Bike riders who cruise through the University of Arizona campus and surrounding areas can take advantage of a free bike safety class that offers navigation strategies during streetcar construction and tips on avoiding spills when crossing recently installed streetcar tracks.
"A lot of people just never grew up with tracks whatsover, or they're new to town or haven't been on a bike in five or 10 years and they realized it's a really efficient way to get on and around campus," said Matt Zoll, bicycle and pedestrian program manager with the Pima County Department of Transportation.
Bike tires, even thicker tires, can be wedged in the track and cause the rider to take a dive, Zoll said.
The hourlong class meets once a week on the UA campus and participants get to take home a free helmet, a bike-lights set or U-Lock.
At the start of the class, bike safety instructors will do a safety check on riders' bicycles including checking air in tires, brakes and cranks and making sure tires don't have any cracks or holes.
Riders learn how to cross and make left turns across tracks. They're also taught about the dangers of riding on sidewalks and cruising close to parked cars.
The free hourlong bike safety classes around the University of Arizona campus are offered this month on the following dates:
• Sept. 13 - 10:30 a.m.
• Sept. 19 - 9 a.m.
• Sept. 25 - 9:30 a.m.
Participants are asked to call 243-2453 to reserve a spot and will be given information about the meeting location.
Riders must bring a bicycle in good working condition. Riders will get their choice of either a free bike helmet, bike lights set or a U-lock.
Go to www.bikeped.pima.gov for more information or to find additional classes.
TIPS FOR CROSSING TRACKS
• Keep your eyes peeled for tracks in the road. Some riders may not notice them until it's too late.
• Cross tracks between a 60 and 90 degree angle to avoid getting tires wedged in them.
• Tracks are made from concrete and steel and can be extremely slippery dry or wet, reducing tire traction.
• Be aware that your normal route might be affected by streetcar construction, which is ongoing, and you may have to take various detours. For the latest on the construction visit: tucsonstreetcar.com/construction.htm
• Pavement conditions will vary in construction and detour areas. Watch out for construction debris.
Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at email@example.com or 573-4224.