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Limited spots left for bike skills class on Saturday

Posted by L. Kim Tan  August 17, 2011 10:32 AM

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If you are a cyclist, then you want to take this class in Norwood on Saturday. But you’d better hurry, says the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, because there are only a few spots left.

The group is rolling out its new and improved statewide education program and will be coming to Norwood for a four-hour safety and strategy session.

The redesigned skills class, “Basics of Better Biking,” is geared toward not only those who maybe haven’t used their bikes in years and want to start back up, but also some common-sense tactics for current bicyclists, said Price Armstrong of the statewide organization.

The event is made possible by a partnership with the Norwood Bicycle Club and Together, Yes!.

MassBike is proud to be working to improve bicyclist safety in the Norwood area, Armstrong said.

The session includes guided instruction with basic mechanical tips, a discussion of safe biking habits and traffic laws, practice drills in a parking lot, and finishing with an easy-paced ride on local roads. Topics range from bike and helmet fitting, starting and stopping a bike in traffic, shifting gears, scanning and yielding, choosing the correct lane position in the road, handling intersections, and more.

As of Tuesday night there were still five slots open in the class, Armstrong said: “It would be great to get all of them filled.”

At its core, the class is meant to make people more comfortable while on their bikes, he said. Key to developing that sense of comfort is the certainty “that your bike is functioning properly, understanding how to maneuver tight turns and avoid potholes, and knowing safety tips to avoid awkward or unnerving situations with motorists or pedestrians.’’

The reason that comfort is so important is because if people aren’t comfortable riding their bike, then they won’t ride at all, Armstrong said: “This class addresses the most common obstacles people face, giving practical solutions that accommodate people’s needs. It is great for people who have just started biking, want to bike more often, or even for someone who bikes often but just wants to learn how to do it better. “

The class is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Norwood Bank, 11 Central St. A bicycle in good working order and a helmet are required.

To pre-register, go to https://www.massbike.org/products-page/events-and-classes/class-norwood-basics-of-better-bicycling-82011/, or call MassBike at 617-542-2453. The class costs $55, with a $15 discount for MassBike members.

The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition is a statewide bicycle advocacy group that has nearly 3,000 members throughout the Commonwealth. To get involved in MassBike and learn more about bicycling issues, visit http://www.massbike.org.

Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at michelebolton@live.com.

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