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Out for a Spin

Cyclist badge requirements 1: Show that you can do these things on a bicycle: Start. Stop. Use brake to control speed. Balance yourself easily. Ride at slow speed. Steer. Circle. Give proper signals;  2. Know and follow traffic rules. Know the parts of your bicycle and how to spot-check for safety. 

Last summer, after years of procrastination fueled by fear, I bought a bicycle. Though I’d been wanting to take up cycling for some time, I’d been scared off, terrified as an urban resident to ride the frenetic streets of this mad city. But finally, my desire for fun and exercise outweighed my trepidation, and I purchased the bike.

I joined a bike club but after two outings, my enthusiasm petered out. I wasn’t prepared for riding in the big city. There are so many different scenarios—bike paths intersected by street crossings, bike lanes that mysteriously vanish, shared lanes, right and left turns with or against traffic—you have to maintain constant vigilance and be able to make lightening-quick judgment calls. If I was going to get around my urban environment adeptly on bicycle, I would need some high-level training. Read More