Lots of good thoughts here Vernon, thanks for taking the time to spell them out so clearly. Suffice it to say that we have thought about most of what you mentioned. We've borrowed a kit from our local AAA office that has worked okay in the past. But we need something more complete.
I completely agree with you about the strict obedience issue. And it's why I continue to resist the urge to go the LCI route. We've learned from experience that strict application of traffic laws, especially for our inner city refugee teens, can often inadvertently make them targets for violent behavior and bike theft. Sometimes it isn't a good idea to stay on the right-hand side of the road and come to a complete stop at an empty intersection, like if there's a group of 6 older teens standing there staring at you and your bike. But that's what happens if we go too far in teaching these kids the rules of the road without adding some common sense into the mix.
What we need, IMO, is a different type of bike safety/skills approach when teaching kids, particularly refugee and inner-city teens. The last thing any of us wants to do is have a kid spend his/her time earning a bike only to have it get them beat up and have the bike stolen.
On the issue of safety training for deer.....I think the jury is still out.
On Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 5:19 PM, Vernon Huffman firstname.lastname@example.org:
Please consider your goals and objectives carefully as you plan, Matt. We use bike rodeos to encourage more people to ride, recognizing that more cyclists on the streets make all of us safer. Thus our primary objective is to give people confidence in their ability to ride safely. Promoting safe practices is secondary. We make sure everybody who tries succeeds, hopefully learning some skills in the process. Our bike rodeos are not competitions, because we don't want anybody to lose, though we provide a venue for those who want to display awesome skills.
A fundamental skill worth focus is the ability to look back over the left shoulder (right in UK) while maintaining a straight line. We also emphasize riding slowly, by requiring those who finish the course too quickly to do it again more slowly. We know it takes less skill to maneuver a bike quickly.
Very few materials are essential. Portable road stripes (or paint) and cones can be handy for setting up the course. A double ended ramp might be a nice touch. A printed certificate of completion and safety take-home are valuable. Free lights, reflectors, pant clips, and safety vests are nice handouts. Posters can communicate the importance of holding your line a safe distance out from the door zone and other obstacles on the right side of the road. Help participants to understand that cowering on the shoulder is not a safe riding style and that more cyclists are hit on sidewalks than on the street.
There's a lot of controversy around helmets. Yes, they reduce skull fractures from first impact if worn correctly, though they do nothing to prevent concussion and slightly increase neck injury. The risk is that telling people that bike riding is dangerous reduces the number of people willing to cycle and thus makes cycling more dangerous. More people suffer head injuries in automobiles than on bikes. Make them wear the damn helmets. The main thing that will really improve safety is fewer cars.
I also refuse to instruct cyclists to honor all laws or "drive their bike like a car." Traffic rules are designed to protect all users of the road from the threat of motor vehicles. Cyclists should understand the risks and ride defensively, without threatening other cyclists or pedestrians. Stopping at every stop sign merely increases vulnerability. Learn to maneuver away from threats. Stop when necessary. Be prepared to ditch your bike to the right if cut off; it could save your life.
Since cyclists cannot be licensed, motorists should not expect them to behave predictably. 75-90% of car-bike accidents are caused by the motorist even if you expect bikes to comply with laws and none of them would happen if there were no cars. China didn't have a universal traffic code before 1955 because they didn't need regulations when everybody rode bikes. Holland has become much safer as they transitioned from cars toward bikes. Hold out for a car-free future!
If cyclists learn to comply with their rules, will they then demand safety training for deer?
Thank you for working to make cycling safer for all of us.
On Thursday, October 31, 2013 1:08 PM,
ThinkTank: I am writing a grant to fund the purchase of a kit to set up and conduct bike rodeos community-wide. Can anyone point me in a good direction so that I can develop an itemized list of needed supplies and costs? I have a good idea of what we need but I want to include a very detailed budget with specific items included.
I think I remember seeing some info on the Wiki but that's obviously an issue right now due to the malware situation. Anyone have a good source?
-- *Matt VanSlyke* *Utica Bike Rescue* *714 Washington Street, Utica, NY 13502* *315.525.9554* *email@example.com* *www.uticabikerescue.org* *www.facebook.com/uticabikerescue* *Learn. Earn. Ride.*