How CycleSavvy cycling class changed my view of bicycling in a city | Strong Towns

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

But as the light turned green at Eager Road and Brentwood, surrounded on all sides by hundreds of tons of metal and horsepower and people that could kill me simply by flexing their ankle a little to the left, I realized something.

The Cycling Savvy class discusses how to avoid getting "doored" by a driver opening his/her door into a bike lane.

I wasn’t afraid.

So much of our road education—if we get any at all—is about fear. From those Red Asphalt movies in driver’s ed that traumatized me as a teen to lectures on liability insurance and why jaywalking is deadly, nearly every conversation I’d had about how I use my roads was not about what power I had, or even about my own ability to guard against the powerfully destructive elements of my city's transportation system. An airbag wouldn’t necessarily protect me from being killed by a drunk driver; the only thing I could do was stay alert, and not drive drunk myself. I could maybe keep my insurance rates from going up by not saying “sorry” if I rear-ended another driver, lest a lawyer think that meant I accepted liability, but that certainly didn’t mean that no one would ever rear-end me. Car “accidents” were just a part of life. I could armor myself against them, somewhat, and I could follow the laws and do my best to not add to the problem, but I certainly couldn’t change the world.

Using a road, I was taught, was inherently scary. But doing something scary doesn’t make you brave.

If we want to build better roads, we don't need to armor ourselves like soldiers, or grit our teeth as we climb on our bikes, knowing that sooner or later, we’re likely to get hit. We don’t need to be badassess—and it should be noted that Cycling Savvy riders, by and large, are not what we think of when we picture Road Warriors, nor do they seem to want to be. In training, CS goes out of their way to show how many of their riders are just people on bikes, of all shapes and sizes. That includes, by  the way, riders who are elderly, or who are towing small children in bike trailers, or who have chronic health problems that slow them down.

MoBikeFed comment: This is a great story of how taking a bike ed class can change a person's outlook on bicycling in a pretty fundamental way.

Many have reported the same insights and changes in their thinking about bicycling by taking one of the bike ed classes taught by PedNet and the City of Columbia in Columbia, by BikeWalkKC in Kansas City, by Trailnet and other organizations in St. Louis, or by taking classes offered in Springfield, St. Joseph, and elsewhere across the state.

Learning how to safely and confidently navigate traffic on a bicycle is life-changing for many, many participants in these classes.

CycleSavvy is an organization that focuses solely on teaching cyclists to ride safely on the street, and over the years they have developed a very good curriculum--and the Missouri CycleSavvy instructors are very experienced and skilled. You can find a CycleSavvy course in Missouri--or anywhere in the U.S., or online--here:

The League of American Bicyclists has a nationwide network of Bike Ed instructors and classes--you can find Missouri listings here:

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