By Chuck Hill - Special
to the Green Valley News
Last Wednesday, almost 20 local bicyclists participated in the
classroom session of a Street Skills for Cyclists program. On
Saturday, the same group worked on skill development and then
practiced those skills by
cycling around Green Valley while purposefully encountering traffic
situations meant to reinforce cycling fundamentals.
This reinforced the concept of driving your bicycle as if were a
motorized vehicle. Some time was also spent on bicycle
maintenance and adjustments.
The program curriculum is developed by the League of American
Bicyclists and the classes are available in most parts of the
country. Programs are conducted by qualified LCI personnel (League
Leaders for the classroom session were Matt Zoll, Pima County
Department of Transportation, and local resident John Pilger.
Zoll is the Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and works
closely with municipalities and
organizations to improve facilities for alternative transportation
methods. Pilger had earlier attended an intensive training
program to become qualified as an LCI. Sheila Foraker, Education
coordinator for Perimeter Bicycling, led the skills and road riding
session on Saturday.
Matt Zoll reviews bicycle regulations with
class participants during last week s Street Skills for
The bike education gives
cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in
traffic or on the trail. The course covers bicycle safety
checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques
and includes a student manual. Recommended for adults and
children above age 14, this fast-paced, nine-hour course prepares
cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling. It shows you
how to drive your bike when you already know how to ride your bike.
After the Saturday session, one participant commented that he was
not previously aware of the various techniques that can be used to
assure safety when cycling in traffic and that he will now feel much
more comfortable when using his bike in traffic.
For more information and to register for these classes in Tucson or
Green Valley, please contact the
Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program at 243-BIKE (243-2453) or
Pilger at 648-7205.
Also see www.BikePed.Pima.gov.
Chuck Hill is a Green Valley cycling safety advocate.