Montgomery County Bike Classes Kick Off in Friendship Heights
In celebration of the launch of Capital Bikeshare in Montgomery County, WABA has partnered with MCDOT to provide our City Cycling classes to Montgomery County residents this fall. Our first class was held last Sunday in Friendship Heights to launch the new partnership and give people the chance to learn some riding skills, practice confidently biking on city streets, and have an opportunity to ask their burning bike questions. Just across Western Avenue, Maryland cyclists gathered to hear a bit about some of the challenges faced by bicyclists when they decide to ride on the street. WABA’s education instructors (certified to teach bike education by the League of American Bicyclists) then gave a few pointers about bike fitting, helmet adjustments, and how to do a quick checkup on a bike before riding. From there, it was onto a series of drills in a secluded parking lot designed to teach control and handling, as well as techniques vital to sharing space with cars, such as looking over the shoulder without wobbling or veering to the side. Students had plenty of opportunity to practice before moving on to a more advanced set of drills called Crash Avoidance Maneuvers. After the training session and a short break, the class ventured out for a practical on-bike lesson. With WABA’s instructors as guides, students began on a quiet side-street and were gradually introduced to busier roadways and more complicated situations. With frequent stops to discuss issues and infrastructure, the ride covered more metaphorical ground than literal ground, but students finished with plenty of real-world examples, context, and experience. When they returned to the practice area, our instructors demonstrated how to fix a flat tire and answered a few more questions, then loaded up the students with bike maps, tip sheets and guide books to keep them learning after the class was finished. Here’s what students are saying about WABA’s City Cycling classes this season: “Both my partner (a new city cyclist) and I (an experienced city cyclist) learned a lot.” “[The Iinstructors] were informative, patient, and able to communicate to a group on different riding levels.” “After taking this course, I am significantly less terrified of riding on the street.” We have three more City Cycling classes on the calendar for October in Montgomery County in the following locations: Sat., Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Bethesda (Montgomery County residents only) Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Takoma Park (Montgomery County residents only) Sun., Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Silver Spring (Montgomery County residents only) We hope to see you there! For more photos from our classes, see this Flickr set.