Sunday, January 17

Traffic 101 Wrapup

Gail Spann flexes some Bike League muscle
The second day was mostly bike drills, with some on-street group riding and with a test to wrap things up. I took some videos of most of the bike drills for purposes of future reference. For me, personally, the most valuable drill was the quick stop, because that is the one maneuver I never practice on my own. Even with four instructors present, I managed to get a bit bruised doing quick stops, though my voice quickly returned to normal.

After taking the whole class, I found it very helpful, partly because I wanted to see the mechanics of the class and wanted to hear different instructor viewpoints. If you were wondering about the class, it stems originally from the principles in Effective Cycling, but it has undergone a lot of evolution since John Forester's involvement. The course could benefit from some modernization, particularly in the lecture portion - a self-paced web class would transform things, allowing the instructors to focus on "hands on" time with the students. I suspect it could also help instructors understand where their individual students could most benefit from added help. I will be very interested to see what they cook up down in Florida.

Anyway, I'm still looking to get some instructor thoughts on objectives 2, 3, 4, and 6 as described here. I remain optimistic on this.

On a lighter note, other learnings included:
  • Ponytail/helmet interaction. This is not a problem I've had to deal with personally
  • Chandra, besides his well-known penchant for lights and "high vis," also demonstrated some subtle humor with his jacket, which stated he got "infinite miles per gallon"
  • I got to meet one of Chandra's children, that being Shaggy, who was incredibly enthusiastic about the meeting.
  • I learned the difference between a Russian Sauna, a Turkish Sauna, and a Finnish Sauna.
  • I learned of many different investigation areas related to video signal cameras.
  • I learned that driving I-635 in Dallas is stressful, even on the weekend
  • The Bike League's position on proper tire pressure corresponds quite closely to Apertome's, stated in comments to post here. I don't recall why this subject came up other than it must have been in connection with the "ABC Quick Check" and Richard walking around with a floor pump this morning.
  • I concluded it's tougher to ride with a group than to ride alone. All the "slowing and stopping and car back and car up" has made me weary.
  • A motorist chuckled at us as we left for our ride. She knew we were getting taken out to get run through our paces and said she told one of our instructors she'd be watching to see when we got back. Some people are amused too easily! I think I prefer getting honked at.
Richard and Dorothy help with pony tail repair
My suggestion that a pair of scissors would make a quicker fix was NOT appreciated!


Chandra and Sheila at bike drills


Chandra wondering if I'm about to copy his test answers
or perhaps he's wistfully thinking about Shaggy


Obligatory photo with arrows, including Secret test answers
Eric Jackson and Gail Spann wonder - Did that student learn ANYTHING?

7 comments:

Eliot said...

Everyone is so visible!

Chandra said...

@Steve --- your comment about the ponytail cracked me up. I thought it was hilarious. Of course, I wasn't too worried about losing the pony tail for two reasons: 1) it wasn't mine and 2) i have been (knock on wood) blessed in the hair department, shall we say? :)

it was great to take the class with you.

peace :)

Steve A said...

Eliot. Yup, I had my "high vis" black cycling jacket on. Actually it was warm enough that I later shed it.

whareagle said...

Hey ya'll, thanks for coming out, and thanks for putting up with me/us this weekend. Steve, I don't know if you'll ever get an 'official' reply on some of the questions, but we can go directly to the source at some point if you want. I'm thinking of doing a FW century some time this spring, and we can call Preston in Austin to get some solid answers for you.

Guys and gals, I can't thank you enough for your participation and enthusiasm. I look forward to riding with you each again.

Steve A said...

Preston's opinion on this would carry a lot of weight. I don't think there really IS an "official" answer on the questions, which is partly why I asked them. They're all situations I encounter directly and which are not clearly covered by either Forester's writings or by LAB education materials. It may be that the answers vary from cyclist to cyclist and in different situations. So be it.

Some of this is not very cut and dried. Even "Effective Cycling" shows cyclists riding on a highway shoulder on the back cover. Presumably Forester could have asked for a different photo if he found it objectionable.

Rat Trap Press said...

It sounds like a good class. I may try to make it sometime in the future.

Lyle said...

2. there is no right answer here. The law is vague and not settled (ie, not hashed and rehashed through the courts). What works for you is going to vary from place to place. The only right answer is that you undeniably have a right to ride in the RH traffic lane if you choose.
3. Your current approach is best practice.
4. Again, there is no right answer.
6. You should signal whatever action is immediately next. In other words, you should signal a turning motion, if you're changing lanes to prepare for a right turn at the next stop. Then, having changed lanes, you should signal the stop. After having come to a stop, you should signal the turn and proceed. If you leave enough time between signals, motorists will not be confused. In any case, lane position and head movements are also signals of intent, even if they're not enshrined in law. Bear in mind that the primary goal is always clear communication with the other road users; adherence to the law is a secondary goal.

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