I frequently have occasion to encourage people to ride confidently on the street in traffic. Just tonight, for example, my wife and I were having dinner with friends, and the topic came up. I gave my elevator speech (which, admittedly, runs a bit longer than 30 seconds, but not long enough, most of the time, to cause eyes to glaze over).
Diana Steele, writing for Cycling Savvy, tells a great story about gaining confidence in traffic. Go read it now.
Her conclusion says it all:
My previous interpretation of “vehicular cycling” had made me feel like I had to fight for my right to space on the road, and the constant conflict was stressful and demoralizing. Cycling Savvy showed me how to read traffic patterns, how to ride confidently and let other road users clearly know my intentions, and how to gracefully integrate myself as part of the flow of traffic. What a difference! I have gradually expanded my cycling forays, and it just gets easier and more enjoyable. The skills I learned in the Cycling Savvy course will be useful to me wherever I go, and I will be forever grateful.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be returning to St. Louis to complete my training to become a Cycling Savvy Instructor. I’ll be reporting my progress on Carbon Trace.