Tag Archive for: pamela murray

Join Us at the Philly Bike Expo!

The American Bicycling Education Association is pleased to announce that we’ll be at the Philly Bike Expo. So mark your calendars!

Our booth at the Philly Bike Expo
We’re back! This was our booth in 2019.

Founded in 2010 by Bilenky Cycle Works, the Philly Bike Expo promotes “the fun, function, fitness and freedom to be found on two wheels.” The event fosters relationships between the cycling community and dedicated companies and organizations.

Bilenky hosts the event so we can all “admire the artisans whose craft enables us to ride two-wheeled art, to applaud the activists whose tireless efforts further our cycling infrastructure and to explore cycling as a fun and efficient transportation alternative.”

We’ll be sharing a booth in the Expo Hall with the Lehigh Valley CAT-Coalition for Appropriate Transportation.

Concerned about Covid? There is information online about the Expo’s Covid Protocol. We are vaccinated, will be masked, and consider the risk acceptable.

Pam Murray’s bike, home from errands…

Street Smarts — and a raffle.

The recently published Bicycling Street Smarts, CyclingSavvy Edition will be available at the CyclingSavvy/CAT booth. Yes, autographed by the author!  And we’ll be raffling off copies. The grand prize winner also gets a full scholarship to a CyclingSavvy course, online or in person.

We’re having workshops too!

Two of us are giving presentations on Sunday:

John and a friend rode Spruce Street.

Pamela Murray, The Bike Life, Sunday. 1:30 PM — Pam rides over 6,000 miles per year for transportation, fitness and recreation. She is a CyclingSavvy instructor and Bicycle Benefits Ambassador, and leads bike rides for vacation and camping.

John Allen, Riding Philly Streets, Sunday, 3 PM. Videos and discussion of tactics to meet the challenges of Philly riding. In and out of the bike lane! Getting a smile from a SEPTA bus driver!

Click to zoom in for details about the ride.

And a bike ride…

We are also organizing an unracer bike ride. It will leave at 7:30 AM on Saturday from the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial (just downriver from the Girard Bridge), and will arrive at the Convention Center in time for you to check in for the opening of the exhibit hall.

We hope to see you in The Cradle of Liberty!

CyclingSavvy group at Woodford Corner, Portland, ME

Springing Forward with Spring Courses

As the weather warms, thoughts turn to bicycling. CyclingSavvy spring courses are happening. Classroom sessions are being held online — which has proved to be, all in all, an advantage: people don’t have to travel, and can join from anywhere. Instructors and students can hang around longer at the end of a session.

On-bike sessions with Covid precautions are ramping up too. Here’s what we have as of now.

Savvy Cycling Now April Series

Instructors John Allen and Pamela Murray are hosting a Savvy Cycling Now online series on two Wednesday evenings, April 21 and 28. This will cover the same material as the “Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling” classroom session of our regular 3-part course, and qualifies students to proceed to the Train Your Bike in-person session anywhere, anytime and with any instructor. Students in this round will qualify for the Boston course described below, if space is available; we’ll arrange more sessions as needed. On-bike sessions will be discounted if you take Savvy Cycling Now to qualify for them.

Here’s a video clip from an August 11 2020 session of Savvy Cycling Now:

“Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling” contains a lot of information and ideas. They are easy to digest in a series of one-hour sessions, spread over four weeks. This format has proven itself.

St. Louis, April 21-25

Instructors Karen Karabell and Matthew Brown are running a full three-part course April 21-25. The classroom session is online and the on-bike sessions will be adapted with Covid precautions.

Boston area, May 14-15

Instructors John Allen, Bruce Lierman and John Brooking are running a full three-part course May 14-15. As with the St. Louis course, the classroom session will be online. The in-person sessions will be in Waltham, 10 miles west of the Boston downtown area. Both on-bike sessions will be on the same day, May 15.

Check Out Ride Awesome!

Ride Awesome!CyclingSavvy’s premium online course — is … awesome. There’s truly nothing like it. During the pandemic, lifetime access to Ride Awesome! is half price. This is the best fifty bucks you’ll ever spend.

This too qualifies students to proceed to discounted on-bike sessions anywhere, anytime and with any instructor. With enough requests, we should be able to have on-bike sessions within driving distance for most U.S. participants. Let us know if you want to complete the course. Contact us

Savvy Cycling Now, April 2021 Series

Virtual Event Virtual Event

April 21, 2021 @ 7:00 PM 9:00 PM EDT

Savvy Cycling Now features four virtual and interactive off-bike sessions. The series is designed to set the framework for everything you need to know to make your riding easy, wherever you choose to ride.

Two Two-Hour Zoom Sessions. Join From Anywhere.

Both are at 7:30 PM EDT Wednesday, April 21, 2021: Our rational and sensible traffic system, and how you on your bicycle are a natural part of it. Bicycle safety: What really causes crashes, and how to avoid crashing. Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Successful Bicycling. This sessions on successful bicycling will show you: ⇒ Best practices for managing your space when you ride. You’ll discover the unexpected, transformative control you can have over your on-road safety. ⇒ How to recognize common traps that invite cyclists to do something risky. ⇒ How to ride a bicycle with ease through intimidating roadway configurations.

Sessions Limited to 25 Participants, With Two Instructors

This is designed so that all participants can participate as they desire. While one instructor delivers the presentation, the other will monitor the Chat window, ensure participant’s questions are answered, and diplomatically interject and interrupt the presenting instructor as needed.

Included in Your Registration

Within 48 hours, registrants will receive via email a video replay of that week’s session. So even if you can’t attend a session in the series, you’ll have the opportunity to get caught up before the next session.
dooring demonstration

Winter 2018, Charlotte, NC: Instructor Pamela Murray shows how dooring can happen.

The Savvy Cycling Now sessions qualify you for the opportunity to bypass the classroom portion of CyclingSavvy workshops and proceed directly to the on-bike sessions. Because of Covid, most on-bike sessions are suspended (but check our ride listings — some are being run with social distancing). Instructors are available, though, to help you safely experience savvy cycling. Contact us for the name of an instructor near you. If you’re on Facebook, you’ll receive an invitation to join CyclingSavvy Graduates Chat. a safe and civil forum for sharing your questions, strategies, success stories, and challenges with your fellow Savvy Cyclists.

Ticket purchase includes video replay of both sessions.

Videos are unlisted and for participant review only. Videos may not be altered, shared or reproduced. Purchase of a ticket implies understanding of and cooperation with these conditions.

To Participate

Buy your ticket below. Your instructor will email you the Zoom registration link.

CyclingSavvy is all about strategies.

As a participant, you’ll receive a full toolkit of strategies to make your bicycling easy, whether you’re practicing “driver,” “edge,” or “pedestrian” behavior. After the series, you’ll know best practices for keeping yourself safe when using any of these behaviors.

Doing is believing!

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, in-person courses are suspended in many locations. Check here for updates to on-bike sessions. In the meantime, contact us for the name of an instructor who can help you safely experience the epiphany of savvy cycling.
I’m a pretty experienced cyclist and a defensive driving instructor, and I got a lot of value and new information from the sessions I attended. My husband and 10-year-old daughter got a lot of it, too. Hope to hear more from Savvy Cycling, this was really great!

Alicia Every, Seattle

Savvy Cycling Now

is a program of the nonprofit American Bicycling Education Association. ABEA’s mission is make a difference in people’s lives by empowering them to use their bikes to go anywhere they want, safely and confidently.

Money-Back Guarantee & Scholarship Fund

All ABEA courses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. ABEA never turns away anyone who wants to take advantage of its programs. For more information or to request a scholarship, contact us.

More Testimonials

The Cycling Savvy online course was a game changer for me and Savvy Cycling Now complemented it perfectly. I can’t recommend these courses enough for adult cyclists to increase safety and build confidence on their rides.

Arnold “Andy” Anderson, retired vehicular homicide detective

Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey

 
Thanks for the class. The graphics are outstanding and the videos clear.
Bruce Dughi, Castro Valley, CA
Thanks for putting together Savvy Cycling Now. I really, really found it useful. I think someone commented at the end that these are the things most people don’t learn when they learn how to ride a bike as kids — my thought exactly! Another participant told me she was struck by the concept of platoons.  I was struck by the idea of communicating with drivers by looking over my shoulder. And that there are times when it is best to be in one tire track or another. I could go on and on.
Lisa Soldat, Minneapolis
I can tell the goal of the CyclingSavvy system is to keep everyone safe and to help individuals choose what is the right riding style for them after fully understanding the risks and benefits involved in each. You are presenting fabulous information in a clear, concise way with helpful visual resources.
I dream of ideal bikeways everywhere, but want to encourage riding before we get them.
Irene, Massachusetts

Before CyclingSavvy, I had learned about bicycling from my peers — which is sort of like learning about sex from your high-school classmates.

John Perrin, Bellevue, NE

 

Details

Date:
April 21, 2021
Time:
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
EDTw
Cost:
$35.00
Event Tags:
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Tickets

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Who's coming?

4 people are attending Savvy Cycling Now, April 2021 Series

Savvy Cycling Now, April 2021 Series

Savvy Cycling Now features four virtual and interactive off-bike sessions. The series is designed to set the framework for everything you need to know to make your riding easy, wherever you choose to ride.

Two Two-Hour Zoom Sessions. Join From Anywhere.

Both are at 7:30 PM EDT

Wednesday, April 21, 2021: Our rational and sensible traffic system, and how you on your bicycle are a natural part of it. Bicycle safety: What really causes crashes, and how to avoid crashing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Successful Bicycling. This sessions on successful bicycling will show you:

⇒ Best practices for managing your space when you ride. You’ll discover the unexpected, transformative control you can have over your on-road safety.

⇒ How to recognize common traps that invite cyclists to do something risky.

⇒ How to ride a bicycle with ease through intimidating roadway configurations.

Sessions Limited to 25 Participants, With Two Instructors

This is designed so that all participants can participate as they desire. While one instructor delivers the presentation, the other will monitor the Chat window, ensure participant’s questions are answered, and diplomatically interject and interrupt the presenting instructor as needed.

Included in Your Registration

Within 48 hours, registrants will receive via email a video replay of that week’s session. So even if you can’t attend a session in the series, you’ll have the opportunity to get caught up before the next session.

dooring demonstration

Winter 2018, Charlotte, NC: Instructor Pamela Murray shows how dooring can happen.

The Savvy Cycling Now sessions qualify you for the opportunity to bypass the classroom portion of CyclingSavvy workshops and proceed directly to the on-bike sessions.

Because of Covid, most on-bike sessions are suspended (but check our ride listings — some are being run with social distancing). Instructors are available, though, to help you safely experience savvy cycling. Contact us for the name of an instructor near you.

If you’re on Facebook, you’ll receive an invitation to join CyclingSavvy Graduates Chat. a safe and civil forum for sharing your questions, strategies, success stories, and challenges with your fellow Savvy Cyclists.

Ticket purchase includes video replay of both sessions.

Videos are unlisted and for participant review only. Videos may not be altered, shared or reproduced. Purchase of a ticket implies understanding of and cooperation with these conditions.

To Participate

Buy your ticket below. Your instructor will email you the Zoom registration link.

CyclingSavvy is all about strategies.

As a participant, you’ll receive a full toolkit of strategies to make your bicycling easy, whether you’re practicing “driver,” “edge,” or “pedestrian” behavior. After the series, you’ll know best practices for keeping yourself safe when using any of these behaviors.

Doing is believing!

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, in-person courses are suspended in many locations. Check here for updates to on-bike sessions. In the meantime, contact us for the name of an instructor who can help you safely experience the epiphany of savvy cycling.

I’m a pretty experienced cyclist and a defensive driving instructor, and I got a lot of value and new information from the sessions I attended. My husband and 10-year-old daughter got a lot of it, too. Hope to hear more from Savvy Cycling, this was really great!

Alicia Every, Seattle

Savvy Cycling Now

is a program of the nonprofit American Bicycling Education Association. ABEA’s mission is make a difference in people’s lives by empowering them to use their bikes to go anywhere they want, safely and confidently.

Money-Back Guarantee & Scholarship Fund

All ABEA courses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. ABEA never turns away anyone who wants to take advantage of its programs. For more information or to request a scholarship, contact us.

More Testimonials

The Cycling Savvy online course was a game changer for me and Savvy Cycling Now complemented it perfectly. I can’t recommend these courses enough for adult cyclists to increase safety and build confidence on their rides.

Arnold “Andy” Anderson, retired vehicular homicide detective

Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey

 

Thanks for the class. The graphics are outstanding and the videos clear.
Bruce Dughi, Castro Valley, CA
Thanks for putting together Savvy Cycling Now. I really, really found it useful. I think someone commented at the end that these are the things most people don’t learn when they learn how to ride a bike as kids — my thought exactly! Another participant told me she was struck by the concept of platoons.  I was struck by the idea of communicating with drivers by looking over my shoulder. And that there are times when it is best to be in one tire track or another. I could go on and on.
Lisa Soldat, Minneapolis
I can tell the goal of the CyclingSavvy system is to keep everyone safe and to help individuals choose what is the right riding style for them after fully understanding the risks and benefits involved in each. You are presenting fabulous information in a clear, concise way with helpful visual resources.
I dream of ideal bikeways everywhere, but want to encourage riding before we get them.
Irene, Massachusetts

Before CyclingSavvy, I had learned about bicycling from my peers — which is sort of like learning about sex from your high-school classmates.

John Perrin, Bellevue, NE

 

CyclingSavvy Zooms

Adapting to the Pandemic

Instructors are testing how best to Zoom CyclingSavvy sessions and observe social distancing requirements for outdoor sessions.

CyclingSavvy instructor Pam Murray

CyclingSavvy Instructor Pam Murray. Photo credit: Kellar Shearon

Getting Rubber on the Road in Charlotte

During COVID, I’ve already taught a couple of full courses in Charlotte, North Carolina. There’s a resurgence of interest in biking and there are new riders every day.

I taught my first course since COVID on July 10-12, with precautions to reduce exposure as much as possible.

Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling is delivered online. Participants have told me they like this better. They report it’s much easier to enjoy this material from the comfort of their own homes.

I limit outdoor sessions to 10 students. Masks are required, with social distancing when possible. In North Carolina, as of this writing, group sizes are currently limited to 25 people outside and 10 people inside. While we are outside, I limit the group to the smaller size to be on the safe side. The only other change is to ride single-file vs. riding double-file, to socially distance as much as possible.

We find that classroom sessions work best with two instructors: one to give the presentation, and the other to monitor the chat window and manage discussion.

Due to the small class size in my courses, everyone chimed in with questions and everyone was engaged. “Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling” as I taught it lasted three full hours, in one session.

Live From St. Louis: Savvy Cycling Now

Instructor Karen Karabell is teaching online from St. Louis, Missouri. As an experiment last June, she asked friends to attend four one-hour sessions over the course of the month.

“Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling” contains a lot of information and ideas. Karen thought these would be easier for people to digest in a series of one-hour sessions, spread over four weeks.

CyclingSavvy zoom poll

July 28, 2020: Anonymous poll of Savvy Cycling Now participants.

Feedback from her friends was so gratifying that Karen asked our friend Serge Issakov to advertise a July series on two Facebook pages: Supporters of Full Lane Rights for Bicyclists and Bicyclists Belong in the Traffic Lane. Seventy-four people signed up! Fewer than half attended the sessions, though. (Research is clear that most people don’t value what they don’t pay for.)

At the end of the July series, Karen surveyed participants (see poll results). She asked the American Bicycling Education Association to consider making Savvy Cycling Now an official program.

ABEA Beta Testing

This August ABEA has been beta testing Savvy Cycling Now. One hundred and forty-five people signed up for this month’s free series. However, between 50 and 75 have shown up to the three sessions held so far this month.

This class size definitely requires two instructors  which makes the sessions better. Successful traffic cycling is as much an art as a science. Discussions are robust. The varying perspectives make for a gripping session.

Here’s a video clip from the August 11 session of Savvy Cycling Now:

In-Person vs. Virtual Instruction

With online instruction, interaction among students and instructors is less fluid, but there are also advantages. Nobody has to travel. Students participate from the comfort of their own homes, with easy access to a restroom and snacks.

People can sign up from anywhere. The three-hour session can be split up into shorter parts. Both Karen and I keep hearing from participants how valuable this information has been for them. We’re grateful to share it!

My Bike is a Lifeline

Bicycling is essential for my health and well-being, even more so now.  Bicycling has been my solace during this socially distanced and stressful time. It’s the one thing that is mostly the same. When people started asking when they could take the in-person course again, that’s why I started scheduling more of them.

Stay Tuned — and Check Out Ride Awesome!

Expect ABEA to roll out a Covid-adapted program soon. Students will be able to take the classroom session online, and socially-distanced outdoor sessions with any instructor.

Ride Awesome! —  CyclingSavvy’s premium online course — is … awesome. There’s truly nothing like it. During the pandemic, lifetime access to Ride Awesome! is half price. This is the best fifty bucks you’ll ever spend.

With enough requests, we should be able to offer on-bike sessions within driving distance for most U.S. participants (currently, only the United States has CyclingSavvy Instructors). Let us know if you want to complete the course. Contact us!

savvy cyclist

Learning A New Street Dance

I am a proud savvy cyclist…and I have a confession.

I took CyclingSavvy twice, first in Philadelphia and then Charlotte.

You might ask: Didn’t I learn anything the first time?

bike skills drills

Using the top floor of a downtown Philly parking garage for Train Your Bike, the parking lot skills session. Even experienced cyclists – like Marc – learn new things. From left: instructor Karen Karabell, Marc Caruso, Camille Gervasio, Shannon Walsh and John A Petty II

Yes.

I learned an incredible amount about training my bike and how to ride comfortably and confidently with traffic. But some things don’t sink in until later or, in my case, the second time around.

In Philly, I learned from Karen Karabell that there’s nothing scary about empty pavement behind you. How do you get “scary” roads to yourself? You make the lights and the law work for you.

A great example is choosing where you enter a road from. Use traffic lights to your advantage by turning right on green. You have no obligation to turn right on red.

By turning right on green, motorists on the road you’re turning onto are stopped at a red light. When they finally get a green, they’ll be far enough back to use one of the adjacent travel lanes to pass you, in whichever lane you’re not in.

Strategy, Courtesy and Mindfulness

We practiced the right-on-green technique in Charlotte, too. Before I tell you what happened, you need to know that the on-road Tour is like nothing you’ve ever done before.

You’ll be riding on roads you can’t believe you’re using — and you’ll be doing it by yourself, unless you don’t want to. Then an instructor will ride with you. But by the time you get to that point in the workshop, almost everyone wants to try on their own.

savvy cyclist charlotte

Marc making a left turn in Charlotte

A Savvy Cyclist Can Go Anywhere

As a savvy cyclist, I’m not a road warrior. Just the opposite!

CyclingSavvy instructors teach strategy, courtesy and mindfulness. They figure you’re probably OK riding on your neighborhood cul de sac, or on a trail. What they want is to show you how to make connections, so that you can ride out of your neighborhood, or not have to put your bike on a car to go to the trail.

When Motorists Want to Turn Right on Red

In Charlotte, we watched each student set off to practice right-on-green. It was a busy road and motorists would appear behind them. John Allen instructed the students to move to the left side of the lane and wave the motorists to pass on their right.

savvy cyclist facilitating right on red [orlando]

Staying to the left side of a lane allows motorists to turn right on red while you wait for a green light.

The motorists passed and made the right on red. When the light turned green, the student doing the feature would turn right.

The result was obvious: No cars on the big “scary” road behind the student. By turning right on green, motorists on that road were held back by a red light.

After making the turn, we were instructed to go directly into the lane we wanted. Motorists turning right on green with us could choose another lane and pass us easily.

Epiphany In Charlotte

Instructor Pamela Murray shook my thinking about shoulder checks.

savvy cyclists charlotte

Marc leads other savvy cyclists on the Tour of Charlotte

I use a helmet mirror, so some shoulder checks seemed unnecessary in my mind. Before taking CyclingSavvy in Charlotte, I only did shoulder checks when making lateral movements.

When I merged or turned, I’d do a shoulder check, signal, and shoulder check again to make sure it’s safe. Otherwise, I just used my mirror and then communicated with hand signals like “slow,” or “pass” when it was safe to pass me.

What this does, though, is make it seem like the motorist is communicating with just an inanimate piece of metal.

A Fellow Human

When you turn your head over your shoulder, you’re showing your face to the person behind you and making yourself recognized as another human being, not just a bike.

As a result of seeing your face, they’ll be more apt to take direction from you. People like to help other people out.

I’m grateful for the incredible, knowledgeable CyclingSavvy instructors who’ve helped change my street game into a savvy cyclist dance.

savvy cyclists charlotte

Celebrating last November after a great day in Charlotte. Left to right: Carl Fenske (who became a CyclingSavvy Instructor in February 2018), Marc Caruso, Doug Guerena, Pamela Murray, Charlene Poole, John Allen, John Gaul and Shannon Walsh

 

arne buck

My Fateful Meetup Ride

What a great evening for a bike ride.

This was spring in Boston, on a beautiful night. I had joined a Meetup ride, and a group of us were chatting afterward at a local eatery. Pamela Murray, a lovely Asian woman with a Southern accent, sidled up to me with a question.

“Are you going to the CyclingSavvy class that’s starting tomorrow?”

I didn’t know what she was talking about. I’d never heard of the program. But as she and John Allen described it, I thought: What have I got to lose? When I got home that night, I registered on the website.

cyclingsavvy classroom session

Classroom session at Dana Farber Institute in Boston, with instructors Pamela Murray and John Allen

There’s a lot to a CyclingSavvy workshop.

The Friday evening program consisted of short lectures, videos, diagrams of street scenes, and techniques to avoid dangerous road conditions and traffic configurations.

The emphasis, to me, was on maximizing visibility — you can’t be too visible in traffic. A secondary topic was reading and assessing street and traffic patterns to anticipate potential dangers and avoid them. To this end, we discussed optimizing road position for safety and making one’s intent clear and unambiguous at all times.

The Friday evening program reminded me of the United Kingdom’s voluntary Institute of Advanced Motorists program, modeled after a defensive/assertive driving course developed by the London Metropolitan Police. It taught forward-looking road positioning, awareness of other road users (motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, livestock!) at all times, anticipating their intent and actions, and generally avoiding potential trouble spots.

As a result of taking that course, I was rewarded with a healthy discount on my auto insurance. And not coincidentally, I had neither crashes nor close calls during the two years I drove throughout the UK and continental Europe in a right-hand-drive car.

CyclingSavvy holds benefits for people from all levels and backgrounds.

The six participants Friday evening represented a wide range of experience and riding skills. Another gentlemen and I had been bike commuting year-round for decades in and around Boston.

One woman had recently moved from New York City. She enjoyed the Hudson River Greenway and Central Park for weekend recreational rides, but was fearful of riding on NYC or Boston streets, even in bike lanes. She had learned of the program only that morning at a Bike Week get-together. She was willing to learn whatever CyclingSavvy had to offer, as commuting by bike was her best option.

A couple of other folks had ridden occasionally in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville running errands and on weekend group rides, yet felt uneasy riding alone on city streets.

Another woman, Binbin, had purchased a bicycle only a month earlier. She told me she was frightened to do anything but ride in circles in an empty parking lot on Sunday mornings.

Saturday morning:

How far can a bicycle lean before it skids out? Preparation for quick-turn practice. Photo by John Schubert

Train Your Bike offers an easy way to discover the amazing capabilities of the marvelous machine known as the bicycle

The class spent three hours practicing bicycle-handling drills in a parking garage. The first exercise was to mount the bike and start from a dead stop. Most everyone could do this effortlessly, but Binbin appeared to have no idea how to get started. At one point she said she started in her favorite empty parking lot with a gentle slope, and used gravity to gain enough momentum to stay upright. She practiced that morning until she could reliably get the bike going by pushing off on one foot.

Then we spent the time practicing weaving around traffic cones, emergency stops, turns, evasive maneuvers. Binbin had a hard time with the emergency stops, but eventually got the hang of it.

I myself discovered that I could do better. During emergency stops, I repeatedly skidded my rear wheel. I’ve since practiced and my stopping distance is much reduced. Among other skills in which I learned that I could improve was a quick evasive maneuver to avoid hazards like potholes, rocks, dead squirrels, broken glass in the street.

On the streets of Boston.

After lunch, we went out on streets, executing prescribed routes and turns both as a group and individually. We made left turns from a major street, crossed trolley tracks the safe way, and finally navigated around the huge complex of streets at Park Drive/Riverway/Brookline Avenue/Boylston Street.

Arne Buck turns prepares a right turn

Here I am, doing a good job communicating with other drivers.

It was impressive to watch Binbin.

She, too, was amazed, as she negotiated the route with ease from Beacon Street to Brookline Avenue. I’d consider it a minor miracle, as a witness to her transformation between 9 AM and 3 PM that very same day.

During the last exercise, Binbin even had the confidence to respond with kindness to an abusive motorist while they were both stopped at a traffic light.

“Bicycles are not allowed on this road!” he yelled at her.

She politely thanked him for his “information.”

John Allen describes a route including a left turn across trolley tracks. Photo by John Schubert

John Allen describes a route including a left turn across trolley tracks

When the light turned green, she proceeded ahead of this obnoxious driver, whose self-advertised knowledge of the law was obviously nonexistent. He offered a clear demonstration of the Dunning-Kruger effect — i.e., the less people know, the more they tend to think that they know.

With awe I still compare and contrast the newfound knowledge and confidence Binbin developed in order to ride safely in traffic in one of the most challenging confluences of streets in Boston.

CyclingSavvy holds benefits for people from all levels and backgrounds. Beginners like Binbin advance to where they can ride steadily and handle everyday cycling challenges. Longtime cyclists like me learn new skills that improve safety and confidence.

I’m kneeling at lower left, with my CyclingSavvy group and statues of Dr. Sidney Farber and Jimmy. Binbin is to my right. Photo credit: Fred Clow. All other photos by John Schubert

 

 

 

savvy cycling instructors

Introducing The Nation’s New CSIs

Eight more dreamers in our ranks!

The solid citizens who traversed the country earlier this month to become CyclingSavvy Instructors might be surprised to hear themselves described as such. But right now there’s still so few of us (people who know how to go by bike anywhere now, rather than waiting for some imaginary future when it will finally be “safe” to ride).

That’s OK! These guys are going to make dreams come true. I’d like to introduce you to the nation’s newest CyclingSavvy Instructors:

Jacob Adams

Jacob came the shortest distance with an audacious goal: He’s ready to transform the University of Florida’s car-centric culture.

He’s in a position to do so. Jacob currently works on bike programming for the university’s Office of Sustainability. He intends to use both education and encouragement to show people how easy it can be to choose bicycling.

CyclingSavvy Instructors learn from their colleague Jacob Adams in Orlando.

CSI Jacob Adams (at right) uses his engaging and entertaining style to make an intimidating road easy to navigate by bike

Jacob lives in Gainesville. He’s a lifelong cyclist passionate about sharing the value of cycling with the world. He’s managed bike shops, worked as a community organizer, organized bike races throughout Florida, and delivered food for Jimmy John’s — by bike, of course.

Jacob described his training weekend as “an invaluable experience.”

“The CyclingSavvy curriculum is a game changer for safer cycling and for improving the overall standing of cyclists in the hierarchy of transportation resource users,” he observed.

“The system feels like magic when it’s implemented. I want to give that gift to other cyclists.”

Jacob loved working directly with CyclingSavvy co-founder Keri Caffrey.

“Keri and the entire CSI team at the seminar created an accepting and encouraging space that made it possible for all the instructor candidates to learn and grow during the weekend. Having the opportunity to learn the intricacies of the program from the team that conceived, developed and implemented it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always look back upon fondly.

“Turns out Orlando isn’t so bad after all!”

Randy Dull

nation's new CSIs (Feb 2018)

CSI Randy Dull is at the front on the right, leading instructors to their next destination

Randy lives in Columbus, Ohio. He’s been involved with USA Cycling as both a racer and coach. He’s done race promoting and taught bike maintenance classes. He rides almost every day. Check out the impressive ride log he keeps on his company’s work site.

“I love to ride,” Randy wrote. “In addition to recreational riding, I’ve been commuting to school and work by bike since I was 15 — an opportunity for two more rides per day!”

The process for becoming a CyclingSavvy instructor is intense. Randy observed that he learned quite a bit from his fellow students as well as the instructors. He looks forward to passing it on.

“Helping others to gain skill and confidence on the bike is my quest,” he said. “CSI training provided great help with both subject matter and teaching techniques. This was time well spent.”

Carl Fenske

CyclingSavvy instructors at the beginning of an intense and rewarding day.

CSI Carl Fenske (at front left) describing what to expect on the Tour of Orlando

Carl hails from Greensboro, NC. He describes himself as a cycle tourist, urban bike commuter and cycling advocate. He’s ridden across America and led several self-contained youth cycling tours from Maine to Florida, as well as in England. During his 38-year career as a science teacher, Carl commuted six of those years to and from school by bike, and taught summer cycling camps.

Carl never heard of CyclingSavvy until last fall. “When I first discovered CyclingSavvy, I watched several of the videos and was intrigued by the concepts presented there,” he said.

He immediately subscribed to CyclingSavvy Online, but then discovered and signed up for a three-day workshop in Charlotte, led by veteran instructor Pamela Murray.

“It was there that I was able to gain new approaches to teaching cycling skills and strategic riding practices,” Carl said. “I inquired about becoming an instructor because I wanted to continue my CyclingSavvy journey.”

Carl called it a “privilege” to work with Keri during his instructor training — and then took his observation a step further.

“She’s identified and solved so many common problems that urban cyclists frequently encounter, she may become known as the Mother of Modern Bicycle Transportation.”

Les Leathem

Les is one of the guys behind These Guys Bike. He maintains there’s a big difference between knowing how to balance on two wheels and riding.

Les Leathem practicing chalk talk.

CyclingSavvy instructors learn all sorts of ways to communicate. Les Leathem practices “chalk talk” in a parking garage in Downtown Orlando

Riding a bicycle means feeling confident at any time,” he says. “It means the ability to ride in most weather conditions, it means using it for exercise, transportation, or just the sheer joy of getting outside and doing something!”

A native of New Orleans, Les has returned home after many years away. He is Louisiana’s first CyclingSavvy instructor. He’s excited by the rapid rise of bicycling in NOLA, and looks forward to helping people discover savvy cycling.

“Remember: Whenever, however, wherever you ride, you are an advocate,” he says. “And what you communicate matters.”

Les was already one of the nation’s top cycling instructors when he decided to check out CyclingSavvy. He’s a coach for the League of American Bicyclists, teaching others how to become League-certified instructors.

This bicycle expert was surprised when he took CyclingSavvy.

“Taking the basic course, I learned a lot,” Les wrote in his application to become a CyclingSavvy instructor. “The focus of the course was very useful and different. I’d like to be able to offer that perspective to the community.”

Damon Richards

Damon is the executive director of IndyCog, the bike advocacy nonprofit serving Indianapolis. He’s an Indianapolis native and Indiana’s first CyclingSavvy instructor. He says he’s “pretending to be retired” from running a small computer consulting company. As head of IndyCog, he wants to create more bike riders in Central Indiana.

Damon & Randy describe their road features for the Tour of Orlando

CSI Damon Richards and CyclingSavvy co-founder Keri Caffrey discuss the road feature he’ll be leading later that day, as instructor trainer Lisa Walker and CSI Randy Dull listen

And not just Indiana. Damon’s recent ride across America led him to an epiphany. Every single day delivered kind encounters, almost always with strangers and even when he thought it might be otherwise.

He’ll never forget being stranded on a lonely road in Oklahoma as he changed a flat tire. A guy in a large pickup truck roared by. As he flew down the road, Damon looked up to notice the guns on the rack behind the bench seat.

A couple of minutes later, the guy came roaring back. “This can’t be good,” Damon thought to himself, and started looking around, wondering what he could grab to protect himself.

The guy jumped out of his truck and heaved a huge tool chest over to Damon and his bike. “I see you have trouble,” he said. “How can I help?”

That ride set Damon on a mission. He realized that biking was about so much more than the bike. His research afterward led him to savvy cycling, as a way to restore kindness and civility to everyday human encounters.

Scott Slingerland

This training included not one but two directors of bike-ped organizations. Scott serves as director ​for CAT-Coalition for Appropriate Transportation, in eastern Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.​ He comes to bicycling-pedestrian-transit advocacy & education as a “recovering engineer,” with 12-plus years’ experience working on power plants and pressure vessels.

CyclingSavvy instructor training in Orlando (Feb 2018)

When you’re bicycling, you have choices! CSI Scott Slingerland describes the pros and cons of options for cyclists when using this road and its sidepath

Bicycling has been a big part of Scott’s lifelong journey for synergy of transportation, sport, health and freedom. He first biked to school at age 11. He’s done mountain bike racing and bicycle touring in the United States, Costa Rica, Germany, China and Taiwan. He’s not owned a car since 2008. He bikes daily for transportation, averaging about 7,000 miles per year.

Scott used a combination of Greyhound, Amtrak and his own power to get from his Easton, PA, home to the Orlando training. His trip included visiting friends in Daytona Beach. He rode from there to Orlando.

Scott decided to pursue instructor training last fall after taking CyclingSavvy. “I’m fascinated by the extensive communication methods taught to foster cooperation between cyclists and motorists,” he wrote in his application to become an instructor. “I want to bring this method to local cyclists in my official capacity and extend the teaching to motorists as well.”

Scott continued: “I also find the classroom portion of CyclingSavvy to be eye-opening with clear presentation and graphics.

“In the general realm of expanding bicycling, I would like to focus on teaching skills, driver awareness, and cyclist-motorist cooperation, rather than fighting for, or against, infrastructure.”

Jeff Viscount

He’s called the “Mayor of Biketown” in Charlotte, NC. Jeff runs WeeklyRides.Com, an impressive compilation of rides, tours and all things bikey around Charlotte. He’s a recreational road cyclist and commuter. “I want to help others learn and understand the principles and techniques taught through CyclingSavvy,” he wrote in his application to become an instructor.

He did a fabulous job in Orlando.

CSI Jeff Viscount with an excellent "chalk talk" in Orlando

CSI Jeff Viscount created an excellent “chalk talk” of an intimidating intersection in Orlando

Brian Watson

Someday lots of us will be earning a living teaching savvy cycling. Right now, Brian is!

CSI Brian Watson explains how to safely navigate a complicated interchange

CSI Brian Watson (kneeling) describes how to easily bike on a busy road under Interstate 4 in Orlando

Brian lives in Bremerton, WA, and teaches Seattle-area adults and children through BicycleTeacher, his bicycling education coaching service. He is Washington State’s first CyclingSavvy instructor. Every weekend from mid-April through late September, Brian teaches, often for Go Redmond, a mobility program in Redmond, WA. His students include those who have never been on a bike to people with many years in the saddle. When Brian’s not on his bike, he’s busy in Watson Studios making one-of-a-kind creations in wood.

“Becoming a CyclingSavvy Instructor has been a long-time goal, and was a rigorous and rewarding process,” Brian wrote afterward. “The insights and thoroughness of the CyclingSavvy approach will allow me to offer the best in bicycling education in Washington State.”

When he got back home, Brian wrote this awesome post on the instructor forum:

Pedaling home from a long day of CSI training, I experienced a poignant moment of civility that CS behavior inspires. It was dark, so I had my lights on, and was wearing my reflective vest and wristbands. I had moved into the left tire track (after scanning, signaling, and verifying that the lane was clear) at a stoplight to turn left. As I was waiting at the light, a driver pulled up behind me with her right turn signal blinking. Since there was plenty of room in the lane for us to wait side-by-side, I gave her a friendly wave to come on up beside me.

She rolled her window down to thank me, and then said, ‘It’s just so nice to see a bicyclist following the rules.’ Even though she was some distance behind me as we approached the light, she was able to see me, see my signal, and correctly read my intentions from my lane positioning. She was genuinely appreciative of my behavior, and I returned the gratitude to her for her civil driving.

I then gave my best ‘red light speech’ extolling the CS approach, and encouraged her to check it out so she too could ride her bike anywhere, any time.

The light turned green all too soon, and we parted ways with a wave and a smile.

In today’s climate of fear and incivility, this brief encounter was a small but powerful demonstration of the potential for creating trust, respect, and kindness with simple changes in cycling behavior.

CS gives me HOPE.

cyclingsavvy instructors in orlando, florida

The nation’s newest CyclingSavvy Instructors. From left: Lisa Walker (instructor trainer), Jacob Adams, Les Leathem, Scott Slingerland, Carl Fenske, Damon Richards, Randy Dull, Jeff Viscount, Keri Caffrey (CyclingSavvy co-founder), Brian Watson and Karen Karabell (newly minted instructor trainer)