Savvy bicyclists bode better

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By Carol A. Clark

Riding a bicycle one-handed into a pothole while chatting on a cell phone is dumb – yet people do it every day.

As roadways and bike trails become increasingly complex and congested, riders need to be equipped with safety knowledge and the know-how to teach their children how to ride confidently and conspicuously when on their own. Trained bicyclists have a much better chance of avoiding injury and even death than do their less trained counterparts, according to the experts.

Simply knowing how to ride a bike is not the same as knowing how to operate it safely and legally.

Khalil Spencer is a certified safety instructor who has teamed up with the Los Alamos Police Department to provide local bicyclists an opportunity to get educated at no charge.

Spencer has volunteered to teach an eight-hour League of American Bicyclists traffic skills class, sponsored by the LAPD.

“The class gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail,” Spencer said. “The fast-paced course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling.

It covers bicycle safety checks, fixing flat tires, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques and includes a student manual.”

LAPD will provide classroom materials .

Sgt. Jeff Regenold is coordinating the skills class with Spencer.

“Participants are required to bring a working bike along with a bike helmet to the class, which should prove to be enjoyable as well as help those attending to be more skilled and confident bike riders,” Regenold said.

The program is set for 8 a.m. Aug. 13.

The classroom segment will take place at the police station.

The riding portion will be at the east side of the former Canyon School Complex parking lot at Fourth Street and Central Avenue.

“Cyclists riding on roadways without bike lanes are considered the same as motor vehicles,” said Lt. Reggie Briggle. “It’s important for cyclists to learn how to be safe when out riding and for cyclists and motorists both to understand that cyclists are subject to the same laws as motorists when operating their bikes on the roadways.”

To register, contact Regenold at 662-8222.