I am an instructor certified by the
of American Bicyclists, and I give classes privately, through the PTA, and through the City of Palo Alto
Recreation Department (co-sponsored by the PTA Council). I have worked with the PTA on traffic safety since my son was in third grade.
In the fall of 2004 I became co-chair of the Palo Alto Council of PTAs Traffic
Safety Committee. In December of 2004 I was awarded the "Educator of the
Year" award by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. In June of 2006,
the Palo Alto Weekly published
this article about my classes.
Bicycling is the most efficient means of personal transportation on the
planet. It is fun,
healthy, inexpensive and produces minimal pollution. It can be practiced by people from young
to old . With the proper technique, one can bike around town easily and safely. If done poorly it can be a frustrating and stressful
Bicycling is a great way for children to get necessary exercise and become
familiar with their neighborhood. Powering themselves to school is a source of
great self-esteem for children, and they arrive wide awake and ready to learn.
Many parents would like their children to do more bicycling, but are unsure of
their children's skills and their own abilities to teach them properly. Children
are not just small adults; there are differences in their physical and cognitive
development that affect their ability to make traffic-related decisions, and it
is important for parents to understand this. I teach parents what they need to
know to develop their children's skills and to judge when they are ready to
The classes for middle school students teach them how to drive a bike.
That is, students learn how to interact with traffic and communicate with other
road users. This makes bicycling easier and safer, and also prepares them to be
better drivers when they are older.
Bicycling is fun, but a crash can spoil that in a hurry. In these classes we
study the most common causes of bike crashes and how to avoid them, reducing the
chance of crashing by up to 80%.
This is not rocket science; it is common sense, logic and prudence. Most bike crashes
are simple falls, not involving a car, and result in only minor injury. Falls are generally caused by mechanical
malfunction, loss of control or hazards in the road. Experience, practice and
regular maintenance can eliminate virtually all of these crashes.
Car-bike crashes are a small percentage of overall bike crashes, but they
cause the most severe injuries.
47% of car-bike collisions are due to bicyclists making one of the following
An almost equal percentage of car-bike collisions are caused by motorist
mistakes, and a savvy bicyclist will be aware of these and ride defensively to
protect against them.
As an instructor certified by the League
of American Bicyclists, the only national organization to certify
instructors, I teach bicyclists to: