(Orlando, WMFE) Orlando does not have a good reputation when it comes to city streets and urban cycling. The group Transportation for America ranked it the worst city in the nation for pedestrians and other street users earlier this year. However, a small group of Orlando-based cycling advocates is pushing for bike enthusiasts to learn how to ride safely in traffic and manage interactions with motor vehicles.
Mighk Wilson is a bicycle advocate with Orlando’s Metroplan Agency. For the past two years Wilson ,along with a small group of instructors, is teaching a course called “Cycling Savvy” that is part classroom and text book and real world wheels on the street experience. Students learn how to avoid getting doored, emergency maneuvers like the "instant turn" and the "quick stop"
things like how to make a quick swerve on a bike to avoid a car door opening, or how to sweep like a Tour De France rider around a tight curve if another vehicle forces you to choose between a different direction and wiping out.
Instructor Mighk Wilson says the course is about changing people’s beliefs about cycling, “The general belief in the general populous is that cycling in traffic is dangerous or requires superhuman skills, strength, and speed. It really doesn’t. It just requires understanding how traffic moves and what your role is in it.”
So far about 150 students have taken the class. A new fall session is just starting. Wilson says cooler weather brings out more interest in biking and makes it more bearable.