Bike Education by Al Lauland
I asked our bike educator committee member, Al Lauland how he came to being on the committee as our bike education person. This is what he said.
I was essentially a couch potato until I was about 32 years old. My boss and best friend at that time, had just died of a heart attack. I took that as a wake-up call. I started doing aerobics, lost 2 inches from my waist in six months and did my first triathlon the following year.
Triathlon got me more interested in cycling. I always had a knack for the mechanical and was not only working on my own bikes at this time, but was starting to work on friends as well. I started working (volunteering actually) at the local bike shop. I did my first week long ride on the Michigander.
While serving as the ride mechanic on the inaugural LMB Circle Tour, I was asked to do the first night safety talk. I had 30 minutes to figure out what to say, so I thought about all those things I had seen and heard about other cyclists doing wrong. I flipped it around and talked about all those things that constituted the right and safe way to ride a bike. I didn’t stutter much, got good reviews, and a number of “I didn’t know that” type comments. I was hooked. Soon I was doing bike safety talks at our local elementary school. I took an official LAB Road I course, which gave me and idea of what teaching a full-blow cycling class would be like.
In 1999, I found out that the PALM ride was looking for a cycling instructor to teach each evening of the ride. I jumped at the chance and participated in my first PALM in 2000. In 2005, I received my LAB League Cycling Instructor certification.
In addition to PALM, Al also teach at local schools, scouting groups, local parks and recreation classes, individuals, and other local events.
And we all know the rest of the story. During the week of PALM, Al teaches an hour session, every night after the main meeting. His first session is on Saturday and his last is on Thursday. For more information as to Al’s schedule, go to the DOWNLOADS tab and look for the link on Bike Education. We hope to see you on PALM at one of Al’s bike-ed sessions. Remember, bike safely and obey the traffic laws.