Saturday, June 5

Serious Bike Learning

Unexpectedly, I have a lot of time to reflect on LCI Training. For photos, you'll have to visit Gail Spann's Facebook page since I'm stuck in hospital for the next few days. As far as I can tell, the hospital appears to be unrelated to bikes, and it should not keep me off a bike, but for now, I can't be in two places at once.

Anyway, I did make it through the first day of LCI training and, quite frankly, it was a breath of fresh air. Bike League LCI trainig, for those not familiar with it, is instructor training. It is not intended to teach the student how to ride safely on the road in traffic. You should have learned that. They'll keep an eye on you to make sure you don't pass bad habits to future students.

Similarly, it is not intended to teach you to fix a flat. They want to know you can teach someone how to change a flat. What might be most refreshing of all is that it was all simply about teaching the love of cycling without getting off on the sidetrack of helmets or bike lanes or all the other stuff advocates like to argue about. We even learned how to keep a class on track if an advocate tried to hijack things from the learning objectives. Simply put, this is a spot where Bike Ed was to be kept in the spotlight. It actually reduced my discomfort about the Bike League. At least one element really is working. It's about teaching safe operation.

Besides being impressed with the instruction focus, I was impressed with the students. These guys (and gal) were serious about the subject and they all appeared more than equal to the needed skillset needed to teach someone how to operate their bike safely. It seemed to be a mix of commuters and club cyclists that have moved well beyond the casual club cyclist stereotype. I think Andy and Chandra would both feel at home there.

I wish I could be with them to finish. In the words of one of "the Governator's" character: "I'll be back!"

PS: I find it intriguing that ALL of the instructors there last night were women. Had we men not been in the majority of students, I might have wondered if it is women that mostly care about safe riding. Certainly it flies in the face of the notion that it is the men that are most serious about cycling. Speaking of which, the topic of biking in heels did come up briefly, but it was not a major learning objective.


Lou said...

Not be sidetracked by helmets? Well, maybe not at the teaching course, but anytime I have ever looked into taking a riding class, there is a clause about helmets being mandatory. That sounds like LAB has put helmet use above learning to ride safely in traffic.

me: "I would like to take the class and learn how to ride safely on our roads."

LAB Instructor: "You need a helmet."

me: "I don't have one or feel it necessary to wear one."

LAB Instructor: "Well, then I am not willing to teach you safe operation of a bicycle."

Ham said...

Wish you a speedy recovery. Anything that puts you in hospital can't be good. Even if it is only an obsession with nurses.

Steve A said...

I don't believe that the League has a position other than they're a darn good idea and they are required for league courses. IMO, some of the drills are much more hazardous than normal street riding. I look at it in a similar light that car clubs require helmets for autocross. Some also require hub cap removal.

One other controversial topic mentioned ( and not by me) was bike lanes. We just teach safe riding principles and people can argue about that other stuff where it won't cause failure to achieve the course objectives.

Ham, I've seen lots of hospitals because my wife is a nurse. I think the key is you don't want to let them put anything around your wrist.

Steve A said...

Lou, yes, I fell off my bike a couple of times when doing quick stop drills. It is not easy to unclip a pedal while stopped with your butt behind and beneath the saddle. It is not a drill I will practice alone.

Lou said...

And your points are? They still mandate a helmet or they won't teach you how to ride safely in traffic. Do they mandate elbow and knee pads? They put helmet use over safe riding skills.

PM Summer said...


Why are in hospital? Orneriness isn't treatable, I hope you know.



John Romeo Alpha said...

Steve the best part of hospitals is when you leave. Oh, and the food, it's usually excellent gourmet fare, jello and boiled vegetables come to mind. I hope someone smuggles in a steak or some BBQ for you. Get out soon!

Steve A said...

I'm here with a nice view of Lake Grapevine. My wife says she can tell I'm getting better based on my increasing crankiness. If they REALLY knew what was going on, they'd be done running tests and pretending to be vampires.

I did find it amusing when one of the doctors told me cycling was dangerous. I replied - well, we know how to fix that problem! You'd have been proud!

Steve A said...

JRA - I do have a small stash of edible food and I got a call from the food people when I declined all of their choices. They caved in and offered baked fish.

Right now, I'd be happy with permission to get out of bed to use the facilities.

Khal said...

Steve is right that the drills can increase your chances of getting sideways on the bike. We had a student fall down and go boom while doing a quick stop; she too was not able to unclip. Its also possible to go ass over handlebars while doing the quick stop. Our student skinned her leg. A skinned leg didn't cause her to miss any of the course, but an even mild concussion or head injury would have been bad news.

Helmets are mandatory for two reasons I can think of. One, because the League's insurance company lawyers and the League say so. If you want to take the League's course then follow the rules. Every organized ride I've done in the last few decades also include a mandatory helmet provision. But once you graduate, you are on your own and the skid lid is your biz.

Second reason, because they can prevent a minor fall from turning into a major health crisis. Even a minor concussion can cause lingering symptoms. Hit your arm, clean up the wound and get back on the bike. Hit your head, get a CAT scan.

Get well soon, Steve, and get outa the hospital.

cafiend said...

Get well soon, Steve.

Tracy W said...

Hey man, get well soon.

I think we all probably should be nervous that you've got too much time to think right now!

Steve A said...

Hmm, a goofball having a lot of idle time on his hands. I can see why that might be a cause for concern...

Chandra said...

get well soon. sending good thoughts and health vibes your way!

i wish i could've gone to the LCI class. well, may be the next one!

peace :)

cycler said...

I hope that they can patch you up and get you back on your bike soon!
Take it easy and don't eat too much hospital fish!

Steve A said...

Hospital fish - once was more than enough!

Velouria said...

Oh no, sorry to hear you were in hospital! I agree that crankiness is a good way to measure recovery; crankiness indicates energy!

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