In which we introduce our characters.
It's hard to talk about bicycling without talking
about safety. Many Americans can't get on a bike without worrying
about crashing! So we'll use this column to discuss riding bikes
safely. We'll start off by introducing some basic ideas, and...
Hey! How about introducing me, would ya?
Oh, right. Fred here is going to be my - um -
assistant on this column. Now to be honest, Fred's bike is still
what you'd call a low-mileage model. But Fred knows an awful
lot about biking. Right, Fred?
You bet I do. I been biking since I was six! Why,
last year I rode a hundred miler, I'll have you know!
No kidding! Fred, I had no idea! One hundred miles
in a single day is quite an accomplishment!
I said a hundred miles in a year! Geez, nobody rides
100 miles in a day! Don't you know anything about bikes?
Oh, I know a little. I became a dedicated cyclist in
the early '70s. Since then my family and I have done everything from
day rides to overnight trips to a couple overseas tours. We've been
active in our bike club, with both my wife and I being president. I
ride my bike for transportation as well as recreation, including
riding to work a lot. I'm also a League Certified Instructor through
the League of American Bicyclists. And by the way, Fred, I've ridden
200 miles in one day.
Oh. Hmm. Well, I just ride around the block every
once in a while... but I'm still a way better than average cyclist!
That's good, Fred. It reminds me of a survey that
the American Automobile Association took several years ago. It
turned out that about 85% of Americans thought they were better than
average drivers. That doesn't leave very many to be just average!
And nobody ever thinks they're bad!
What are you trying to imply, buddy?
Just stick with me, Fred. We'll try to have some
tips for beginners, and some more advanced ones. We'll talk about
riding in city traffic, riding in bad weather, and whatever else
seems appropriate. Most of the ideas will be based on the League of
American Bicyclist's BikeEd program.
Hopefully, we'll all learn something. I think no
matter how long you've been riding, there's always more you can
Hey, don't worry, buddy. I don't mind teaching you!
Really, I don't!
I appreciate that. In the meantime - stay vertical,
Now that's good, practical advice.
- © Frank Krygowski