling Course to anyone who wants to take it. There are two parts to the course; one is a classroom session to be held Thursday evening, February 7 from 6 to 9 pm, where the principles of Smart Cycling are reviewed and discussed with the participants. The second part is an on-the-road skills training session where the participants get the opportunity to practice specific collision avoidance skills, including the quick turn, rock dodge, and quick stop, to be held on Saturday afternoon, February 9, from 1 to 5 pm. The price of admission covers the course materials from the League, the cost to rent the classroom space, and not much more. It’s quite reasonable, especially considering that you don’t have to travel out of town to take the course. Terry and I had to go to Flagstaff to take ours (where it snowed on us). Others have even considered going to Santa Fe, New Mexico to take the course.
If I’ve convinced you to sign up, here’s the link in Eventbrite. It’s open to the public, so feel free to invite your friends and relatives to attend.
If you want to prepare for the course, or just want to learn more about the League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Safety Program, check out the videos on their web site at https://bikeleague.org/ridesmart.
Thank you for giving this your consideration.