In August Bike-N-
Walk Safely Alaska!, part of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Service Injury Prevention program, sponsored a two and a half day Bicycle Summit in Anchorage that covered everything from traffic safety to cycling skill drills.
Shane MacRhodes, a certified instructor through the League of American Bicyclists, facilitated the summit with the assistance of Injury Prevention staff Maria Bailey and Jo Fisher from August 13 to 15. League of American Bicyclists’ instructor Sylvia Craig also helped out on Saturday.
Twelve Alaskans from around the state participated in the summit, representing a diverse range of professions and cycling backgrounds.
The weather turned out great, if a bit warm for some of the northerners, with drizzling rainholding off until near the end.
Rental bikes were used for those who traveled great distances to attend. Before anyone could straddle their wheels, however, they got a lesson on proper helmet fitting, as well as how to do a safety check of their bikes. Within a short time, attendees were already bike commuting back to the hotel, a long trip for some and a warm up for others.
On Friday the event continued with a Traffic Safety Class that included both classroom and bike riding skills instruction.
One of the goals of the summit was to provide instruction on safe bike riding and the other was to assist the attendees with planning their own bike event in their communities. Shane provided numerous resources and ideas and broke the group into smaller groups to discuss and brainstorm how to run events in their own towns. Some great ideas were exchanged and there should be some excellent bike events in Alaska in the near future.
The weekend ended with a large group ride that included participants, instructors and other Anchorage bikers. Sadly for some, the ride ended at the bike rental shop downtown where attendees had to bid a fond farewell to their two-wheeled steeds.
Injury Prevention is glad to report that all the attendee’s stayed upright on their bikes and no injuries were reported, despite some serious right-hook drills!
Since the summit, other events have already been held throughout the state. It is great to know that the information presented in Anchorage has already been disseminated to other Alaskans.