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PETE VAN NUYS, executive director of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition
I understand that there is a sudden interest in bicycle education, popularly called “bike safety.”
There is no such thing as bike safety, any more than there is “car safety,” because all use of the public right-of-way involves risk. We, therefore, require (though not very seriously) that teenagers take Driver Education before they are licensed to operate a car.
The explosion of e-bikes has made it obvious that adults, as well as kids, need Bicycle Education. (Shouldn’t it be called Bicyclist Education? Because I’ve never been able to teach my bicycles anything.)
And there is no “E-bike Education,” as far as skills and behavior are concerned. The basics are the same as for good ol’ pedal bicycles. Besides, the referrals we’re getting from the courts are for things like not wearing a helmet, riding on the sidewalk, both equally dumb on bicycle or electric bike.
Anyway, a great online course is free from the American Bicycle Education Association. All one has to do is register here: cyclingsavvy.org/courses/essentials-short-course/.
Cycling Savvy curriculum is the best-researched, best-presented information and skills class for bicyclists ever produced. I know, because I’ve been a certified bicyclist educator since 1980.
I taught Cycling Savvy classes “live and in person” for several years, and the Orange County Bicycle Coalition offered a total of nine hours of instruction for the series. Until interest died about five years ago.
Looks like we’ll have to spool it back up again. But until then, let’s get the information out in the form most people really want—online.