By: Sierra Taylor, Managing Editor
On Saturday Sept. 26, City of Denton Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator Julie Anderson is hosting a
free Bike 101 class in the Student Union from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Anderson said: “All skill levels are welcome. If you’ve been riding for a long time and are already riding on city streets, you probably don’t need it. It’s getting taught by league- certified instructors from the police department, so they can give you good tips and teach you rules of the roads you might not have known before.
She added: “I would recommend it for pretty much everyone.”
She class covers basic knowledge that all riders should be aware of. Students will learn essential maintenance, such as how to change a tire and how to check the chain. They will also learn road-maneuvering skills, like how to avoid potholes, watch for cars and use proper hand signals.
Anderson shared: “It’s really important for cyclists to know they should be signaling their turns when they’re on their bike.”
The introductory course will also teach safe riding skills, such as where to ride in the street, the importance of wearing reflective gear at night, and the parts of your bike.
Anderson elaborated: “We have that term ‘It’s like riding a bike’ like it’s meant to be easy Essentially it is easy, but there are a lot of useful skills you can learn to make it safer and easier. I know that was a surprise to me when I learned how to scan without going in to traffic.”
According to Anderson, if people who feel uncomfortable riding a bike will not even make it an option. She wants people to take the class and realize that riding a bike is safe and fun. Cyclists can ride on city streets without having to worry.
Anderson said: “If you’re looking to get a bike, I think there is no problem to go quote on quote cheap, and go to Wal-Mart or Target. People will sometimes say ‘Oh, I just have a Wal-Mart bike,’ but we just care that you have a bike and you’re riding.”
For students who have problems finding a bike or who need any help with maintenance, Anderson suggested going to one of the four bike shops in Denton, or the non-profit community bike shop.
Anderson said: “A lot of people feel uncomfortable going into a bike shop saying, ‘Oh I don’t know what I’m doing. They’re going to look on down me.’ Not true. I’ve gone to all the bike shops and they’re all excellent people and want to help you.”
In the morning the portion of the class will be in a classroom setting going over all the basic information with the bike. Then the class will be doing some bike drills in the parking lot, before heading out on a lunchtime ride.
All that is required for the class is a bike, a helmet, which can be provided, and money for lunch.
You can register online at www.bikewalkdenton.com before September 24.