Sunday, April 17, 2011

On Rapid City, I Have A Crush

This weekend I took my Traffic Skills 101 teaching skills west to Rapid City. South Dakota Bicycle Coalition member Mike Bender hosted. Jim Books and I did a few very interesting and fun things.

Friday noon we furnished lunch for some VIP's. While we had them with their mouths full of food we entreated them to core vehicular cycling principles. We began with South Dakota law, moved to Rapid City ordinance and finished up with lane positioning and the principle that a cyclist will control the lane until they deem it safe to share the lane.

It was a truly amazing group of people. Two highlights. First was the young scofflaw bike shop mechanic's question - "you're saying if I ride from a sidewalk through a crosswalk and I get hit by a car it might be my fault?" Yes, yes we are. Second was the Chief of Police, with three other officers and a city councilman present, giving a beautiful monologue about pedestrians and bicyclists having a role in creating a community worth living in that a livable community advocate would really appreciate.

Friday evening and Saturday we went through the full 9 hours of Traffic Skills 101. I had a great time. I am truly hopeful and excited about Rapid City's future. I'll put the 30-something's in that class up against any of the cycling hipsters I know in Minneapolis.

It's gonna be tough for anybody to beat the councilman who advertised his campaign by riding around town on an Atlantis pulling his signs with a BOB Trailer. And his wife also in the class, with her Rambouillet.

Also Friday, we did a walking tour of the landscape improvements being built on 6th(?) Street as well as South Dakota's only (I think) cycle track. It's very fun and interesting to be given a tour of facilities by a person on the design team.

I <3 Rapid City.

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