Not too long ago I was a frustrated bicyclist. Not a spandex-clad roadie, just a guy that likes to ride his bike. To the park. To the coffee shop. To hang out with friends. To have fun with my family. I had been riding for years, even commuting to work, but it was getting more stressful. I was confident in my own bike handling skills, but worried about the “other guy” on the road, you know, the one in the big SUV behind me…
“I’ll get run over if I ride on that street.”
“I’d ride more if there were bike lanes.”
“That @#$% honked at me!”
My family was worried about my safety, and frankly, so was I. More than anything, I was angry that bicyclists were not being better accommodated in our car-centric cities. And while I had heaps of blame to pass around, I didn’t have any real answers.
The first hints of an answer came when I stumbled upon some local bike blogs that talked about vehicular cycling. While many of the posts and comments sometimes seemed arrogant, angry, aloof and dismissive, there was also a ring of truth to many of the points that were made. Although I was somewhat skeptical, I tried some of the things they suggested. Wow. Drivers really treated me differently and everything got easier. It was liberating. But that was just the beginning. I was determined to find out what else I’d been missing and get to the next big “Aha!”
I began a journey of education and advocacy. I took the LAB’s Traffic Skills 101 class, became a League Certified Instructor and have served on the Bicycle Advisory Committee for the City of Dallas 2011 Bike Plan, but nothing excites me more than CyclingSavvy. I say that because I know it works. I’ve seen first-hand how it creates confident cyclists and nurtures a healthy cycling culture. This past April, I traveled to Orlando to become a CyclingSavvy Instructor so I could bring this innovative new education program to Dallas/Ft. Worth.