On Saturday, September 21, Bike & Walk Morristown is offering our last Traffic Skills 101 class of 2013. With more and more people riding bikes around town or wanting to, I have been thinking about the people who might be interested in taking this or get a lot out of it, so I made a list.
Sidewalk Bikers. People over the age of 14 aren’t supposed to be riding their bikes on the sidewalk in Morristown. Honestly, this is not something that bothers me as much it should; i get it, you are intimated by traffic or it seems easier or whatever. If this is you, seriously, when you are on sidewalk where people are walking, get off and push your bike. It’s really polite and we know you aren’t a jerk.
Even with my lack of anger towards sidewalk bikers, Sidewalk Biking is pretty dangerous, and not just to the pedestrians if you are a jerk. Riding through a crosswalk is likely to get you hit; motorists are looking for people moving at walking speed, and someone riding their bike through a crosswalk is not likely to be in their view until it is too late. If you are going to sidewalk ride, walk in crosswalks. Taking Traffic Skills 101 can make a huge difference in your life and move you into the road, which makes for getting to where you want to go faster.
Wrong Way Cyclists. I know, someone told us to ride our bike against traffic when we were 10 and maybe you are still doing it. Just a heads up though, that person was wrong. One of the most important things about riding safely in the road is being seen and being predictable and riding against traffic is neither of these things. Traffic Skills 101 will teach you to ride with traffic and you might be amazed and how much less scary you think it is.
Students. If you are in college and leaving your car at home or your new town has a bike share, that’s awesome! Learning to ride with traffic will make your ride to class relaxing and safe so you can spend the ride thinking about your philosophy class or whatever. See Einstein.
Parents. I love seeing families riding in our local parks, like Loantaka and on the Traction Line. What would be even more awesome is if parents would take Traffic Skills 101, so then they would know how to ride in the road safely and pass this info along to their kids. Let’s not teach our kids to be wrong way cyclists, you guys. It would also be awesome to ride in the road with your kids to the park, and maybe show them you don’t need to drive a car when two wheels would get you where you are going.
Drunk People. Not saying drunk people should ride, that’s for sure, so do not come away from this post telling my mom I said that. So many times we read reports of people running into trouble with the law after a night out in Morristown when they attempted to drive home. And then you read the story, and they live like ONE MILE from where the bar is. Seriously, you guys! It’s not like drunk driving is something we don’t know is stupid and dangerous and what are you thinking anyhow! Learn to ride your bike safely to the bar, lock it up and then walk or call a cab. Walking back to get your bike in the morning will clear your head too.
World Travelers. Every day more and more cities are getting free bike shares in their cities: London, NYC, Paris, DC, Cincinnati! If you love to travel, you should totally use this to get around and explore cities like never before. Knowing how to ride in the road will make your vacations fun, save you money and time getting around, and also leave you with even better stories to tell when you get back.
Road Bikers. I know you are trying to keep going and you are an inspiration, but seriously, it is ok to stop at a light in town, especially if there are traffic and pedestrians. so learning to ride in the road with traffic really helps us all out. Keep on keeping on, you rock.
Drivers. Learning why someone is riding their bike in the road and how they do it can make you a safer driver and a more understanding person.
Regular Person. You just want to get the grocery store, the library, drop off something at a friend’s house, or swing by a restaurant and grab dinner to go, but you know it’s silly to drive one or two miles when you could ride there in the same amount of time and not have to worry about parking.
Register here for our September 21 Traffic Skills 101 class, $30 for members or $40 for non-members. We will be back strong in 2014 with more classes on how to ride in the road and adult learn to ride classes. If you have an idea for a class or want us to set one up for your group or business, just let us know!