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We Are Converting Peds to Cyclists

cycling savvy 2By Katy Magruder – BWCF Project Manager

Here’s the deal.  I love to bike but seem to make excuses as to why I don’t do more of it. Mostly I am afraid to ride on roads like Colonial Dr, 17-92, and 436.

It all boils down to fear – a fear of riding where street design is aimed at moving cars, not people.

Fortunately, devoted cycling enthusiasts Keri Caffrey and Mighk Wilson have developed a program that teaches cyclists how to cope with the existing road infrastructure and how to share the road with drivers on roads of all shapes and sizes.  The overall message of the Cycling Savvy program is safety, and to remain safe on the road a cyclist must be VISIBLE to drivers.

Cycling Savvy instructors show potential conflict situations through a number of animations and simulated examples in a classroom setting.  Each situation is followed up with video footage of the instructors avoiding the conflict.

On day-two, Cycling Savvy instructors lead a ride including some of the most intimidating obstacles for cyclists: intersections, merge lanes, and on street parking.  Prepped with knowledge of driving behavior and how to navigate conflict situations from the classroom portion, the ride flows smoothly and safely.

I no longer have excuses when considering biking to work – because I have been properly prepared and trained. The Cycling Savvy course proves to be a wonderful tool for gaining confidence on a bike, learning the rules of the road, predicting driver behavior, and all together remaining VISIBLE.


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Bikes and cars do not mix and most cyclists I have come across on the roads here in Florida do not follow traffic laws. I do not understand the logic of people that think having a the right to cycle on our roads without bike lanes is a good idea. Being dead and right leaves you dead, your loved ones grieving and the motorist traumatized. I love riding too, but I am smart about where I ride, being dead right is not on my list. If rides want to make a point let stop being stubborn and let’s get bike lanes added so there are safe places to ride.

    1. It works, Lee. Take the course and you’ll see.

      The goal here is not to “make a point”, it is to empower cyclists to go wherever they need to go safely and confidently, whatever their reason. Cyclists who ride for transportation especially do not always have a choice about the roads they ride on, they have to use roads that get where they’re going. Take the class.

    2. Others who have taken CyclingSavvy and given it glowing reviews:

      Billy Hattaway, FDOT District 1 Secretary, Statewide “Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety Champion,” and well-regarded Complete Streets engineer

      Harold Barley, Executive Director of MetroPlan Orlando

      Seminole County Commissioner Bob Dallari

      City of Orlando Commissioner Daisy Lynum

      Kirby Beck, co-founder of the International Police Mountain Bike Association

      Bill Edgar, president of the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association

      Numerous local traffic engineers and transportation planners

  2. If we are concerned about safe places to ride, let’s get the impaired and dangerous drivers off the PUBLIC roads. Most motorists in Florida do not follow traffic laws. Everywhere you look, you see them speeding, running red lights, stopping in crosswalks, failing to yield, changing lanes without turn signals, parking illegally, etc etc etc. They should not be allowed to do that with impunity.

  3. Great article. I have heard the same comments as stated by Lee above by my husband and others. All of which have not taken the course. Once you take the course and try riding as Cycling Savvy teaches you, you will have a great experience and the motorists appreciate your visibility, predicatability, etc. You have to take the course and ride this way before you can say anything against it. I have not met or heard a Cycling Savvy graduate say they don’t feel comfortable driving their bicycle after taking the course.

  4. On the other hand, Lee, I find that riding as the Cycling Savvy course teaches brings me a much more positive and cooperative experience than you seem to think possible. That you don’t understand our logic doesn’t make our logic faulty–it only means you haven’t allowed for the possibility that we are right.

    To follow your apparent logic, I wonder why anyone would drive a car on roads where one is likely to encounter fully-loaded semi-trucks, with their far worse blind spot situations and much much greater (in both absolute value and proportion) mass.

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