Savvy Cyclist - 1

This class is ideal for cyclists who want to build upon the basics, those returning to cycling from a long hiatus, people who want to be more independent on their bike, and those who feel a little nervous while cycling in traffic.


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Watch this video to learn more about the Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 class (4:25, produced and edited by Clarence Eckerson Jr.).

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We are all done for the 2013 season of Savvy Cyclist but check back in the spring for our 2014 classes to begin. In the meantime, check out Winter Riding 101 for some tips on how to safely ride year round. See you next year!

Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 is a  comprehensive, full-day program for adults and mature teens who want to improve their street riding skills and increase their cycling knowledge. This class is ideal for relatively new cyclists who want to build upon the basics, those returning to cycling from a long hiatus, people who want to be more independent on their bike, and those who feel a little nervous while cycling in traffic. The class satisfies the requirements to pursue a League Cycling Instructor certification through the League of American Bicyclists.

Course Content

Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 teaches the need-to-knows of urban street cycling, and then some. Participants leave with a more complete understanding of their rights and responsibilities on the road along with improved bike handling skills and increased confidence riding in traffic. The class covers:

  • Adjusting your bike and helmet for a comfortable fit
  • Performing a safety inspection of your bike to make sure everything is working properly
  • Understanding traffic principles and bicyclists’ rights and responsibilities on the road
  • Using your gear system
  • Locking your bike
  • Bike handling drills
  • A group ride of approximately 5-8 miles emphasizing cycling safely and confidently in traffic

The class is mostly hands-on and bike-riding activities, though it includes some classroom learning. Participants will receive literature and accessories to ensure continued safe and enjoyable riding.

Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 is a League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 class, and it fulfills the prerequisite for entering the training and certification seminar to become a League Cycling Instructor.

Course Format

Class duration: 8 hours
Class location: Indoor classroom, controlled outdoor space, and local streets
Class size: Up to 15 adult and mature teen students
Instructors: Two certified League Cycling Instructors
Instructor to student ratio: 2 to 15
Equipment necessary: Bicycle* and helmet
Availability of loaner bikes: None
Registration policy: Advance registration is required of all participants; walk-in students are not allowed

* Students must bring a bicycle that fits and is in good working order (i.e., wheels spin freely, brakes function).

If you can’t spare an entire day to attend a full class, consider attending a shorter Street Skills class and then a follow-up Street Skills ride.

Is This the Right Class for You?

If you have the basics of bike riding under control and you are interested in taking to the streets, Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 is for you. If a full-day class is too much of a commitment, though, consider attending a shorter Street Skills class and then a follow-up Street Skills ride.

Traffic Skills 101 is open to adults and mature teens who are at least 14 years old. Participants between 14 and 18 years old must attend with a legal guardian.

For your own safety and that of other class participants, all Traffic Skills 101 students must arrive at class able to:

  • Ride a bike (pedal and balance) with control in a steady, straight line, without wobbling or swooshing from side to side
  • Start and stop their bike with control—no shaky starts or running into fixed objects. Click here for some tips on stopping and starting.

Don’t know how to ride? Click here [PDF] for learn-to-ride instructions to try on your own—the method works for adults and children alike. Or, consider attending Bike New York’s free Learn to Ride—Adults class.

Are you comfortable balancing and pedaling but need help starting, stopping, and riding with control? Consider attending Bike New York’s free, 2-hour Bicycling Basics class, which teaches these essential cycling skills.

Are you interested in earning certification as a League Cycling Instructor? If so, Traffic Skills 101 is a League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101class, and fulfills the requirement for entering the training and certification seminar to become a League Cycling Instructor.

If you are interested in private instruction, visit the League of American Bicyclists website to find a certified cycling instructor in your area.

Registration Details

To defray the cost of this class, in which only twelve students have the attention of two certified cycling instructors for an entire day, each participant must pay $50 in order to enroll. Class space is limited, and advance registration is required in order to attend. Walk-in students are not allowed. Register and pay now >> All class dates and locations are subject to change. Please check back for updates.

Rain Policy

Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 classes are typically held rain or shine, given that a good portion of the class can be completed indoors. However, please check the Education department’s Weather Hotline at 212 870 2080 ext. 2 for more information if in doubt on the morning of your class. Those registered for a class that is canceled due to rain will be invited to enroll in a later class date within the established season schedule.

Next Steps

Once you attend a Traffic Skills 101, consider joining Bike New York at the Discover Hudson Valley Ride or the Twin Lights Ride, which give you the choice of riding 18 to 100 miles on beautiful routes outside New York City.

Also consider paying it forward! Much of Bike New York’s free educational programming is run by trained, dedicated volunteers. Find out how you can help others become more competent cyclists here.

If you are a skilled, knowledgeable cyclist and you enjoyed Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101, consider becoming a League Cycling Instructor. Traffic Skills 101 is a League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 class, and fulfills the prerequisite for entering the training and certification seminar to become a League Cycling Instructor.

Schedule a Class for Your Group

Bike New York’s certified League Cycling Instructors also lead Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 classes for groups of engineers, urban planners, transportation management associations, public health officials, and others. Individuals are welcome to coordinate a free Savvy Cyclist course for their co-workers or community group (minimum 12 participants) in the New York metro area. Simply email Zoe Cheswick to set a date and location.

Traffic Smarts Quiz

Before your next ride, test yourself with these 12 questions to find out how well you know your rights and responsibilities as a street cyclist.

Share the Road Quiz

Whether you use the streets as a driver, a cyclist, or both, see how much you know about sharing the road safely.

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