Squeamish no more!

Last weekend, Nancy took our first Fort Worth workshop. As an active member of the LMRA Bicycle Club, Nancy has ridden thousands of miles and enjoyed many club rides around the DFW area. Here’s Nancy’s review of the weekend in her own words as originally published in the club forum (republished by permission):

I attended this weekend’s CyclingSavvy Workshop. They have been offered in Dallas before; this is the first session in FW. Attendance was very light so there was plenty of time for individual discussion and feedback.

Friday evening we had a classroom session. We watched some videos and reviewed scenarios for discussion of why cyclists crash and how to avoid bad situations. Some of the videos are on their website. We also reviewed the Texas Transportation laws and that 90% of Texas roads are not appropriate for sharing a lane side by side with a car whether it’s a regular road, a bike route, a wide outer lane road, or an on-street bike lane. “As close to the right as practicable” is misunderstood and the “… except when” situations get overlooked.

Nancy Dodging Rocks

Nancy Dodging Rocks

Saturday morning we had a skills session in a parking lot starting with the very basics to make sure we were all on the same page. I did OK on some, needs improvement on others. Some were surprises that I didn’t realize where my skill level is. (both better and worse). My sharp turns at speed suck, and I don’t see much detail when I do a “shoulder check” looking behind me on the right. They did not approve of my “Hi Ho Silver” rolling bike mount. ;)

We rode down Camp Bowie to Chipotles for lunch. Mmmm :D

Saturday afternoon was our Tour Of FW. We rode as a tight group to a designated location, pulled off road, then had a discussion of an upcoming segment. The instructors drew chalk maps indicating the plan; then we rode 1 person at a time to put concepts into real life. After each segment, we discussed our experience and lessons learned.

Nancy on University Ave

Nancy on University Ave

Our group was small enough that we could do several segments without a lot of waiting time. Ride segments were on busy streets such as Camp Bowie, 7th Street, University, 8th Ave, Lancaster with some lane positioning and intersections and construction zones that got me squeamish thinking about it. We were always given the opportunity to decline if we felt something was too far out of our comfort zone. I did everything requested. All was much easier than it appeared on the surface and it gave me much more confidence.

I think that I have benefited more from this workshop than I ever would have from just going out for a breakfast ride, doing a hard ride, or sitting on the computer watching videos. I hope the rest of you will also sign up and see if you are able to get similar results.

CyclingSavvy DFW
PO BOX 140504 DallasTX75214 USA 
 • 214-302-9253

April 19 – Truth & Techniques

A key part of the CyclingSavvy weekend workshop is the classroom “Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling”. Everything that we do on Saturday on our bikes depends on the material in “Truth & Techniques”.

However, I know that as soon as I say the word “classroom” to an adult, they roll their eyes and yawn. We’re all quick to associate “boring” and “tedious”.

These are not two words that describe “Truth & Techniques”. The founders of CyclingSavvy took the time and effort to understand how adults learn and process information best, and incorporated those ideas into this session. Videos, animations, discussion, and other modern teaching techniques are used to engage each person and bring the material alive. We dissect different intersection types, route planning, night & inclement weather riding, crash avoidance, visibility methods, and topics that are relevant to everyday cyclists.

After I took this session, I became a better, more aware driver in all types of vehicles. This session unlocked how intersections work, and why people make mistakes. Even when I’m driving my scooter or car around town now, I pick up on things I never even noticed before and avoid situations that could be quite nasty.

After nearly every session, someone tells me “I wish my spouse had taken this part of the course” or “I wish my kids could see this”. I’ve even heard people say that they wish driver’s ed was this interesting and engaging.

Friday, April 19, we’ll be hosting the very first “Truth & Techniques” in Fort Worth. Come join us and see what it’s all about. You can register ahead of time (select “1 session”) or just show up. This session by itself is just $30 and starts at 6pm at Arlington Heights United Methodist Church on Camp Bowie Boulevard (map).

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Fort Worth!

Ever since CyclingSavvy DFW launched in 2011, our goal has been to customize the workshop to different cities in the metroplex. The Dallas workshops have proven over and over again that cyclists of all types and ages can truly enjoy and benefit from this innovative material. So, it gives me great pleasure to announce to you that registration is NOW OPEN for…

FORT WORTH

Fort Worth Texas at Sunset

Fort Worth Texas at Sunset by longhorndave on Flickr

This has been a long-time coming and we are really excited about bringing this outstanding bicycle workshop to the streets of Fort Worth. We hope this is the first of many opportunities in Fort Worth. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into planning a weekend that will be fun, innovative, and unique… but best of all, useful. You will cycle away excited, empowered, and ready to enjoy cycling anywhere in Fort Worth. But, don’t take our word for it… see what others are saying!

Come join us on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 for the entire CyclingSavvy workshop. Arlington Heights United Methodist Church on Camp Bowie Boulevard (map) will be hosting both the classroom and parking lot drill components of the workshop. Click here to register.

Parking Lot Drills

Parking Lot Drills

Like our Dallas workshops, we will be having a Friday evening classroom session called Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling. Through guided discussion with video and animation, this session familiarizes participants with bicycle-specific laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies. Videos, reference material, and animations demonstrate that bicycle drivers are equal road users, with the right and ability to control their space.

On Saturday morning, we’ll beef up our bike handling skills with Train Your Bike. This session is conducted in a parking lot. It consists of a set of progressive drills designed to increase cyclists’ control and comfort while handling a bike in various situations.

Then, on Saturday afternoon (after a quick lunch, of course!) we’ll work through a brand-new Tour of Fort Worth. This session is an experiential tour of area roads. The route includes some of the most intimidating road features (intersections, interchanges, merges, etc.) a cyclist might find in his or her travels. Travelling as a group, the participants stop to survey and discuss each exercise location. After observing the feature, discussing the traffic dynamics and the best strategy for safe and easy passage, each cyclists rides through individually and regroups at a nearby location. This session is designed to give you the confidence and skills to handle any urban situation.

For more information about the CyclingSavvy curriculum, check out the “What we teach” page on CyclingSavvy.org.

To sign up and reserve your spot in our limited class, simply click the register link below and complete the form. You will be directed to a Google Checkout after completing the form. If you’d like to pay in person via cash or check, simply close the browser once you are directed to Google Checkout. We look forward to seeing you… in Fort Worth!

Location
Date
Sessions
Registration
Fort Worth
Arlington Heights
United Methodist Church (map)
April 19, 6-9pTruth & TechniquesRegistration closed.
April 20, 8a-3pTrain Your Bike
Tour of Fort Worth

In addition to this new workshop in Fort Worth, we currently have two in Dallas open for registration. Check our Schedule page for details.

Spring Workshops

Left Turn

2012 was a huge year for CyclingSavvy DFW. We had the privilege of hosting six CyclingSavvy workshops for bicyclists from all over DFW, we gained a new instructor, we taught the curriculum while being translated to two foreign languages, and our last workshop had 20 cyclists and required an overflow day! We are really looking forward to what is in store for 2013.

Personally, I am really excited to see the material catch on and make a huge difference in the lives of my neighbors and friends. The innovative workshop continues to be valuable to cyclists of all skill levels and styles.

Parking Lot Drills

Parking Lot Drills

Each instructor works hard to pack every session with real-world, practical information for all types of cyclists. Even the most experienced commuters come away with ideas for having a more enjoyable ride. Just started riding a bike? Don’t worry! We won’t leave you in the cold. You’ll find a welcoming and friendly crew.

If you’re ready to discover the tricks and techniques of the CyclingSavvy program…then your chance is here! The Spring 2013 workshops are now open for registration!

Location
Date
Sessions
Registration
Dallas
Northway Christian Church (map)
March 8, 6-9pTruth & TechniquesCancelled due to inclement weather.
March 9, 8a-4pTrain Your Bike
Tour of Dallas
May 10, 6-9pTruth & TechniquesRegistration closed.
May 11, 8a-3pTrain Your Bike
Tour of Dallas
Fort Worth
Arlington Heights
United Methodist Church (map)
April 19, 6-9pTruth & TechniquesRegistration closed.
April 20, 8a-3pTrain Your Bike
Tour of Fort Worth

The workshop weekend is three part: a classroom session on Friday evening, a parking-lot drills section on Saturday morning, and a road course with individual exercises on Saturday afternoon. For the best experience, we highly recommend that you pick the “entire course” for just $75.

Bike Yoga?

Bike Yoga?

Each of our instructors are certified through the CyclingSavvy Instructor training program. Click here to learn more about what the CyclingSavvy curriculum covers. Feel free to email us if you have any questions. We look forward to having you in our next workshop!

Update: An additional session has been added in… Fort Worth! See this post for more details.

Twenty cyclists. Beautiful weather. One flat tire.

Last weekend was the perfect weather to hit the roads of Dallas. We had 20 cyclists and a load of enthusiasm. This was also Justine’s first weekend to join Waco and I as an instructor. With 20 cyclists, we were completely sold out!

Instructor Justine

First thing that we noticed on Saturday… Christmas shopping is well under-way before Thanksgiving! The afternoon route takes us around NorthPark Center a few times (the intersections around there are great for interacting with traffic and demonstrating the CyclingSavvy principles in a compact area), so we pretty quickly saw a peak in traffic. Yet our cyclists confidently negotiated and interacted safely with everyone.

Smiles all around

Since we limit the on-bike portion of the workshop to 10 participants, we repeated the on-bike sessions on Sunday so that everyone could participate. There was a bit less traffic on Sunday, so our group was able to get through all of the exercises quicker. The weather continued to hold perfectly for us! However… one tire caused some issue.

Impromptu tire patch

While this wasn’t our first flat on the tour… it was our most troublesome. Fortunately, it was towards the end of the course and walking back to the start was feasible. That poor tire just couldn’t recover.

As I was looking through photos from the weekend, I realized what a diverse group of folks that were represented. We had a few folks wanting to commute a little more on their bike and a few folks who enjoy social rides. We had a few folks who have ridden thousands upon thousands of miles on their bike, and folks who have maybe put 100 miles on their bike. Some folks were comfortable in spandex, and others were enjoying the day with a classy scarf and cap. We had our first recumbent too!

Saturday’s Fall Colors

What all these folks had in common is a willingness to learn and improve their bike skills. No matter how far their ride will be, it will be a better one now. What a pleasure it was to meet each person this weekend.

Hold it right there

….. and that’s our last workshop for 2012! Look for our Spring 2013 schedule in January. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. We’ve also got a very low-volume mailing list.

Happy cycling!

#bicyclehappy

Truth & Techniques

A key part of the CyclingSavvy weekend workshop is the classroom “Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling”. Without this session, the rest of the weekend would be pointless.

However, I know that as soon as I say the word “classroom” to an adult, they roll their eyes and yawn. We’re all quick to associate “boring” and “tedious”.

These are not two words that describe “Truth & Techniques”. The founders of CyclingSavvy took the time and effort to understand how adults learn and process information best, and incorporated those ideas into this session. Videos, animations, discussion, and other modern teaching techniques are used to engage each person and bring the material alive. We dissect different intersection types, route planning, night & inclement weather riding, crash avoidance, visibility methods, and topics that are relevant to cyclists.

After I took this session, I became a better, more aware driver in all types of vehicles. This session unlocked how intersections work, and why people make mistakes. Even when I’m driving my scooter or car around town now, I pick up on things I never even noticed before and avoid situations that could be quite nasty.

After nearly every session, someone tells me “I wish my spouse had taken this part of the course” or “I wish my kids could see this”. I’ve even heard people say that they wish driver’s ed was this interesting and engaging.

Friday, November 16, we’ll be hosting the very last “Truth & Techniques” of 2012. Come join us and see what it’s all about. You can register ahead of time (select “1 session”) or just show up. This session by itself is just $30 and starts at 6pm at Northway Christian Church on Northwest Highway (just a few blocks west of US-75).

Looking forward to seeing you there!

What is CyclingSavvy?

The CyclingSavvy program is at its core an interactive and engaging workshop for adult cyclists. Using modern learning techniques and experienced instructors, the workshop imparts strategies for safe, stress-free cycling. After attending the weekend workshop, you will have the tools to read and problem-solve any traffic situation or road configuration.

This isn’t a boring, waste-of-time, forgetful workshop. You will cycle away excited, empowered, and ready to enjoy cycling anywhere in Dallas/Fort Worth. Don’t take our word for it, read reviews of what our Savvy Cyclists have to say about the class.

Many experienced cyclists mistakenly believe that workshops such as CyclingSavvy are not for them. However, we’ve had many cyclists with thousands of miles under the tires try the workshop and come away with critical information that has completely changed their cycling life. Take for example, Bill Edmonds in this video:

The workshop consists of three sessions: Truth and Techniques of Traffic Cycling, Train Your Bike, and Tour of Dallas. The entire program is provided in one weekend, but each component can be taken à la carte (but in succession).

  • Truth and Techniques of Traffic Cycling - Through guided discussion with video and animation, this session familiarizes participants with bicycle-specific laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies. Videos, reference material, and animations demonstrate that bicycle drivers are equal road users, with the right and ability to control their space. Discover that bicycling is very safe and that with a few simple techniques, cycling can be virtually conflict free.
  • Train Your Bike - This session is conducted in a parking lot. It consists of a set of progressive drills designed to increase cyclists’ control and comfort while handling a bike in various situations.
  • Tour of Dallas - This session is an experiential tour of area roads. The route includes some of the most intimidating road features (intersections, interchanges, merges, etc.) a cyclist might find in his or her travels. Travelling as a group, the participants stop to survey and discuss each exercise location. After observing the feature, discussing the traffic dynamics and the best strategy for safe and easy passage, each cyclists rides through individually and regroups at a nearby location. This session is designed to give you the confidence and skills to handle any urban situation.

Sign up today!

Additional November Session!

We are very excited to announce that an additional November workshop session is now available for registration. Word is getting around town about how good the CyclingSavvy weekend is, so we’re very happy to provide additional capacity for the November workshop weekend!

Tour of Dallas Group Riding

Sign up now for the Friday, November 16 evening classroom session of “Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling” and the Sunday, November 18 on-bike “Train Your Bike” and “Tour of Dallas” to experience the very best cycling education program available. Instructors Justine Viera, Waco Moore, and Eliot Landrum will all be teaching the November sessions. As always, feel free to email us with questions or comments.

CyclingSavvy is common sense made visible. Experiencing the entire course, with wonderfully knowledgeable instructors, has made me feel more confident on the road. All cyclists & new bike owners would find greater pleasure in knowing we can “share-the-road” with motorists & get to our destinations with less stress. — Dorothy

We’re looking forward to seeing you and your bike!

Fall 2012 Workshops

While the sun is still sizzling the pavement… we’re gearing up for another successful season of CyclingSavvy.

All smiles on the Tour of Dallas

This past season we saw over 50 cyclists discover the joy of confident, safe, and practical cycling. Waco, Richard, and myself deeply enjoyed meeting each of our newly-minted Savvy Cyclists. The CyclingSavvy curriculum continues to prove itself as a powerful, and effective, program that shows everyday folks how to enjoy their own neighborhoods and cities by bike.

Instructors Waco and Richard

Registration is now open for the following Fall 2012 workshops for CyclingSavvy DFW:

  • September 7-8 – Dallas
  • October 5-6 – Dallas
  • October 26-27 – Dallas – Cancelled
  • November 16-17 – Dallas

Each workshop starts on Friday evening (6pm), continues on Saturday morning and costs just $75. Each portion may be taken individually for $30 each (but should be taken in succession of each other).

Emergency turn drill

Each workshop includes:

  • Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling (classroom session) – 6-9p on Friday evening. Northway Christian Church (map).
  • Train Your Bike (bike handling session) – 8:00–11:30a on Saturday morning. Northway Christian Church south parking lot (map).
  • Tour of Dallas (practical application of classroom material in real-life scenarios) – 12:30-4:00p on Saturday afternoon. (Note: prior completion of Truth & Techniques and Train Your Bike is required to take this portion.)

Learn more about each component of the course.

“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.” – H.G. Wells

We are looking forward to seeing you this Fall. In the meantime, check out some of our traffic animations and videos!

Explore somewhere new!

Dallas Bike Route Sign

Dallas Bike Route Sign. Courtesy Keri Caffrey of CommuteOrlando.com.

There’s a surprisingly large amount of information out there for DFW bike routes…you just have to know where to look!

Dallas Bike Routes

The City of Dallas has over 400 miles of on-street routes in an elegant grid system. A kind contributor has turned the original 1980′s route system into a very accessible Google Map. Check out the Dallas Bike Maps website! There’s probably a route near you. Keri Caffrey of Commute Orlando and CyclingSavvy explored our route system a few years ago and shared her positive experience: Dallas Texas: A Cyclist-friendly Community.

Richardson, Plano, Fort Worth, and Arlington also have extensive bike routes–both on-street and off-street trails. Our very own Resources page lists links to maps of these routes for many of the major cities in the DFW metroplex. If we’re missing any good ones, let us know.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sharing on Biking in Dallas about one of my own frequent routes to the The Good Block. As I’ve said during the workshops–my favorite routes always include food and drink!

Explore somewhere new this summer!