Well, it's good to see that the weather is finally
looking good out there, right Fred? I thought Spring would never get
You betcha, buddy. And man, I got some big plans
this year. Me and that bike are going to do some big things! REALLY
No kidding? What have you got in mind, Fred? Some
long rides? Some touring, maybe?
Well, I don't exactly want to say, I ain't exactly
sure, you know, but I was thinking like some kind of new record. Not
a world record, exactly, but more like a record for me, you
That's a good idea, Fred. I think it's nice to have
a goal. It gets you out there having fun and getting in shape. But
you don't want to say what you're shooting for?
Well, I'm gonna decide pretty soon. Maybe I'll shoot
for 200 miles. That'd be a new record, and that'd be cool, you know?
Right ... 200 miles in... um...
You know, before the end of the year? I figure if I
do a 40 mile ride to get in shape, and a few 60 mile rides, shoot,
I'll have it!
Um...Well, Fred, you haven't been riding very much.
Maybe it would be better to...
Or I can do one of those big rides they got each
year. You know, they get a bunch of people riding like 50 miles each
day? For a week? That might be even more than 200 miles!
Yes, it might be. But maybe you should think about
this, Fred. You don't want to get in over your head. Wouldn't it be
better to build up more gradually, and learn a bit more about biking
while you're at it? Say, maybe a good goal would be to take a BikeEdÔ
course! It's based on John Forester's book Effective Cycling...
What? Did you say my cycling is defective? Listen,
No, no Fred, I didn't say that. What I mean is,
there's a lot to learn about bicycling. It's not just how to
balance, you know...
Are you making fun of my balancing?
No, what I meant was, to really enjoy biking, it's
best to learn something about the gears, and the brakes, and fixing
'Cause I hardly fall down any more.
... and what to eat and drink, and dealing with
traffic, and riding in a group...
'Cause I got smart and put on training wheels. Wait
a minute, what did you say about traffic??
Well, the BikeEdÔ course
will teach you how to handle traffic with confidence ...
Forget it, buddy, I ain't riding where there's cars.
I could get killed!
Fred, don't be afraid! You can learn to deal with
cars safely. And the fastest way to learn is to take the course!
Really, it's fun!
So is this a college course or what? Is it like six
months long or something? Because if I'm going to do that big ride
thing, I don't have time anyway, see.
Actually, Fred, the first Road I course for adults
is only about 10 or 12 hours long. Part is classroom stuff, but the
better part is out on the bikes practicing. Really, it's fun!
So I guess you took this course once, huh? You must
have had a good time.
Well, I'm into it a bit deeper than that.
You see, I teach the course. I'm a League Certified Instructor,
number 315, certified by the League of American Bicyclists. That's
the national organization that puts the course together.
Whoo boy! No wonder you're always giving me advice!
So this is going to teach me everything I need to know, huh?
Well, Fred, I'd prefer to say it gets you rolling -
because there's always more to learn. But I think everybody should
consider it, because it really is the best way to learn the basics
of bicycling. Even people who have biked coast to coast have taken
the class, and really liked it. Why not give it a shot?
Well, where's it going to be? It's free, right?
I'll give you the details in a minute. But anyone
who wants to take a course can log onto the League's website at
www.bikeleague.org and go to the "Education" section. They
can find out about instructors and courses in their own area. The
courses aren't free, but they usually cost less than $50, and it's
the best $50 you can spend on biking. It's a great way to get ready
for your big ride!
Take this piece of paper, Fred. It's got the
information to get you registered for class. I hope to see you
there. And until then...
I know what you're going to say. Stay vertical,
right? Well, now that I got my training wheels...
We'll have to talk about those, Fred.
- © Frank Krygowski