By CAROLINE BIELEN
Pitt plans to offer bike classes this spring for students, faculty and staff who are new to biking in a city or new to biking in general.
Pitt has been offering cycling classes for the past several years, but they have been through BikePGH, a bike advocacy organization, or taught by instructors at Carnegie Mellon University or Chatham University. This new effort will allow the classes to occur more frequently and on campus because the instructors will be directly from Pitt.
In July, four Pitt staff members enrolled in Pitt’s first League Cycling Instructor Seminar. This program is an intense three-day, 24-hour course that allows participants to become certified to teach bike classes to children and adults. Pitt’s Office of Parking and Transportation sponsored the staff’s training. All four staff members passed the course and are now League Cycling instructors.
Nick Goodfellow, the sustainability coordinator for Business & Auxiliary Services in the Office of Sustainability, is one of Pitt’s new League Cycling instructors. As sustainability coordinator, Goodfellow supports sustainability initiatives throughout Pitt and ensures that they are aligned with the Pitt Sustainability plan, Pitt’s carbon neutrality commitment and other environmental and social-related initiatives.
Goodfellow said that he and the other League Cycling instructors are currently developing the educational curriculum and programming for the bike safety classes.
“It’s really exciting to be able to offer our own bike classes,” Goodfellow said. “There is so much energy and excitement around biking, and we want to make sure that we are able to offer classes to everybody. We want them to learn how to bike safely and comfortably so that they have a fun experience.”
Goodfellow began biking when he was an undergraduate student at Pitt seven years ago. “It really opened my world up to possibilities and different ways to get around,” he said. “I was able to get from my apartment to campus much quicker while exploring the city.”
Goodfellow’s priority of creating bike safety classes on Pitt’s campus stems from his lack of knowledge about bike safety when he was a student.
“I definitely didn’t know what I was doing. I just hopped on a bike. I didn’t know the rules of the road,” he said. “I didn’t know the basic safety principles of biking, and I ended up getting in a few accidents that were completely my fault. My accidents involved not knowing how to turn correctly or going over the railroad tracks improperly and falling. Luckily, I didn’t hurt myself too badly, but we want to make sure that anybody else who is learning to bike has the resources to do so safely to avoid any injuries.”
Before the bike safety classes begin this spring, Goodfellow encourages students, faculty and staff to take advantage of the Healthy Ride at Pitt program in the meantime.
“We offer unlimited 30 minute rides on the city bikes for free on Healthy Ride,” he said. “We’ve already had 10,000 rides taken since August on the Bike Share program.”
Caroline Bielen is a student writer for the University Times.