Safe Cycling 101: It's an Every Ride Thing!

This is the first article in a ten article series on Traffic Skills 101, the League of American Bicyclist's premier vehicular cycling course.  For more information, please contact the author, visit MoBikeFed's Bicycling Safety and Skills Page, or visit the Bike League's website.

When it comes to feeling good, there aren’t many things you can do that will make as much difference in your life as riding a bicycle.  Cycling will help you lose that spare tire and finally become fit, once and for all.  It will put a jingle in your pocket, because you’ll be pedaling to where you want to go instead of filling up a gasoline tank.  You’ll feel better while saving money.  You’ll meet new people and make new friends.   It’s a win-win-win proposition!

Riding in traffic
Safe Cycling 101

In spite of all the benefits, many adults are reluctant to cycle.  While there are numerous reasons why, it almost always boils down to safety concerns.  That’s a shame, because cycling is actually one of the safest forms of exercise and transportation ever devised, provided we integrate safety into our personal cycling philosophy.

So what does that mean?  Well, simply put, safe cycling is not a “sometimes” thing.   We should focus on safety every time we saddle up and ride.  It isn’t difficult.  It will make cycling more fun and enjoyable.  It will enable you to ride more often over longer distances.  As you do, you will likely come to love cycling even more while recognizing even greater benefits.

I recently completed the League of American Bicyclists Traffic Safety 101 course. This excellent course reinforced a lot of things I already knew about safe cycling and taught me new skills that will make me a better and safer rider. Traffic Safety 101 combines classroom and “on the bike” training to make you a better cyclist. It may make all the difference in your life. I highly recommend the course.

Over the coming months, I’ll be sharing a series of ten articles on safe cycling here. I’ll cover everything from what to wear to how to ride under certain conditions. These articles are a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, an integrated approach to safe cycling.  I hope you will find them useful and beneficial.

 

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Bob Sharpe is a League of American Bicyclists Certified Cycling Instructor and founder of Bike 5, a movement that encourages people to bicycle for short trips of five miles or less.  You can reach him directly through the Bike 5 page on Facebook.

This article is one of a 12-part series on the basics of riding on the road and covering the primary topics found in the League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling course.

Read all 11 articles in Bob's Safe Cycling Series here.

Find more resources for better bicycling on our Bicycle Skills and Safety page.

 

Improving safety for Missourians who bicycle, walk, and drive is one of the primary goals of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Work to educate and inform Missourians about important safety and skills topics such as those found in this series on safe bicycling is an important part of that effort.

Your ongoing membership and generous financial support help turn our Vision into reality!