Categories: Bicycle Advocacy

Safe Cycling is Smart Cycling

by Rick Price - Saturday, August 28, 2010

The League of American Bicyclists is the nation’s premier bicycle advocacy group which, over the last forty years, has developed THE national standard in bicycle safety education. It is unfortunate that most people learned most of what they know about safe cycling in fourth grade and haven’t updated that knowledge since. So this brief article is calculated to provide an update to those of you who bicycle for fun and for those who use the bicycle as practical transportation.
The premise of the entire League Cycling Instructor curriculum is that “cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.” As a recreational cyclist on tour, out for a fun day ride, or using your bicycle as an efficient means of running errands if you practice this principal in “driving” your bicycle you should be safe and sound.
As a bicyclist you should assume even more responsibility as a defensive “driver” than when you are in a motor vehicle. Defensive “drivers” should commit no driving mistakes and even more importantly, they should adjust their behavior on the road to compensate for the potential errors of others.

In short, it is YOUR responsibility to

  1. Not fall off your bike;
  2. Not allow anyone else to knock you off your bike;
  3. In the event a rare crash DOES occur, wear proper protective gear to avoid injury (that would be a helmet and gloves, at the very least).

How do you to numbers one and two? “Act as the driver of a vehicle and demand treatment as the driver of a vehicle.” Simply put, follow the rules of the road in the country where you are cycling.

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Rick Price - Rick Price, and his wife, Paola Malpezzi Price, founded Bike Across Italy in 1972, Italian Specialty Tours, Inc. in 1985 and ExperiencePlus! Specialty Tours, Inc. in 1993, though they passed the latter to their daughters Monica and Maria Elena in 2008. Rick holds a Ph.D. in Geography and has designed bike tours in many countries around the world. In 2006 he founded Bike Fort Collins together with other local bicycle advocates and in 2007/08 he joined the board of the Fort Collins Bike Co-op where he launched the Fort Collins Safe Routes to School Program. For five years, beginning in 2010 Rick wrote a monthly column on Smart Cycling for the Fort Collins, Coloradoan. Paola retired as department head of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Dept. at Colorado State University in 2014. Since then the adventuresome couple has bicycled in Albania, Mongolia, Cuba, France, and Italy and has travelled broadly in China, Uzbekistan, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Canada and the western US, including Alaska. If you would like to contact Rick or Paola you can e-mail them at Rick(a)

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