Image credit: NRFTO
With deadly cyclist vs motorist conflicts going on in our streets, and bikers even getting shot for riding with their kids, the launch of the country's first defensive cycling classes could not come at a better time. But what is defensive cycling all about? Despite recent headlines about bike vs car conflicts, I suspect it's not all about learning jujitsu, or mounting assault rifles on your favorite mountain bike. The Austin Cycling Association's defensive cycling program is actually working with the courts to allow cyclists to get a deferral for certain citations if they take the class.
Details are sketchy about what the course entails, but Everything2 has a good definition of defensive cycling that includes staying visible, using road space assertively but fairly to avoid being squeezed off the road, and (crucially) staying polite, courteous and legal at all times. And while we are on the subject of defensive cycling, let's not forget the one most important tip for staying safe on a bike.