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Posts Tagged ‘bicycle safety education’

Building our community, one bike at a time…

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

At the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, we work on building community through bicycling. As we continue to fulfill our mission, we often meet opportunities to work on special and important projects.

Meet Olivia. This pint-sized dynamo came into the co-op to request our assistance with a school project: to learn how to build a bicycle.

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We paired her up with veteran velonteer and mechanic extraordinaire Dr. Tim Anderson and over the course of several weeks, Olivia built a bike with us.

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Working on wheels under Tim’s helpful tutelage.

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Olivia_working1

Making adjustments at the trueing stand.

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Tim helps Olivia make the necessary adjustments.

 

grease!

Getting greasy! And repacking this wheel’s hub.

Olivia Rick

Olivia discusses bike safety with Rick after finishing her bike build.

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Done!! Tim and Olivia show off the finished bicycle.

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Olivia with her family, her new bike and Tim at the co-op.

Biking through the winter

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Cycling through the winter can seem daunting! Northern Colorado brings more than its fair share of  icy roads, blizzards, blowing snow, freezing rain and more. Add to this that the sun goes down by 5pm every day and it’s easy to see how a lot of cyclists find it simpler to garage their bikes than brave the winter riding.

Riding in winter can be so much fun, though, and in Fort Collins I’ve found that often the bike paths are plowed before the roads are! Cycling in Northern Colorado can also be perfectly safe . . . as long as the proper precautions are taken.

Cycling safety in the winter is fairly common-sense: use front and rear lights (at least!) to ensure maximum visibility. Wear light colored and/or reflective clothing. Keep a sharp eye out for traffic and try to use bike paths as much as possible.

Running your tires at lower pressure can increase traction (but don’t go below the recommended minimum)! Maintain your bike after every ride to keep brake and shifting systems functioning smoothly, and make sure to dry and lube your chain after wet rides.

Safety is only part of the equation: staying warm and comfortable is important too, especially in maintaining safety. Our friends over at REI, who kindly helped sponsor our 10th Anniversary Party with a generous donation of cycling accessories, have a vast offering of comfortable, warming underclothes, pants, fleeces, sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves and specialty items, like balaclavas and scarves and neck gaiters, to help keep your ride as comfortable as possible.

Cycling throughout the winter can be fun and adventurous. As long as the proper precautions are taken, you can cycle all year round.

Bike Co-op Sponsors League Cycling Instructor Seminar May 4 – 6, 2012

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

(LCI seminar scholarships are provided in partnership with Safe Routes to School, a program of the City of Fort Collins and the Colorado Dept of Transportation.)

The Fort Collins Bike Co-op is sponsoring a League Cycling Instructor seminar at the Bike Co-op in Fort Collins May 4 – 6, 2012. The coach for the seminar is nationally recognized League Cycling Instructor, Preston Tyree.

League Cycling Instructors are certified by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) to teach bicycle safety.

According to LAB:

“Becoming a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) certified to teach Smart Cycling is a great way to help cyclists in your community. Certified instructors can teach Smart Cycling classes to children as well as adults. Help bring the joy of safe cycling to others. If you are an experienced cyclist and would like to teach others please consider taking the next step towards certification. Becoming a League member and taking Traffic Skills 101 are prerequisites for a certification seminar. Instructors are trained at seminars held periodically throughout the year.”

To register for the Fort Collins seminar visit the web site of the LAB: http://members.bikeleague.org/members_online/members/calendar_of_events.asp

We are lucky to have Preston Tyree coach this seminar. Preston was the Education Director at the League of American Bicyclists from 2007 through 2011. Before that he was Education Director at Bike Texas from 1997 through 2003 where he implemented the Texas SuperCyclist Project and trained 3,000 teachers to teach bicycle traffic safety in schools.

If you are an experienced cyclist and would like to teach others how to bicycle safely please join us. By becoming a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) you can help Fort Collins become a safer bicycle community and you can help us move toward the Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Community award.

Space for this seminar is limited to 15.  The Bike Co-op has 8 scholarships available to cover the $200 registration fee for this seminar for local residents who will commit to helping build our safe cycling program in Fort Collins.  Participants must pay the $200 fee and the $35 LAB membership fee themselves.  The $200 registration fee will be reimbursed after the new LCIs assist with at least two Smart Cyclng classes.

For further information contact Rick Price (970-310-5238). Or check the Education Programs on the Bike Co-op web site: http://fcbikecoop.org/programs/education/index.php.

For information about the LCI program at the national level visit: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/

Police Need Training in Bicycle Laws and Safety

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

First Published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan Feb. 7, 2011

My favorite story of the law and bicyclists in Fort Collins is of the time 1½ years ago, when a Fort Collins police officer stopped the then-National Collegiate Cycling champion and issued a warning for what the officer thought was an illegal left turn.

The national champion, experienced bicycle commuter and experienced bike handler was headed to work on North College Avenue, turning north from the right-most left turn lane on Cherry Street. The officer handed him a pre-printed form from www.Colobikelaw.com. The form explained how a cyclist should make a left turn by keeping to the far right, crossing with the light and repositioning himself on the far right side of the intersection to await the through light.

The officer didn’t realize that the form he handed out mentioned two other legal left turn options available to the cyclist, one of which includes the use of the left turn lane, the choice of this expert cyclist.

The option identified by the police officer is the technique that we teach 12-year-olds, inexperienced cyclists or anyone in a busy intersection. At Cherry Street and College Avenue, there are two left-turn lanes, and experienced cyclists should use the right-most left-turn lane, which leads them right to the bike lane as they complete the turn.

Other oft-repeated anecdotes among cyclists are those involving officers responding to minor bike-car crashes in which the officer asks the cyclist, “Would you like me to file a report?” The correct answer to this question in all cases is, “Yes, absolutely.” But this is a question that shouldn’t even be asked in a bicycle community like ours.

Since 2007, the San Francisco Police Department has used a 10-minute training video to instruct police officers on the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists. Produced in cooperation with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the video informs officers that cyclists should avoid the “door zone” near parked cars and that cyclists should take and “own the lane” on narrow streets. The video further clarifies that bikes belong in traffic, not on the sidewalk. The film explains that officers are required to file an incident report when cyclists report aggression by a motorist or any time a bike-car crash results in injury or property damage. Officers should not dissuade a cyclist from making such a report.

Pueblo and Longmont have done, or are doing, similar trainings. League Cycling instructors in Fort Collins could conduct trainings with Fort Collins Police Services. It would take just 20 minutes to show officers the film, “Bikes Belong In Traffic – SFPD Training Video,” available on www.youtube.com, followed by a brief question and answer session. That should be enough to address recent revisions to Colorado Bicycle Law, dispel “safe” bicycling myths, explain what to expect from safe cyclists and identify dangerous bicycling behaviors in Fort Collins.

When can we start?

Negotiating College and Mulberry in Fort Collins