Frustration to Confidence
Where to start? Rehash the frustration of our state legislative special session? Express the embarrassment I feel to be a Floridian while our very own elected officials fight like children for political posturing as opposed to, you know, fighting for the state and its people? Sure, they will say they are doing that but are they? Really? Regardless of the outcome, I ask that each of us in favor of Amendment 1 to take a moment and send a thank you email to Senator Gardiner for standing up to the task and to send a thank you to those legislators who are paying attention to Floridians and Florida.
Changing subjects, last week I received some feedback from the “Games People Play” blog post, one of which was a very thoughtful email from Miami, mentioning that too often I paint the positive picture of bicycling when it’s not always the case. I admit, this is true. I also admit I am lucky to live in an area that one can bicycle around town without feeling fear or worry about being harassed. Well, let me clarify that by saying I don’t feel fear or worry about being harassed. I don’t for several reasons, but the main reason is confidence in how I bicycle. This confidence came about when I discovered there was such a thing as bicycle education. Yes, I took the “Effective Cycling” program back when it was offered by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). LAB then offered “Bike Ed” and now their education program is called “Smart Cycling”, information of which can be found on the LAB website here.
In addition to “Effective Cycling”, I took a course called “CyclingSavvy“, then offered by the Florida Bicycle Association. CyclingSavvy is mindful bicycling, and it’s a game changer. Developed by FBA, it soon took off to places beyond Florida and is now part of the American Bicycling Education Association (ABEA).
Here’s the deal, even if you think you know everything there is to know about bicycling, I encourage you to check out the information on our website and to consider taking an adult bicycle education course. Granted you will see my name listed on the LAB website as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI), I am not currently offering any classes and have my own issues with the LAB website in trying to find information on course offerings.
That said, the CyclingSavvy website is more user-friendly and even if courses are not being offered, there’s a place to pre-register, which is a really cool way of letting a CyclingSavvy Instructor (CSI) know there is interest and to perhaps schedule a class. You won’t see my name listed as a CSI, yet, but you will see a few names of interest, such as Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Secretary Billy Hattaway and Florida State Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator DeWayne Carver.
Smart or Savvy, bicycle education is a MUST and part of the five E’s (engineering, enforcement, evaluation, encouragement, education) to a bicycle-friendly anything.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford.
Ok, so I’m quoting a ‘car guy’. Why not? Is it any more ironic than the roads being built for bicycles?
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org. Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here.