|My First Bike Ed Course That Actually Happened. Richard and Dorothy, In Front of the Ginger House|
|Even Before My First Bike Ed Link, I Tried to Take a Course. The Instructor Didn't Show.|
Thank GOD for Forester's Book. It Saved Me.
However, just as our near-record breaking Texas summer has yielded, at least for the moment, to a wind shift, bike education in the US is undergoing change. The long-time Bike League education director, Preston Tyree, has elected to take advantage of a well-deserved retirement while he's still fit enough to enjoy it. The new director, Alissa Simcox, has good education credentials, but we have yet to see how she will perform as the new Education Director. Gail Spann, the League Director with Education as part and parcel of her charter, remains a constant throughout this. Personally, I think Gail's got good mojo, but there's a lot in front of us. What's more, Gail is a Texan and that counts for something.. But there may be another choice arising, and quite simply, I want to see what it really offers beyond "another choice." You see, next weekend, there will be a Cycling Savvy course offered in the DFW Metroplex, and I will be there. I think Chandra will be there as well. At least one of the teachers, called "CSIs," is Waco Moore. Waco took his Bike League LCI Seminar with Chandra and myself, so at one level this will be a reunion of sorts. What's more, Waco is only one of two in my LCI Seminar to become a "CSI." I've seen Waco ride and he's solid. He also sat beside PM Summer and myself at the Reckless Driving trial of Chipseal just about a year ago. On the other hand, this is a course offered under the umbrella of the Florida Bicycle Association. In Texas? In the words of Keri Caffrey; "WTF?"
|If There is to be a War, Let it Begin Here|
But, there is also a darker side. Or a brighter side. I'm not really sure which it is. Certainly there is change afoot. You see, Cycling Savvy is also a course that might offer "another choice." While the course was created by Bike League LCIs, and some of the instructors REMAIN LCIs, there is a definite "anti-Bike League" element to the whole thing. Both of the principals have publicly withdrawn from the Bike League. Others that support or publicize the course have either withdrawn from the Bike League or align themselves with "dissidents." Go to "LABreform" for details. I found it peculiar that Preston asked me if I was a member of LABreform; an odd question for a new LAB member. Some of the remaining members were those that tried to run for LAB directorships, but were rebuffed. Myself, I've heard their stories, but the Bike League has never indicated why it acted the way it did.
|Preston Tyree: Recently Retired Bike League Education Director|
Still, as Preston was clear to tell us in our LCI course last January, the principles of operating a bicycle safely in traffic are what fundamentally matter. He told us that the League insurance would cover courses such as Cycling Savvy, since they do not conflict with safe operation principles. Two of my fellow LCI seminar students are now CSIs. Stay tuned, and I would appreciate advice about what I ought to keep my eyes open to see.
Past Comparisons Back in the day, the UK Jaguar Club split into two factions. The first was the old-line "Jaguar Driver's Club." The second was the "Jaguar Enthusiast Club." I'm not sure the Jaguar owners are really better off than if they'd have found a way to work together. Jaguar Cars supports both, since both support Jaguar. OTOH, I imagine Jaguar would prefer a simpler situation. In the USA, a decade later, the JCNA managed to avoid a split, precipitated by conflict over directors that were not elected. My take? We're better united than divided. OTOH, we in the US have spit asunder on principles before. What way for cycling? We shall see. If y'all are so inclined, let me know what I should keep my eyes open for. Let Chandra do the same. Personally, I pray that cycling people will find a way to come together. If not, I pray that God will grant me, and others, the wisdom to choose wisely.