March 22nd marked the start of Wheel Movement's Confident City Cycling classes, with a five-hour course held at the North Augusta Activities Center and that included a ride on trails and neighborhood streets and through downtown North Augusta (see attached pictures). Nine riders participated, including several who are relatively new to cycling and who were looking to learn safety skills and feel more comfortable on a bike - exactly the kind of need we are looking to meet with our program. The feedback we received was good, and we are encouraged that there is a demand for what we are providing.
In fact, we believe there are many potential riders in the metro Augusta area, and that current levels of cycling activity only scratch the surface of what is possible. While part of what holds back many "interested-but-concerned" cyclists back is the lack of bicycle infrastructure, another important factor is the uncertainty and lack of comfort many people feel about riding on even relatively cyclist-friendly streets - an issue that our classes are aimed at addressing.
We have developed a schedule of classes for the remainder of the year, with 2.5-hour classes scheduled for May and October. We also are looking at providing education during an "open streets"-type event in Columbia County in May.
We also have room for more events as well. Again, we need your help in connecting our instructors with people interested in cycling education. If you have a group or workplace interested in having us come by for a class, a presentation on cycling or a "lunch-and-learn" event, let us know. You can contact Gator Cochran firstname.lastname@example.org or Jason Hardin at email@example.com to set something up. Just let us know.
Finally, we were pleased to get some media attention for the class. We think there is an ongoing story to be told with respect to cycling in the region, not only that more people are becoming interested in bicycling but also about the role this organization is playing in encouraging that interest. We plan to continue to build visibility and credibility by staying active and working to tell our story though both social and traditional media outlets.
Thanks, and we'll continue to keep you posted with updates throughout the year.