The Villages Voice - February 2020

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Bike Friendly Community Corner

by Bicycle Friendly Advocacy Council 

Bike Friendly Community Corner: The Enrichment Academy Bike Safety and Skills Classes

It seems old sayings, like tempus fugit, are more meaningful as we age.  One of the best ways to continue “aging well” is to exercise.  Bicycling is one of the best ways to keep your body flexible, muscles strong, heart pumping, and mind alert.  The Bike Friendly Community has a way for you to refresh your bike skills and knowledge of the rules of the road, plus help you keep your bike in shape.  It’s The Enrichment Academy Bike Safety and Skills Classes.  We offer the classes several times throughout the year.  You can find the schedule and registration information on the website: click on Departments, then choose Recreation, and scroll down to find The Enrichment Academy picture, left, with listings. The cost of the class is $10.00, which is probably the best bang-for-the-buck in The Villages.  All our cycling instructors are through The League of American Bicyclists as well as the Florida Department of Transportation FDOT for helmet fitting.  If needed, students can receive a new helmet and safety lights courtesy of FDOT.  We even provide a good used bicycle if needed.  We do this because we want to extend your life through the healthy exercise that comes from riding a bicycle.  We want you to be knowledgeable and safe. The classes consist of three two-hour sessions held at the Rohan Regional Recreation Center.  The first thing we talk about is rules of the road and obligations of bicyclists.  It is interesting to see that people who have been on-the-road in cars and on bikes for many years often think they know the rules, but really don’t.  We discuss at length transiting roundabouts, of which we have thirty-six in The Villages.  In the second class we work on ride preparation and basic bike maintenance.  We include helmet fitting for that critical piece of safety equipment.  We perform ABC-Quick Check, which means checking the air, brakes, and chain, cables, and cogs before a ride as another safety measure.  In the last session, we practice skills and rules in a Bike Rodeo, which is a lot of fun, especially the figure eight and slow race.  We finish off with a four-mile ride on a multi-modal path, including practice traversing a tunnel.  The class is great fun with lots of student interaction, positive learning, and encouragement.  Come join us!  You’ll become a better bike rider with improved health. By Bicycle Friendly Advocacy Council (BFAC)