Why should someone who has been riding a bicycle for many years want to take a bicycle education course? While we may not have ever taken a formal class in bicycle handling skills, it's difficult to imagine what we could learn from such a class. However, many of us don't feel very safe riding with traffic, especially on busy main roads with higher speed limits.
Even experienced cyclists can learn important bike handling skills by taking a bicycle skills course. Some people have never learned to ride a bicycle but want the freedom and exercise that comes with riding a bike. By taking a Learn to Ride course they can learn this skill in a matter of hours. Bicycle commuters can learn techniques for making their ride to work safer and more convenient by taking a bicycle commuter seminar.
Learn to Ride
Many adults did not learn how to ride a bicycle when they were children. As an adult, it can be difficult to learn this skill. I provide one-on-one and small group instruction to adults in a multi-step process. Most adults can learn to ride a bicycle within a few hours.
The first step is to learn how to balance on a bicycle. Pedals are removed from the bike and the seat is lowered so that both feet can easily touch the ground. Students first learn how to stop gradually. Then, on a slight slope, students learn to coast, with feet held off the ground, for short distances. Once this skill is learned, which is the hardest part of learning to ride a bicycle, pedals are put back on the bicycle. Next students learn to push of using one pedal in the power position. Students then learn more advanced skills.
The Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) holds several Learn to Ride (L2R) classes throughout the year. Check the WABA website for details. I provide private and small group lessons. Call or email for details, 703-328-9619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bicycle Skills Classes
Skills classes are based on the League of American Bicyclists bicycle education program. The main course, known as Traffic Skills 101 at the League, involves nine hours of classroom and outdoor instruction, usually spread out over 2 or 3 classes. A recent option allows students to complete the classroom instruction using an online course developed by the League.
We plan to hold skills classes this Spring through Fairfax County Park Authority's Parktakes. Search on the keyword "bicycle". We also occasionally teach through WABA's Confident City Cycling classes that are based on the League's Traffic Skills 101 course. Check the WABA website for details. We provide individual and small group classes upon request. Contact us for more information.
Bicycle Maintenance Classes
We teach a basic bicycle maintenance class that covers topics such as flat tire repair, brake and gear adjustments, basic lubrication and how to perform a safety check on your bike. Tools and equipment needed to work on your bike will be discussed. This is a lecture class so there is no need to bring bikes to class. This class is held on the first Sunday of every month at bikes@vienna and through Fairfax County Park Authority's Parktakes.
Bicycle Commuter Seminars
We teach Bicycle Commuter Seminars at local organizations. The class covers the following topics: 1. Why commute by bike? 2. Bikes and equipment, 3. Clothing strategies, 4. Finding the best route to work, 5. Safe riding techniques. Bike maps and bike commuting guides will be handed out in the class. Online resources will also be discussed: bike routing, bike organizations, events, and classes. See side panel for details. Contact us for more information.