Vehicular Cycling : Making A ‘Comeback’?

Background Reading

Summary

Let’s hope that this succeeds, big time! Chicago has begun a wave of “User-Friendly” changes to its bicycle infrastructure most of which is centered around Protected Bike Lanes (PBLs). These lanes are fine for “newbies” (provided they are properly installed), but in several instances in which the lack of simple items (such as “Bike Boxes” to make turns). Then those same riders are left without much needed guidance. The solution is to better understand the Rules of the Road and how to function (as a cyclist) as part of the wider roadway traffic family.

We cyclists seldom hear much about the word “family” in relation to automobiles. But in fact you can think of cycling as one of three legs to the “traffic stool“. The other two are pedestrians and motorists. When everyone behaves in a predictable manner then things can go better with respect to overall safety. Vehicular Cycling is designed to teach you strategies for functioning as the operator of a roadway traffic vehicle that just happens to be a bicycle.

Jane Blew Healy and Brendan H. Kevenides are the instructors for TS 101 course:

League of American Bicyclists' Traffic Skills 101

League of American Bicyclists’ Traffic Skills 101

Wanna learn to ride the city?

Then let’s do this together.  Jane Blew Healy and I will teach the League of American Bicyclists‘ Traffic Skills 101course in April at the REI store in Lincoln Park.  The TS 101 course is the foundation of the League’s Smart Cycling program which is “designed to develop your knowledge and expertise in the craft and science of bicycling.”  It provides the first building block for adults to learn to ride with confidence and competence.  It is strongly recommended for adult commuters, city cyclists and newbies (or aspiring newbies) alike.  It is also the prerequisite course for those interested in becoming a League Certified Instructor.  The program consists of nine hours of in class and on the road course work.  The class room portions will be on April 15 & 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at REI’s awesome community classroom in its store located at1466 North Halsted.  We are presently working on the details of the road riding portion, but it will take place in a nearby parking lot and on nearby streets.
Jane and I are certified instructors by the League of American Bicyclists and have been involved in Chicago’s vibrant cycling community for many years.  Jane is past president of the Active Transportation Alliance‘s board of directors and co-founder of Cycling Sisters, a group that encourages women to get more involved in cycling.  She is a mom and is often seen schlepping her kids around town on her bike.  She is an all around awesome woman.  I am a bicycle attorney, legal columnist for Urban Velo magazine, biking advocate and everyday cyclist.  You can learn more about my background here.
Save your spot in the class by emailing me at bhk@mybikeadvocate.com.  Please provide your name, age, email address and telephone number.  We will be back in touch in a few days with the particulars, including cost of the program.

Run, don’t walk to register for this class. This is information you need that is solid and time-tested. There is no blather or attitude from the League of American Bicyclists materials, just common sense, no bullshit information worth having. If you are an activist looking for information on how to save the planet and more ways to remove cars from the road, you probably won’t find that here. What you will learn are techniques on how to “take the lane” in situations where the “Bike Boxes” are non-existent. You will learn how to avoid the dreaded “Door Collisions” and how to stop your bike in panic situations. You will learn how to dress to keep yourself uppermost in the minds of motorists in busy traffic situations. And you will learn how to properly signal your intentions as well as what accessories work on your bike if you need to ride in poor light or night time conditions.

Go ahead! Take the class. You will not be disappointed.