By the way, in addition to the monthly Road I/Smart Cycling class on April 11-12, we’ll be offering the League of American Bicyclists’ Group Riding class on Saturday afternoon, April 12, 2008 at River Trail Rentals in North Little Rock’s Riverfront Park.
Group Riding focuses on the technical and bike handling skills needed to ride safely and securely in close proximity to other riders, from small groups to mass-start ride events like the Big Dam Bridge 100. It’s is not so much about teaching you to ride long distances, but rather to teach the key skills for riding in a pack of cyclists or other mass event. In addition to basic ride etiquette and safety, participants will learn how to feel safe when there are riders all around them, because they can become confident they know how to react and protect their bikes from making contact when someone gets too close; to dodge obstacles with a minimum of side-to-side movement while at the same time protecting their bikes from contacting riders who are too close for comfort, hazard avoidance maneuvers to avoid being caught up in a crash, and key skills such as drafting and riding in and using a paceline.
The Group Riding seminar will consist of approximately an hour to an hour and a half in class, and about two hours on the bike, putting the theory into practice. We’ll spend some time in a parking lot learning the art of riding in a pack and avoiding hazards, then will have a short, fairly easy road ride to put what we’ve learned to use on the road. You don’t have to have completed the Road I class in order to attend or benefit from the Group Riding seminar, but Group Riding will make a lot more sense and you’ll get more out of it if you have Road I behind you.
Approximately 2/3rds of the course will be taught “on the bike,” in the parking lot and on low-traffic streets and the River Trail. You will need to bring a bicycle in good working order, a CPSC-approved bicycle helmet, and we recommend bringing a full water bottle. Don’t have a bike yet? No problem. Our host, River Trail Rentals, can provide a bike and helmet at for a nominal fee for you to practice with.