Traffic Skills Intro

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Written by Jim Sheehan
Thursday, 12 March 2009 01:17

This is the easiest way we've found to help anyone to not crash their bike: once a month we have a brief discussion and slide show about how bike crashes happen, and then go for a ride to see how to avoid them.

Based on the League of American Bicyclists' Ride Smart program, this is a short version of their 9 hour Traffic Skills 101 course (but without the written and on-road tests, or certificate of completion), so we cover just the basics of what everyone needs to know to ride safely and comfortably in traffic.  This includes traffic laws for cyclists, causes of accidents, practicing essential handling skills in a closed lot, and a short ride to look at how to handle different traffic situations. 

Wondering what you'd get out of these three hours? See our article in the Great Lakes Courier for some examples. If you just can't make it, at least look at the website called "How to not get hit by cars" and read this booklet from ODOT, called Street Smarts.

Intro to Bike Traffic Skills is held at OCBC at 4:30pm on the 2nd Saturday of each month from April to September (private classes can be arranged at other times).  Our Family Traffic Skills Ride, for children under 16 and their parents, is held on the 3rd Saturday at that time

Students should bring their own bike and helmet (or loaners are available), and should have done the paperwork stuff below.  To sign up for this class (and pay, if necessary) please go to our events schedule.

Here's some orientation information and homework to get the most from the class:

You'll log in on our computer to "take a class" when you arrive (and can help yourself to coffee and snacks), and we'll meet in our classroom to share bike crash stories and talk about the "Seven Layers of Safety" for an hour or so. Then we'll do a mechanical safety check, and some bike-handling drills in the parking lot before taking a ride to practice some of the things we have talked about.  

If you'd like to prepare with some readings, "How to not get hit by cars" and Street Smarts are good ones to start with, and the official LAB curriculum is at BikeEd.org.

Students under 12 should take our Family Traffic Skills Ride
Students under 14 must be accompanied by an adult student who is a legal guardian, or designated by them on a signed parental release form. Students under 18 must have a signed parental release form.

Students should have their bikes, helmets and locks ready to go (loaner bikes are available-- please contact us before class if you need one). You must have a helmet to ride in this class. We have loaner helmets, or some for sale ($20), if you don't have one. Wear shoes and clothes that are comfortable, or that you ride in most often (but no sandals, saggy pants, or hairstyles that will make helmet fit difficult).  If you regularly wear cleated shoes with "clip-in" pedals, that's fine, but know that you will be un-cliping a lot.  Bring any medication you need (such as an asthma inhaler) regularly or in an emergency.

It will save lots of time if you safety-check your bike before the class, following this easy Safety Check: if your bike doesn't pass, it may be easy to fix before the ride, or we can give you a loaner, but please contact us with any equipment questions before class.

 Please visit or contact us by phone or email to Education@OhioCityCycles.org for more information.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 March 2017 13:32 )