|Fellow Student, Chandra, Boards the TRE|
Talk, Talk, Talk!
Friday was the lecture segment to Cycling Savvy. Cycling Savvy is an educational product of the Florida Bicycling Association that was principally developed by two cyclists in the Orlando area. Rather than belabor the details, go here to learn more about the developers and the organization. Our course was co-taught by Waco Moore and Keri Caffrey. Waco was one of my co-students when I took my second LCI Seminar and Keri came in from Orlando.
|Chandra Unfolds the Folder|
Cycling Savvy Myth
It is easier to first start with what Cycling Savvy is NOT. Despite what might be claimed,
|Instructor Waco Moore Prepares for Cycling Savvy Lecture|
|Instructor and Course Co-Developer Keri Caffrey Takes a Brief, Well-earned Break|
My own strictly personal and unofficial opinion, neither endorsed nor prohibited by anyone, is that most people considering taking a cycling course are people scared because the BS they have been fed makes them nervous about simply enjoying the act of riding their bikes. Just like non-swimmers worry about all that water, prospective cyclists are concerned about those 18 wheelers. What's more people simply don't believe that I'm comfortable on the same road as 18 wheelers (GOD BLESS PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS!). The students I've seen are much less concerned that a flat tire or a loose quick release will hurt or strand them. They've got cell phones and bike shops identified. What is more, bike shops often offer means to learn basic mechanics. To draw an analogy, the LAB Traffic 101 course is like a computer course that teaches a bit about component installation and removal while Cycling Savvy focuses on how to boot things up and check your email. Most of the students I've seen, even in Traffic 101, are less concerned with what makes the computer tick than simply USING it. Of course, that might be just a North Texas situation. Which is why I'm not paid millions of bucks annually by either LAB or the Florida Bicycling Association. Go back to the disclaimer at the top of this paragraph.
Preston Tyree ruined me. It means I need to find something good and something that could have been better about Cycling Savvy. I'd like to list more of each (and I certainly have LOTS of candidate items), but I'll wait until after the on-bike sessions. For now, one of each.
|Preston and Co-conspirators, Figuring Out What We Could Have Done Better|
The lecture material was strongly developed and presented. As I noted to an anonymous fellow student sitting to my right, (also a Bike League LCI) "you or I could work on PowerPoint for six months and we wouldn't be CLOSE to these charts." At the risk of getting to a second "good" thing, it looked to me that the pitch was standardized, with buttons being clicked to tailor for the locale. Simply put, the charts worked, made preparation simpler for the instructors, and engaged the students with modern multimedia.
|Selected Cycling Savvy Chart. Note Familiar Material and Buttons to Customize for Presentation Locale|
Well, to be perfectly honest, it seemed like there was an AWFUL LOT of stuff about how to ride around bike lanes. There are no longer any bike lanes within daily riding distance of my house. As in zippity do dah. The main problem that creates for me is I have to explain to non cyclists that no bike lanes really don't make it harder for me to ride to work safely. Even the unmourned loss of the North Tarrant Parkway bike lane was unlike the examples presented in class because there was no parking allowed along the bike lane and it was so wide that motorists used it as an auxiliary passing lane. Suburban North Texas is NOT Orlando, nor even Dallas, but it IS where a lot of students in North Texas will come from, and suburbs are around all the other cities where courses have or will probably be offered. In short, the class occasionally loses its focus on fundamental operation principles. That is hardly a fatal or uncorrectable flaw, though it is notable, considering I was thrashed before I took my first LCI by a correspondent that didn't like the LAB position on bike lanes. Come to think of it, bike lanes are a controversy up there with earphones and helmets and it was integrated so well that it really didn't use a lot of class time, so 'nuff sed!
|Many Familar Faces Were at the Class, Including Eliot Landrum in the Photo, Richard Wharton, Chandra (of course)|
And an Anonymous LCI that Sat to My Right. And I'm Sure I Forgot to Mention a Few. Chandra and I Were Two of Three That Came by Bike
The Other was the Gentleman in the Back in the Hawaiian Shirt that Came up from Houston and Rode His Bike from the Hotel
One item brought up in the lectures were those count down lights I posted about, just last week, here. Another was how to trigger traffic lights. Posts here and here, and lots of other places. On the way to the train station to get home, I was mildly concerned about missing the TRE. There were three of those count down signals along the route. One one of the count down signals, I flashed through the intersection just as it hit zero. Hit it! It seemed a fitting end to the evening. And I may have to point Keri to some added secrets about the finer points of video signal camera detection zones. It's the engineer in me. Just as I'm sure John Brooking is capable of improving my ice biking technique.