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Archive for the ‘Bike Education’ Category

Teaching Adults How To Ride A Bike

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Jeanette Rides

When I started back up with cycling, several years back, one of my goals was to become certified as a bike instructor – mostly to teach kids how to ride safely. With the support of a strong bike education community in my area, I was able to become an LCI – (League Cycling Instructor), certified by the League of American Cyclists.

With my certification, I am able to teach a broad range of classes that include Traffic Skills 101, Commuting, Bicycling Skills Youth 123 and Bicycling Skills 123. I’m also qualified to teach Group Riding Skills, but quite frankly, I only prefer to teach those with little or no cycling experience.

I’ve taught a few Traffic Skills 101 classes as well as a few Youth 123 (Bike Rodeos), which are both enjoyable and quite rewarding. However, I’ve discovered that my favorite class to teach is actually a hybrid of the adult Bicycling Skills 123, where we teach adults how to ride.

Learning to ride as an adult is actually more common than you would think. There are plenty of adults who never had an interest or opportunity to learn when they were younger. Fortunately, that didn’t stop them from wanting to learn as adults. Of course, different people pick it up faster than others, which makes instructing as challenging as it is fulfilling. I’m still new to teaching the class, and I’ve discovered that I’m continually learning better ways to teach with each new student.

The end result is always extremely gratifying to me – especially when I see the huge grin on each person’s face as they ride a bike for the first time.

If you are an adult or know one who cannot ride a bike and live in the north Texas area, please reach out to my group to fine out when the next available class will be. We’d be happy to teach you.

Written by dickdavid

August 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Bike League’s Andy Clarke Visits North Texas

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DFW BFC Meeting

We are very fortunate to have a League of American Bicyclist board member, Gail Spann living in north Texas. Her dedication to cycling and bike education is an inspiration for many bicyclists, advocates and enthusiasts. This past weekend, she and her husband, Jim, hosted a visit from the League’s president, Andy Clarke, who came to talk to us about Bike Education and the Bike Friendly Communities Program in north Texas.

Given that our time with Andy was limited and wanting to keep this visit focused, we set up two meetings with just a few key instructors, advocates, industry leaders and city officials.

Bike Education:
The first meeting – which was held Sunday evening at Gail’s house – was about the current education program, were several local LCIs (League Cycling Instructors) met with Andy for dinner and a ’round table’ discussion. We discussed ways to make the program better and how to reach a larger audience. Quite a few good ideas were discussed and many of us left the meeting inspired and ready to move the program forward.

LCI Meeting

LCI Meeting

Bike Friendly Communities:
The second meeting – held on Monday evening at the Plano Parks and Recreation office – was about north Texas and the the Bike Friendly Communities Program. Attending, were representatives of BikeTexas, BikeDFW, Bike Friendly RichardsonBike Friendly Oak Cliff and Plano Bicycle Association, city officials from Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Richardson, and industry leaders from Richardson Bike Mart and Plano Cycling and Fitness.

At this meeting, city officials were able to openly discuss the efforts that have been made towards bicycling infrastructure, issues and concerns with the Bike Friendly Communities Program and ways to get clear benchmarks moving forward. It was evident that many of the city officials weren’t expecting a ranking based on the current program, but wanted to see some sort of recognition for the expenses and efforts made so far. They felt that having this would help motivate and inspire city management and council to continue investing in bicycling education and infrastructure.

Given the limited amount of time, we were able to have a good conversation with Andy Clarke, and he was able to assure us that the League of American Bicyclists was listening and willing to help us achieve our goals of becoming bike friendly communities. It was nice to be able to have this direct link to the League to make it clear that cycling is growing in north Texas and we are a strong community of bicycle riders.

DFW BFC Meeting

DFW BFC Meeting

DFW BFC Meeting

DFW BFC Meeting

Recap – Traffic Skills 101 Class In Allen, Texas

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Last weekend I got to help teach another Traffic Skill 101 class, at the Allen Community Outreach center, in Allen, Texas. It was a good group of about a dozen students, mixed in experience and skill levels. We also had some graduates of the course, visit and observe, in preparation to taking their own LCI class next month.

I hope to see more of these classes open up this year and get more cyclists on the right track to becoming better and safer riders. It’s also great that students are striving to become instructors. Below, are some pics from the class. You can also find the entire set here.

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Warren Providing Some Instructions

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 20144850_sm

Quick Stop Drill

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

More Quick Stop

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Rock Dodge Drill

IMG_4883LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014_sm

Betsy Give Instructions

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Road Course. We got To do one-on-one instruction.

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Lunch

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Lunch

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Lunch

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Heading Back. Watching Our Door Zones.

Written by dickdavid

January 22, 2014 at 7:07 am

North Texas Traffic Skills 101 Cycling Courses – November and December 2013

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Scanning Drills

I’m a League Cycling Instructor with BikeDFW, and we are offering two chances to take the Traffic Skills 101 class in north Texas. They’re filling up fast, and you don’t want to miss out.

Traffic Skills 101 (TS101) gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. Through TS101, students learn how to conduct bicycle safety checks, fix a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques. We recommended this class for adults and children above age fourteen.

When: Sunday, Nov 24 (that’s this weekend!!)
Time: 7:50am – 3:00pm
Where: Allen Community Outreach
801 E. Main Street, Allen, TX 75002
Cost: Cost:
$ 20.00 for BikeDFW members
$ 50.00 for others. (If you pay the $ 50.00, you will get a free one (1) year membership in BikeDFW)
Information and registration:
 CLICK HERE

OR

When: Sunday, Dec 8
Time: 7:50am – 3:00pm
Where: Allen Community Outreach
801 E. Main Street, Allen, TX 75002
Cost: Cost:
$ 20.00 for BikeDFW members
$ 50.00 for others. (If you pay the $ 50.00, you will get a free one (1) year membership in BikeDFW)
I
nformation and registration:
 CLICK HERE

What to bring:
– Tuition
– Bike in good working condition
– Helmet
– Lunch money

PLEASE NOTE:
The classroom portion is done online at www.bikeed.org prior to the actual class and you should expect to spend 1.5 – 2 hours doing this. When you register PLEASE use the DALLAS area as your location in the pull down menu.

Written by dickdavid

November 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Pics and Recap From Last Weekend’s Bike Rodeo In Allen, TX

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Bike And Helmet Giveaway

Last Saturday, August 24, a group of BikeDFW board members and volunteers helped out the City of Allen with the Back to School Bash, at First United Methodist Church. The event offered lower income families in Allen a chance to get physicals, schools supplies, haircuts, participate in a Bike Rodeo and more, all at no cost.

Ready To Do The Course

With some help from the Allen Turning Boys 2 Men Leadership Group, we set up a Bicycling Skills 123 Youth, Bike Rodeo in the parking lot to teach some basic handling and safety skills. Many of the kids weren’t able to show up on their bicycles, so we ended up having many of them run or walk the course. They were still able to learn the fundamentals of bike safety and practice their hand signals.

Running The Course

Also, McKinney Velo Club partnered with Texas Medical Association and purchased bicycle helmets for us to give away to any kids that needed them. I’m happy to say that we gave away over 120 helmets.  Overall, it was a good day for bicycle safety in Allen, Texas. We hope to bring more of these event throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Fitted For Helmets

I’ve Learned How To Teach Adults How To Ride A Bicycle

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BS123_July2013_02

Image © Gail Copus Spann

One of the main reasons that I became a League Cycling Instructor was to teach people how to ride bikes and how to do it safely. Although the League’s Traffic Skills 101 has been a staple course that’s taught in my area, my hope is to get better trained at Bicycling Skills 123 and Bicycling Skills 123 Youth and teach kids how to ride safer. If you teach them young, perhaps they’ll carry those skills with them into adulthood.

Something that I never considered was teaching adults how to ride. Being connected to our local advocacy group, BikeDFW and a network of local LCIs, we discovered that there was enough interest in this course, that we decided to offer it.

Many of our available instructors (including myself) were not fully trained in teaching this course, so we reached out to Gail Copus Spann, who is not only an LCI, but also trains them. Gail was able to take time away from her busy schedule as Chair of the Board of Directors for the League of American Bicyclists, to help teach both students and instructors. The students learned how to ride while the instructors picked up some great techniques on how to teach this course.

We decided to have the course at Bob Woodruff Park, in Plano, where there was plenty of open space that included a nice, grassy hill. The class was scheduled to run just a couple of hours, because any longer, students start to get burned out and too tired to focus. That was plenty of time to get the students acquainted with the basic fundamentals of the course and allow them to continue at their own pace, if needed.

Bicycling Skills 123 - Teaching Adults To Ride

The first thing we noticed in offering this course, is that most of the students did not have their own bicycles. This made sense, since they haven’t ridden before. We were able to pull together a few loaners, which we plan to offer for future courses. Once we got all of the bikes set up and fitted for each student, we were able to start taking them through the steps.

Bicycling Skills 123 - Teaching Adults To Ride

The pace of the course was slow by design. The goal was to steadily teach each student how to control the bike and not let the bike control them. Gail guided the students down the low-sloping, grassy hill dozens of times to help them gain their confidence and increase their skill level. With every run, our team of instructors would watch and evaluate the student’s progress – providing positive feedback. We were amazed at the level of progression that was made by each student throughout the course.

Bicycling Skills 123 - Teaching Adults To Ride

BS123_July2013_03

Bicycling Skills 123 - Teaching Adults To Ride

By the end of the class, all of the students were able to ride their bikes. The smiles on their faces reminded us of how wonderful it is to start somebody down the amazing path of bicycling. I enjoyed working with Gail and the other instructors, Warren, Mike and Bob. I hope to get more opportunities to assist people with courses like this.

Bicycling Skills 123 - Teaching Adults To Ride

Welcome To Bike Month 2013

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NBM_Facebook_header2

As I say every year, EVERY month is National Bike Month – we all know that. However, it’s nice that national organizations like The League of American Bicyclists (who originated National Bike Month) and People For Bikes, are focusing their efforts on May – one of the best months to bicycle – just so that they can get some good traction and be more effective with their messaging.

TheLEAGUE-BikeMonth

Speaking of messaging, they’ve even come up with some helpful things (pdf) that advocates can post on Facebook and Twitter. Here are a few:

• Where will the ride take you? Join us this Bike Month to find out! [link]*
• Bike Month is here! What’s your favorite way to celebrate cycling?
• What are your favorite places to ride in [your community]?
• Do something different this Bike Month. Download the League’s BIke Month Bingo card and join the fun! bikeleague.org/bikemonth
• Are you grabbing your morning coffee on two wheels this morning? What’s the best thing about Bike to Work Day this year?
• Hopping on your bike instead of the bus to school this morning? Let us know how your celebration of Bike to School Day is going!
• Honor the past and empower the future of women in cycling! Join the Cyclo- femme movement and spread the word!
• More than 80% of bike commuters say they feel healthier & less stressed. How has biking improved your health?
• Average annual operating cost of a bicycle? $308. A car? $8,000. How do you spend the extra cash?

You can download League of American Bicyclists promotional materials here.

Even People For Bikes is doing a great push for National Bike Month. Their Roll Together  - with two wheels or four wheels, let’s build the next generation of safer roads where we can all roll together  - campaign is pretty impressive.

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Well, I hope you get to take part in National Bike Month, and that you get a chance to enjoy a good ride or two (or 31).

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