Are feelings of insecurity keeping you from riding your bike? Are you a well-seasoned road veteran who “knows it all” already? Somewhere in between? Cascade’s Urban Cycling Techniques class offers something for everyone.
Taught by two knowledgeable and affirming instructors, the class covers everything from getting the right bike fit to learning about rules of the road, nutrition, and gear.
As a new Americorps at Cascade Bicycle Club, I decided to attend this class because even though I am an experienced commuter, previous Cascade classes have always taught me something new.
The majority of the class was spent on our bikes as practice makes perfect! We practiced changing lanes and taking a left turn on busy streets near U-Village, which makes every other tense traffic situation feel like a breeze in comparison.
The second day of the class was a rainy one, but instead of detracting from our learning, the drizzle added to it. It makes sense to learn in the rain if you’re going to be riding in Seattle. Soggy skies also presented an opportunity to discuss rain gear, and preventative braking strategies. Waterproof jackets are a must, and one can dramatically increase their comfort level by keeping their hands and feet warm and dry. One of the instructors said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear”.
The students were a diverse bunch, too. In addition to three Cascade Americorps volunteers, there was an older couple who were interested in starting to ride again, a mother who rides with her children on her electric-assist bike, and a man who hoped to teach classes like UCT someday. We all had our own “aha” moments. I for example, didn’t know that cars in Seattle aren’t required to travel the “correct” way around roundabouts, which is more than a little irksome when you’ve had more than a few close-calls as a result of unexpected roundabout travel.
Overall, the class was a great mix of instruction and hands-on experience. There was something new for every participant to learn, and we all left feeling competent and confident!