Traffic Skills 101 - Part 2

Practice tricky maneuvers in the parking lot to gain confidence for street riding.



Ready to ride? Once you learn your rights and responsibilities as a New York City cyclist at a Street Skills class, it’s time to get out there on the road and apply those lessons during a Street Skills ride.

Street Skills rides are free, three-hour weekend programs for adults and mature teens who want to increase their comfort and confidence when cycling on urban streets. Apply the cycling knowledge you attained during a Street Skills class during bike handling skill drills and a small group ride of 5 to 8 miles with certified cycling instructors and like-minded cyclists.

Course Content

Each Street Skills ride teaches the bike-handling, hazard-avoidance, and street-riding skills critical to any urban cyclist. Participants leave feeling more comfortable and confident on the road. Rides cover:

  • Easily adjusting your bike and helmet for a comfortable fit
  • Performing a quick safety inspection of your bike to make sure everything is working properly
  • Using your gear system
  • Locking your bike
  • Bike handling skills
  • A group ride of approximately 5-8 miles emphasizing cycling safely and confidently in traffic

Street Skills rides offer entirely hands-on, on-bike learning.

Attending an evening Street Skills class is required before participating in a Street Skills ride. Those interested in earning certification as a League Cycling Instructor should attend the full-day Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 class, which fulfills the League’s LCI seminar prerequisite.

Course Format

Class duration: 3 hours
Class location: Outdoor controlled environment (for skill drills) and open streets (for ride)
Class size: Up to 15 adult students
Instructors: Two certified League Cycling Instructors
Instructor to student ratio: 2 to 15
Equipment necessary: Bicycle* and helmet
Availability of loaner bikes: Bicycle and helmet (provided to those who register online for a space in the class*)
Registration policy: Advance registration is required of all participants; walk-in students are not allowed

*Bike New York has 15-20 adult bicycles and helmets available while supplies last to those who register online. Once each bicycle has been reserved, the class will be listed as “full” and online registration for that particular session will close. Students who choose to bring their own bicycle must be sure that the bicycle fits and is in good working order (i.e., wheels spin freely, brakes function). Students are encouraged to bring their own bicycle, but a Bike New York loaner bike will be reserved for each participant either way.

Is This the Right Class for You?

A Street Skills ride is the hands-on follow-up to the classroom-based Street Skills course. Both courses are ideal for all riders, including those relatively new to city cycling, those returning to cycling from a long hiatus, those who want to be more in tune with bike progress in New York City, and those who want to be more confident cycling on busy streets.

If you are tired of talking about the rules of the road and are ready for action, a Street Skills ride is for you. This hands-on session will have you feeling more comfortable on your bike and more confident in the street.

Each Street Skills ride 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. All students must first attend a Street Skills class.

Are you comfortable balancing and pedaling but definitely aren’t ready for open streets? 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, the League of American Bicyclists requires you complete a Traffic Skills 101 class before entering the training and certification seminar to become a League Cycling Instructor. Students interested in pursuing LCI certification should complete Bike New York’s full-day Savvy Cyclist: Traffic Skills 101 class.

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

Before participating in a Street Skills ride, students must first attend a Street Skills class.

Online advance registration is required to participate in a Street Skills ride. Walk-in students are not allowed. Please note that while Street Skills rides are free, in order to secure a spot you must submit a credit card number at the point of registration. This will guarantee your place in the class, will guarantee that a bike and helmet are available to you should you need them, and will help ensure that registrants actually show up. We will not process any charge on the credit cards of participants who attend the class. However, your credit card will be charged $50 if you do not show up to the class. Deposits from any no-shows will be used to help defray program costs. Register now >>

All class dates and locations are subject to change. Please check back for updates.

Rain Policy

Street Skills rides are canceled in the event of rain. 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 ride. Those registered for a ride that is canceled due to rain will be invited to register for a later ride date within the established season schedule.

Next Steps

Once you attend a Street Skills ride and gain confidence on your bicycle, 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. Ready to make bicycling part of your everyday life? Attend a free Bike Commuting 101 class to learn all about using your bike to its full potential. This quick, lively session offers giveaways and prizes galore!

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.

Schedule a Class for Your Group

Bike New York’s certified League Cycling Instructors lead Street Skills classes and rides for groups of engineers, urban planners, transportation management associations, public health officials, and others. Individuals are welcome to coordinate courses for their co-workers or community group (minimum 12 participants) in the New York metro area. Simply email William Laviano to set a date and location. Class Host Guidelines >>

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