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March 09, 2006

Seattle Club Teaches Cycling Safety

The Cascade Bicycle Club is one of the nation's largest and most active bicycle advocacy groups, with about 5,000 members in Washington.

To many of Seattle's Cycling residents pedaling Seattle's busy streets can be a bit scary.

"Every once in a while I'll come across a motorist who is dangerous," says Dustin Wood, a bicycle commuter and recreational cyclist who rides 75 to 150 miles a week, does not own a car and who, get this, works as an auto mechanic.

"If I am in real bad traffic that is pushy or edgy, I might just pull over and let the cars go by. It's much more pleasant."

Wood, 26, dispenses his considerable wheel-spinning experience as an instructor in a series of Cascade Bicycle Club classes designed to encourage people to take up the activity for fun, fitness and transportation. The club's "Urban Cycling" and "Bicycle Commuting" classes show you how to gear up, how to stay visible, how to avoid hazards and crashes, how to take evasive maneuvers and a lot of other things some people never think about, such as exactly where in the road you should ride.

Another of their programs is the CBC Education Foundation.

The Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation provides education programs and consulting services to the local community, to create a better community through bicycling. We educate elected officials and agencies about building bicycle-friendly communities; teach safe cycling to kids and adults; promote bicycle commuting through individual and corporate programs; review transportation plans to ensure that our cycling voice is heard; and work with schools on fitness programs and Safe Routes to Schools. Programs and materials are free or low-cost.

That is really cool, and you can learn more here.

The article, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has its writer attending a class, and a ride, for the story.

After a briefing on gear Wood got down to the single-most important and contentious issue of road cycling: lane travel. Drivers who aren't cyclists often wonder why bicyclists don't ride as far to the right as they possibly can.

The simple reason is that it is the most dangerous place to ride.

It's where leaves, glass, gravel and other bits of motoring debris gather, where sewer grates are positioned, leaving an uncertain surface for skinny wheels. It's also where cars and trucks often emerge from driveways, side streets and parking lots, and a rider to the extreme right has no sight line for those spots.

The law, says Wood, states that a bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as a vehicle driver and that a cyclist going slower than traffic must stay as far right as is safe.

But what is safe?

Good question.

Read more here:

SEATTLE PI ( 2/16 ): Classes teach city riders how to thrive and stay alive By Greg Johnston.

March 9, 2006 in Club Scene | Permalink

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