Sunday, August 26

They Also Serve

Bob Chaplin and Mike Freiberger do the Helmet Fitting Duty
My plan all along had been to go ride in the HH100. I've ridden it a couple of times before and, this year, the full 100 mile route would include Sheppard AFB. But a few things cropped up. I waited too long to get a proper room. No problem - I'd either simply get up REAL early on Saturday morning or camp out the night before. Then, Warren called. You see, there was a Bike Rodeo in Allen on Saturday and Mike needed some help. Conflict had arisen.

I worked one bike rodeo in conjunction with Chandra, documented here. This would be a second opportunity to see the different ways that League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) handle such events. How could I resist? To make a long story short, I didn't, and I must say I'm glad I didn't. You see, as at each previous teaching event, I also learned.

"Indoor" Handle Bars
First off, this time it rained. Yes, it rained in August in North Texas. Had I been leading the session, I might well have stuck with the basic program and stayed outdoors. Mike, the lead instructor elected to move indoors to be able to work with those likely to intend. I think Mike made the right call. Even IF Allen hadn't been his home turf. Running a bike rodeo in the rain is a skill that I really NEED to learn. It isn't something I'll probably need to do in Texas, but not every place is this consistently dry.
Well, obviously, moving indoors mandated some changes in the rodeo course and in the bicycles. Somehow, these changes didn't really dampen the spirits (no pun intended) of the kids, nor of mothers that elected to run down our little road course.

Dorothy and I Split the Traffic Course


Dorothy Zarbo and I split duty on the road course. While our ability to teach bike handling skills was somewhat constrained by not having actual bikes, our students and their moms were able to grasp the fundamentals of signaling, stopping for stop signs, and staying on the right side of the road.

Dorothy doubled as an imaginary 18 wheeler or other dramatic traffic event for my own groups. I hate to think what she told HER students about me and my groups.

On occasion, I overheard snippets from those that were fitting helmets. My own sentiments on helmets vary somewhat from the fitting instructions I overheard (me being more of the "cycling is fun and safe" school), but I've never seen any hard info to suggest that helmets do harm, and they surely are designed to help in the kinds of "head-bumping fall off the bike" events any of the kids in attendance are likely to experience in the next several years. Come to think of it, my own helmets have been used in the same way several times one day a year ago last February. Heck, I may have deviated a bit from the program myself, explaining to the mothers of the LITTLE kids that while they were still too small to go out on the street, that even on the sidewalk they'd be safer if they were riding in the same direction as traffic simply because that would help anyone coming out of a driveway to see them early. Yup, drivers "LOOK LEFT." It didn't seem like enough, but sometimes you do what you can.

Church Volunteers During a Lull in the Action
Such events require many sorts of different help and all serve in the ways they can. Dorothy and I served to run the "road course." Bob and Mike served to fit helmets. The volunteers in blue from the church did everything else. They even brought us interlopers cold water on occasion. Cool! And I got to experience an indoor bike rodeo for the very first time.

Oh, and thanks to Richard. I'll tell you later...

7 comments:

Pondero said...

Thank you again, Steve and all. I admire your resourcefulness.

dickdavid said...

That is completely awesome that you still had the class, in spite of the weather. Good show.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Around here women don't like to be referred to as 18-wheelers. Perhaps it's different in Texas, though.

twofeetofftheasphalt said...

Using the flash for the top picture ended up well. I refer to the reflective clothing in conjuction with the Biblical verse on the wall in the background. Nice.

Steve A said...

twofeet,
Thanks for being so observant. It's nice to know that sometimes others see things in photos that didn't wind up there entirely by accident. I actually took three shots there. The one in the blog is the one that best captured the elements you noticed, though I didn't set out to capture them all that particular way until I cropped the photo.

twofeetofftheasphalt said...

So it was intended! I'm impressed and will look more closely at your pics in the future. Ron

Preston Tyree said...

Steve, proud of both you and Dorothy.

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