Discover safe, practical cycling!
Cycling Savvy is a traffic cycling course developed for the Florida Bicycle Association. The course teaches the principles of Mindful Bicycling:
empowerment to act as confident, equal road users;
strategies for safe, stress-free integrated cycling;
tools to read and problem-solve any traffic situation or road configuration.
The course is offered in three 3-hour components: a bike-handling session, a classroom session and an on-road tour. The classroom and bike-handling sessions may be taken individually, the road tour requires the other two as a pre-requisite.
The object of the course is not to turn people into road warriors. Being a confident, competent cyclist has nothing to do with speed or bravado. You don't need either of those things to have access to the entire transportation grid.
Even most confident cyclists prefer to use quiet routes when feasible. In many cases, it is only an intimidating intersection or short stretch of busy road which hinders a cyclist's preferred route. This course is designed to show students simple strategies to eliminate such barriers, and ride with ease and confidence in places they might never have thought possible.
The philosophy and intent of our course is best described in this quote by Aimee Mullins:
…all you really need is one person to show you the epiphany of your own power and you’re off. If you can hand somebody the key to their own power… the human spirit is so receptive… if you can do that and open a door for someone at a crucial moment… you are ‘educating’ them in the best sense. You’re teaching them to open doors for themselves. In fact, the exact meaning of the word "educate' comes from the root word 'educe.' It means to bring forth what is within. To bring out potential.
The 3 Part Course
Our course is designed to be taken as individual sessions or as a complete course. Train Your Bike (bike handling) and Truth & Techniques (classroom session) can be taken individually in any order. To sign up for a Tour of Your City, you must have taken or be signed to take the other two classes prior to the tour class. Individual sessions are $30 per session. A package of three sessions (the full course) is $75. A package may be used to take the sessions at any time.
Train Your Bike! (3 hours):
This session is conducted in a parking lot. It consists of a set of progressive drills designed to increase students' control and comfort handling their bikes in various situations. Drills include:
Start/Stop, Power Pedal & Balance Stop
Snail Race, Slow-speed Balance
Drag-race, Gears & Acceleration
Ride Straight, One-handed
Object-avoidance Handling, Weave, Snap
Turning: Slow-speed Tight Turns, High-speed cornering, Emergency Snap-turn
The Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling (3 hours):
Through guided discussion with video and animation, this session familiarizes students with bicycle-specific laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies. Students discover that bicycle drivers are equal road users, with the right and ability to control their space.
Tour of Minneapolis* (3.5 hours):
This session is an experiential tour of your city's roads. The course includes some of the most intimidating road features (intersections, interchanges, merges, etc.) a cyclist might find in his/her travels. The students travel as a group, stopping to survey and discuss each exercise location. After observing the feature, discussing the traffic dynamics and the best strategy for safe and easy passage, the students ride through individually and regroup at a nearby location.
* The Tour session is only available with the full course. The other two sessions may be taken á la carte, in any order.
This year we've scheduled three Minneapolis classes. Each is Friday evening and all day Saturday at the University of Minnesota East Bank: 2-3 May; 20-21 June, or 18-19 July.