Over the past few Saturdays at BWorks, we've emphasized safety above all else. They bring their helmets every week. They know how important it is to be aware of their surroundings and to use hand signals and make eye contact with other users of the road. They look out for hazards, surprises, car doors. They understand that pedestrians have the right of way and that they should be courteous and predictable as cyclists. They've practiced braking, shifting gears, looking over their shoulder without swerving. And I'm confident they're getting the message that biking is super fun yet also serious.
|Photo courtesy the parent of a recent pint-sized grad|
Overall, I think things are improving, actually. More often these days I catch myself waving appreciatively at cautious, kind drivers rather than shaking my fist at the reckless and aggressive among us. If you're a driver here in St. Louis, do keep any eye out for the young and vulnerable around town, please, and for pedestrians and cyclists everywhere. And if you're a cyclist, please wear a helmet(!) and ride respectfully, for the sake of the less experienced among us if nothing else. They're watching and learning from you. We all have a responsibility to them.
"Get a bicycle. You won't regret it. If you live." -Mark Twain