Empowering unlimited travel

Keri Caffrey’s Cycling Savvy class puts a fresh spin on cyclist education.

Sarah from Colorado Springs
This is Sarah from Colorado Springs during the road portion of a Road 1 class in Denver in 2007. She was a complete newbie when she took the class — she bought the bicycle just days before specifically for the class. In this photo, both she and the car driver behind prepare for a right turn. She’s biased away from the curb to avoid getting squeezed by the car driver in the turn.

Cycling isn’t rocket science, but I’m a big believer in cycling education classes such as the League of American Bicyclists road cycling classes and their numerous local spinoffs. I can mouth off forever about controlling the lane, but until you actually see it done, they’re just ephemeral words in the ether. The on-road portion of cycling classes powerfully demonstrates the utility of asserting a cyclist’s right to the road, and ‘empowerment’ is a word I’ve used before to describe the change many students feel after taking these classes.

When I took the LAB Road 1 course several years ago, the presentation material was a collection of flipcharts and photocopied slides. Keri Caffrey (of Commute Orlando) — an experienced graphic designer — saw the need for updated material and created Cycling Savvy for the Florida Bicycle Association. The tagline “Empowerment For Unlimited Travel” describes the goal of this class.

John Brooking visited Orlando and describes the benefits of Cycling Savvy in his own words.

If you’ve never taken a cycling safety class, either check the LAB’s online course schedule for your state, or look at your local bike advocacy website calendar. I know that the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Urban Cycling Workshops aren’t on the LAB calendar.

3 Comments

  • Keri
    January 13, 2011 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Richard, Thanks for the write-up and links! As anyone who has taught traffic cycling can attest, there’s nothing quite like watching a person make the journey from fear to empowerment. It’s so fulfilling.

  • John Brooking
    January 14, 2011 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Richard! Just a small correction, there is no S on my last name. (I am not an Institute, nor am I a small university town in South Dakota. :-))

  • January 14, 2011 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Oops – sorry! And now corrected. Thanks for letting me know.

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