Holding the "Three Feet" banner in the Ohio Statehouse on May 21, 2013 minutes before testifying on our Safer Ohio Cycling Bill

OBF Day 2015 at Bicycle Museum of America

With Emmy and Advocacy Organization of the Year Award at OBF Display

OBF Chair Chuck Smith and daughter Julia arrive at statehouse on a tandem

Six members of the Upper Arlington High School Bicycle Racing Team (first Ohio high school racing team) visited their Senator Kris Jordan

The Ohio State University Bicycle Racing Team visits the 3rd Annual OBF Ohio Bicycling Summit

Ohio House Representatives Mike Sheehy and Mike Henne, sponsors of House Bill 154, during Ohio Bicycling Summit on April 22, 2015.

OBF Chair Chuck Smith presents $1,000 check to Queen City Bikes for bike lights

Huffman Award to Jim Sheehan

Strong support at Wright Wride 2015

Team Stelleri Captain Pamela Semanik in new OBF 3 Feet Passing Kit in Cleveland Velodrome during OBF Day in Cleveland on June 3, 2017

                                YOUR OHIO BICYCLE FEDERATION 

           SUPPORTS THESE BILLS IN OHIO'S 131ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Ohio Bicycle Federation supports the following legislative bills. Our latest testimony can be found in the committee notes for the dates listed. 

HB 110 Brandon’s Law: Failure to stop after accident – increase penalty
1. Raises the penalty for failure to stop after an accident, when the offense results in death or an injury, from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.
This bill passed unanimously in the House Judiciary committee and the full House and is being reviewed by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. OBF provided proponent testimony on September 30.
http://ohiosenate.gov/committee/criminal-justice#

HB 88: Electronics communications devices – restrict usage
1. Texting while driving raised from a secondary offense to a primary offense. Police officers may stop a vehicle if operator is observed texting while driving.
2. Prohibits cellphone use in school zones and construction zones.
HB 88 is being reviewed by the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee. Another bill HB 146 has passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and the Senate and is being reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee. OBF provided interested party testimony on Oct 13. We would like HB 146 to incorporate legislation from HB 88.
http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/judiciary

HB 107: Person or neighborhood association - request reduced speed limit/stop sign
1. Authorizes a resident of a street or neighborhood association to request the speed limit to be lowered or stop signs to be installed at an intersection.
2. Requires a petition signed by at least 51% of residents.
HB 107 is being reviewed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. OBF provided proponent testimony on May 12.
http://www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/transportation-and-infrastructure

 

Quickly contact your legislators to ask them to support these bills by going to

http://bikeleague.org/TakeAction?vvsrc=%2fCampaigns%2f40768%2fRespond

 

Links to Bicycle Clubs in Ohio

Clubs with Websites

 

Clubs without known Websites

Club NameAddressCityZip
American Electric Bike Club 1 Riverside Plz Columbus 43215-2355
Ashtabula YMCA Bicycling Club P.O. Box 28 Ashtabula 44005-0028
Battelle Bicycle Club 505 King Ave Columbus 43201-2693
Casual Cruisers 3159 Montana Ave Cincinnati 45211-6734
Cincinnati Velo Club 241 W Mcmillan St Cincinnati 45219-1238
Clark County Freewheelers 1774 S Center Blvd Springfield 45506-3154
Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Assn. P.O. Box 771471 Cleveland 44107
Crawford County Cyclists 840 Sunset Dr Bucyrus 44820-3155
Fairfield Schwinn Cycloids 4860 Dixie Hwy Fairfield 45014-1911
Folks On Spokes 1334 Concord St Nw Massillon 44646-2246
Franklin Bicycle Club 1050 Bernard Rd Columbus 43221-1610
French City Cyclists 419 4th Ave Gallipolis 45631-1110
Grand Lake Y Bicyclists 5511 Johnson Rd Celina 45822-9003
Greater Clintonville Cycling Club 3517 Kinsale Head Dr Columbus 43221-4461
Hocking Hills Bicycle Club 11834 State Route 93 N Logan 43138-9313
KSU Bicycle Club 191 Mason Kent 44242-0001
Lima Council HI-AYH P.O. Box 173 Lima 45802-0173
Little Mountain Velo 355 S State St Painesville 44077-3531
Mad River Wheelmen 283 State Route 292 Zanesfield 43360-9783
Mahoning Valley Cycling Club 263 E Pine Lake Rd North Lima 44452-9748
Major Taylor Bike Club 1921 Holburn Ave Columbus 43207-1683
Mantua Bike Club 10939 Peck Rd Mantua 44255-9211
Mount 'N Bike Off Road Club 88233 Mickey Rd Hopedale 43976-9735
Mountain Mudders 38960 Staneart Rd Albany 45710
Nationwide Bike Club 1 W Nationwide Blvd Columbus 43215-2220
Neobike 234 E King St Chardon 44024-1315
Northeast Ohio Cycling Club Of Ashtabula 1013 Mill St Conneaut 44030-1521
Northwest Cycling Club 1375 Inglis Ave Columbus 43212-3557
Norwalk Bike Club 44 E Main St Norwalk 44857-1515
Oakley Cycle Club 3010 Madison Rd Cincinnati 45209-1710
Ohio Randonneurs 81 Country Rd Urbana 43078-9700
Ohio University Mtn Bike Club Campus Rec Center Athens 45701
Ohio Volkssport Association 721 S Detroit St Xenia 45385-5507
Oxford Cycling Club P.O. Box 774 Oxford 45056-0774
Society Velo 355 S State St Painesville 44077-3531
Spectrum Cycling Club 416 N Water St Loudonville 44842-1233
Spectrum Performance Club 1060 Reed St Mansfield 44906-1961
Spokes Bicycle Club 3944 Farmbrook Ln Columbus 43204-1552
Square Wheels 3001 E Overlook Rd Cleveland 44118-2437
St Charles Cycle Club 2010 E Broad St Columbus 43209-1665
Tailwinds Bicycle Club 2323 W Bancroft St Toledo 43607-1306
Team Pokadot 5315 Carina Court E Hilliard 43026
Tri-State Wheelers 208 Beacon Dr Weirton 26062-4904
Vermilion Bicycle Club 14807 Mason Rd Vermilion 44089-9230
Wandering Wheels Volkssports 501 N Market St Shreve 44676-9767
Wonders On Wheels 2203 Maryland Dr Xenia 45385-4631

by Fred Oswald, LCI #947

We must give our children the best information available.  This will make them safer and provide a lifelong source of healthy exercise.  The general concept can be summarized in two simple sentences:

      1.  A bike is not a toy, it is a child's first vehicle.
      2.  Drive your bike.

Need for Cycling Education

  • "Bike Safety" is usually taught by untrained "authority figures" (parents, teachers, police).
  • This training lacks a planned program.  They make it up as they go.
  • Much of what is taught is wrong (see below).  Some is dangerously wrong.
  • Most people ride dangerously because they were mis-taught.

Why Concentrate on Children

  • Children have fewer preconceptions about what they know.
  • Children are accustomed to being taught.
  • Many children depend on bikes for their own transportation.
  • Opportunities include schools, after-school programs, youth groups and community recreation.
  • In teaching the children, we can (and must) reach the parents.
  • Cycling is a lifelong activity that helps combat a sedentary lifestyle and obesity that starts in childhood.

Opportunities for Educational Programs

See the reference section below for materials for training volunteers and parents' hand-outs.

  • Bike Rodeos provide a "one shot" program.
    • Rodeo is only a start -- must not be the only educational activity.
    • This requires a few properly trained people to run program (try a cycling club).
    • Best benefit of rodeo is opportunity to teach the parents.  (Give them "Parent's Guide" below).
    • Beware of rodeo that degenerates into a trick riding contest.
  • BikeEd "Kids" Class.
    • These are classes taught by a certified "League Cycling Instructor" (see below).
    • Kids I is a presentation & optional 3-hour practice for kids & their parents.
    • Kids II is a Road I class tailored for children.
  • "Bike Club" after school
    • This requires a properly trained advisor who enjoys cycling.
    • Program combines skills practice with recreational rides.
    • Activities must be fun as well as properly supervised.
    • Parents must be taught enough so they understand the program.
  • Scout programs
    • Cub Scout parents should be shown A Kids Eye View video & given "Parent's Guide" (see below).
    • Boy Scout cycling merit badge book is good source.
    • Scouts can use "Bike Quiz" as activity.  (Use Street Smarts for reference.)
  • Training the teachers.
    • Arrange a BikeEd adult course for leaders.
    • Send a few leaders to a BikeEd instructor workshop.
    • Provide good reading materials (see below) for leaders.
    • Ask for help from your local cycling club.

Avoid Repeating BAD ADVICE!

"It's not what he doesn't know that troubles me.  It's what he knows for sure that just ain't so."
--- Will Rogers

A major problem with traditional "bike safety" programs is that the people conducting the effort have little cycling experience and no training.  They are not properly informed about the subject.  Indeed, they are usually misinformed..  As a result, they repeat bad safety advice because it "sounds good."  See below for several examples of typical bad advice with a brief explanation for why it is wrong.

Bad Advice

Why the Advice Is Wrong

"The roads are too dangerous for bikes." While safety can always be improved, a knowledgeable cyclist on the road is actually pretty safe.  The alternatives (sidewalks, multi-purpose paths or separate bike lanes) are significantly more dangerous.  The roads are safe because the "rules of the road" make traffic orderly and predictable.  The only rule of the road for sidewalks and paths is that there are no rules.
"Always ride on the sidewalk" Sidewalk cycling at moderate speed has about double the collision risk as the adjacent road.  This risk goes up with speed.  Drivers do not look for fast traffic on the sidewalk.  Sidewalk cycling is moderately safe only at walking speed.
"You could be dead right." You are more likely to be "dead-wrong".  This is often part of a fear campaign.  We don't teach swimming that way.  When you have the right of way, use it.  You are much better off riding predictably and acting like you know what you are doing.  Of course, defensive driving is always wise -- plan an escape route, just in case.
"Stay out of the way of cars." There are situations where it is safer to obviously be in the way.  For example, if the travel lane is not wide enough to share with passing traffic, move LEFT so following drivers are not tempted to "squeeze by".  At intersections and driveways, cyclists who try to stay out of the way by riding on sidewalks may "appear out of nowhere" and be hit.  Experienced cyclists, who stay in the travel lane, are easily seen and avoided.
"Ride as far right as possible" This is a misinterpretation of the law that actually says ride "as near to the right side as practicable" (practice+able).  There are several situations where "hugging the curb" is not safe.  These include where the right lane is not wide enough to share with a passing vehicle and if there are hazards at the edge of the road, or where other drivers can see you better if you move left.  Always maintain a "safety zone" to your right.
"Ride as though other drivers can't see you." It is usually much better to make sure other drivers CAN see you.  This means, use lights at night, wear bright clothes in daytime and ride in or near the travel lane where other drivers are looking for traffic.
"Always signal before turning." Signal when you can but not if you risk losing control of your bike.  It is much more important to YIELD to any traffic that has the right of way.
"Always STOP at stop signs." That's what the sign says.  The problem is this ignores the most important function of a stop sign.  It is much more important to YIELD to any traffic that has the right of way.  Stopping complies with only part of the law.
"Drivers are crazy." This is often part of a fear campaign.  Actually, U.S. drivers are pretty good.  Almost everyone obeys the most important rules of the road.  This makes travel fairly safe and efficient.
Helmets provide "courage for your head." This is an irresponsible advertising slogan that implies a helmet makes dangerous riding OK.  It is much better to prevent a crash than just to survive one.  A helmet is your last line of defense.  Good to have one, but far from the most important aspect of safety on a bike.


 

Resources & Materials (both adult - reference & kids or parents info.)

  • Bicycling Street Smarts by John Allen (commercial edition, 46 page booklet).  This is a good concise reference for proper cycling technique.
  • Ohio Bicycling Street Smarts, issued by Ohio Dept. of Public Safety. Available at some city halls, license bureaus, etc. or call ODOT, 614-644-7095.  Other states that have a similar "bicycle driver's manual" include Pennsylvania and Florida.
  • Effective Cycling, by John Forester, published by MIT Press, 1993 a terrific reference (but difficult for beginners).
  • Effective Cycling Video (for adult training) $25 from LAB, 202 822-1333 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • A Kid's Eye View bicycle safety video for parents & kids, $10 from LAB, 202 822-1333 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • "BikeEd" courses: Road-I/II, Kid's, etc. See bikeleague.org/programs/education/index.php for instructors & descriptions.  Consult a local BikeEd instructor for your program.
  • Bicycle Driving Seminar by the author.
  • North Carolina Coalition for Bicycle Driving, an excellent summary of "vehicular cycling" technique.
  • Effective Cycling Training.  Describes proper training for cyclists.  Courses for age 8 to adult.
  • Bike Safety for Kids - A Parent's Guide
  • Bicycle Rodeos by John Andersen.  How to get the most out of a rodeo.
  • Bike Quiz was developed for a Scout group.  The questions are not easy!  Street Smarts or similar source of information should be provided.  1/2 page, 2-side flyer plus 1/2 pg answer sheet, (pdf file).

For comments or questions, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The author is a certified "League Cycling Instructor, and a Professional Engineer in Ohio.
Rev. 1/27/08.

© Copyright 2004-2008 Fred Oswald.  Material may be copied with attribution.

 

Motorist Education

We have Motorist Education for use at driving schools and for the general motoring public. 

ODOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Office

The Ohio Department of Transportation's Bicycling Home Page contains maps and regional information. .

You may reach ODOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Planner Julie Walcoff with the below contact information:

Julie Walcoff
Bike/Pedestrian; SRTS Program Manager
1980 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43223
Phone: (614) 466-3049
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ohio Legislature Information

All sorts of information about the activities of the Ohio State General Assembly, legislation in progress, schedules, finding your legislator, and much more is available here.

Cyclist Friendly Communities

The Cyclist Friendly Communities Award includes a complete toolkit for improving conditions in your community and information on qualifying for this new award.

On-line Discussions

To discuss any Ohio bicycle issue with the leading bicycle advocates in the state, join the OhioBike e-mail discussion list. Send a This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the list on the Web.

OBF Publications

The Ohio Bicycle Communicator is published two times per year.

The most up-to-date and comprehensive list of Ohio rides is published in the annual Ohio Bicycle Events Calendar. This is published in March as a bicycle enthusiast’s resource. In addition, the Web version is updated throughout the year.

Ohio Bicycling Street Smarts

Your Ohio Bicycle Federation has worked on creating an "Ohio Bicycling Street Smarts" based upon the definitive pamphlet on riding a bicycle in traffic by John Allen, with the author's permission.  John Allen's classic is offered here with his permission (click "Street Smarts" graphic).