Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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Coach Wharton

What a Difference 9 Hours Can Make...

Couple of quick questions...

How many of you remember Driver's Ed?

How many of you remember how many hours it took until you were able to drive without an instructor?

Are any of you Commercial drivers? How many hours did it take in a Driver's Ed course to become competent enough to take the exam, which I hear is more difficult...?

Are any of you PILOTS?! What's the average time a pilot in training needs to take his or her first solo? How many hours does it take until you're ready for the review?

In all of these questions, looking through the internet, it seems like the answers are anywhere from 10 to 30 hours.

Now - how many have ever taken a Bicycle Driver's Ed Class?

Well, if you haven't... you should. It's NOT boring, it's NOT redundant, and it's NOT filled with dogma about how you should do this and shouldn't do that.

Think about the first time you ever rode a bike. Think about the anxiety, but also the rush, the freedom. You were wobbly. Maybe you rode on the grass. But you had your friends or family or someone else there to help you stay upright, keep pedaling, and brake to a safe stop. As a kid, you probably rode on the sidewalk. But somewhere, after those first few hours of supervision, the planning stopped, the expectation of traveling and responsibility grew, and you either just DID it, and learned along the way, or, you may have had a bad experience as a novice cyclist in traffic, decided it was just TOO RISKY, and quit, only to return years later.

CyclingSavvy changes all of that. As an instructor, I really don't care whether you ride 12 hours a year, or 12,000. I don't care how much experience you have. Just like my previous post, we ALL have something to learn, and a great part of learning, is teaching. Furthermore, ALL of us have had moments on a bike where we felt anxious or threatened for our safety. ALL of us have been conditioned to do things and act in ways that we think MAY help us ride more safely, but they aren't always the best method available. Finally, we ALL need to be respectful of our "Beginner's Mind". Learning new ways to handle a bike, learning new ways to conduct yourself in traffic, learning new ways to handle yourselves (plural) in a pack, is a GREAT way to improve your skills, improve your confidence, improve your COMPETENCE, and then translate that in to better rides, more often.

Here's a paragraph outlining their mission...

Teaching traffic cycling is primarily a battle against cultural myths. Myth-busting requires more than mere “information” or “facts.” It is a social phenomenon that requires a social approach. To that end, five key underlying principles guide the course:

Reframing – bicycling must be reframed from a dangerous activity to an essentially safe one. How crash data is presented is as important than the data itself.

Engagement – students are guided to discover for themselves why cycling is safe. When students themselves identify an essential fact it carries far more weight.

First Things First – essential skills must be second nature before cyclists can comfortably interact with complex traffic conditions. Even “experienced” cyclists are lacking in some of these skills. Some of the parking lots drills were developed by Keri Caffrey and Lisa Blount for the “BOBbies” women’s bicycle club. Others are found in TS 101, as well as in other cycling curriculums. The sequencing of these skills is critical.

Progression – each step must be reasonably achievable to the novice cyclist. We cannot “throw them into the deep end of the pool.” Success can only be built upon success.

Enactment – students put their new skills and knowledge into practice individually through road sections and intersections of increasing complexity. After each section they naturally reinforce for one another the positive and successful experience. This final public “enacting” of the new approach is the nail in the coffin of the old “cycling is dangerous” myth for them.

Cycling Center Dallas shares this mission. I hope you'll think about some event in your past, perhaps an altercation with a motorist, or a confusing moment out on a road, solo or in a group ride, where you didn't know what to do, where to place yourself in the road, or how to navigate so that you and everyone else could just get to where you were going, without conflict. Maybe you got a ticket or a warning. Maybe you were driving in a car, and saw a cyclist act a certain way. CyclingSavvy is there to help you find the answers to those questions, find the optimal way to handle certain situations, and make every ride a better ride. It's the Fourth "S" in our Wheel of Progression - "Stamina, Strength, Speed... and SKILL". Don't you WANT to be a better cyclist? Don't you WANT to understand what works and what doesn't? Wouldn't you RATHER do this in a controlled setting, instead of trial-by-fire, which is the way most cyclists learn? Think about all your friends who don't ride, and ask them 'why'. A LOT of it comes from anxiety and a lack of education about the fundamentals. Even experienced cyclists can, and do, DO IT WRONG.

So sign up today, and let us help you become an even better cyclist, by improving your Skill and using your studio-improved Stamina, Speed, and Strength. Think about conflict-free cycling. Think about planning more rides, to more locations, without worrying about the anxiety of obstacles, physical and mental. And think about what others will say and think when they learn that you've completed this course, and then practice it. Roads were built to transport people and goods. We want you to be a better cyclist, and we can think of no better way than to start with a review of some fundamentals in a setting that is enlightening, fun, and relaxing. I'll be teaching, so come join us!!


It's ALL about education!!!

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="150"]League Cycling Instructors Wharton (left) and Zarbo (right) League Cycling Instructors Wharton (left) and Zarbo (right)[/caption] SteveA, a friend in the blogosphere and highly regarded bike geek, was my guest in Dallas this morning, as we went through a Bike Ed class with guest instructor Dorothy Zarbo. A GREAT time was had by all, and we each learned quite a bit. I love teaching these classes, and then practicing the techniques in the surrounding communities. Dorothy was awesome, and lunch with a new friend was a special event. How can the Cycling Center of Dallas help YOU with YOUR confidence, riding on a bike in the city? E-mail today!!!