I heartily recommend this class to all riders

by Bill Carpenter

I had the good fortune to be part of a pilot group that took the bike handling class put on by Keri Caffrey and Mighk Wilson, now called CyclingSavvy.  I heartily recommend this class to all riders.  It will change the way you think about bike riding and open up new possibilities for you and your bike.

Most bike riders, myself included, tend to cling to the side of roads, take the sidewalks a lot, and breathe a sigh of relief when we get to a trail.  We think of our bike wheels as bull’s-eyes for errant motorists and our heads cricket balls for extra long rearview mirrors.  If we can get past the fear of physical damage, there’s always the nagging feeling if you hold some motorist up road rage will surface and they will lather you with verbal abuse.

What you will learn from the CyclingSavvy course is that there is no reason to act like a shrinking violet on the road.  In fact placing yourself in control of each situation is safer and a lot more fun.  Much of the content of this course has been touched on at CommuteOrlando.com, but there’s nothing like having someone tell you, show you, and then guide you through each action, to get all the parts of your body working to actually carry it out.

The course’s three, 3 hour sessions cover laws, traffic dynamics and strategies in the classroom; bike control techniques are learned and practiced under controlled conditions in a parking lot; and then riders get to put into practice all they’ve learned on a road tour around Orlando.

We did class on Wednesday night, and the next two sessions back-to-back on Saturday.  The two Saturday sessions are a full day emersion in bike riding skills and savvy.  Riding around Orlando with a great group of riders and on a beautiful day was great fun, and the learning that went along with it was icing on the cake.

The small class size and two instructors meant we got plenty of individual attention with all questions answered.  The name of the course, CyclingSavvy, is very appropriate as I can attest that I got a lot of savvy out of it.

I’m going to ride more and practice the techniques and strategies I’ve learned.  I feel much more comfortable and in control wherever I ride now whether it is trails, roads or the occasional sidewalk.  I know the advantages, disadvantages, and pitfalls to watch for wherever I’m riding.  Thanks Keri and Mighk!

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