Friday, December 31, 2010


2010 has been an incredible year for Penn’s Cycling School. Little did I know how many people I would have the honor of instructing and meeting this year. What started out as one small clinic grew to an amazing 22 clinics and about 214 people that I had the privilege of teaching!

Most importantly I would like to thank Bevin Maynard of St. Joseph’s Children’s hospital - Safe kid’s coalition and fellow LCI/ Coach and Cyclist Tina Russo. Together we have trained 92 elementary and middle school teachers. This is our front line defense as they will directly teach our children correct and important bicycle safety skills which leads to better awareness as they become drivers. Bravo to all the teachers who came to the workshops this year! You have a direct impact on our children!

The other important clinics included: 6 Mini commuter courses and Traffic Skills 101 at USF, Skill instructor training and Traffic Skills 101 at University Bicycle Center, Traffic Skills for the professionals, Group riding clinics for the ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) Society of Florida, The going green Expo at USF and last but not least a huge Thank you to Alan Snel of the Bicycle Bash by the Bay at Flatwoods – my kids had a blast!

Most of all I hope that I have made a positive impact on everyone that I was able to teach, now and in the future. If I can save one life by passing on this valuable information then it’s all worthwhile! I have learned a lot and I am looking forward to a productive and busy 2011 with many more clinics and fun!

Unfortunately 2010 was filled with the tragic deaths of 11 cyclists on the Tampa bay area streets and one death of a well known racer in Milwaukee (my home town). My reflection on these deaths is not about who is at fault. Each death had its own circumstances and reasons.

On a personal note Traffic fatalities hits close to home. A few years ago my brother-in-law, Larry and more recently this summer my dear Nephew in Wisconsin. We will miss and love Lil’ Lyle and Larry forever! These are not cycling related however no less painful!

For some reason in each of these accidents there seems to be an unfortunate timing, an almost perfect timing of each accident is in play. Each day when we venture out in our cars and on our bicycles we don’t know how many times we brush away near misses or tragedy. Every day when we drive or ride there is risk, so we never know what might happen. We know that defensive driving and bicycling can help prevent crashes! Each day I give thanks and praise to God for keeping me safe and having another day to appreciate my life, family and friends. Life is precious and I ask the good lord to watch over all of us and keep us safe in 2011!

I will continue my effort to teach as many people I can in the coming year! I will teach the 5 layers of safety: 1) develop good bike handling skills 2)obey traffic laws 3) learn about lane positioning 4) learn and practice evasive maneuvers and 5) always where your helmet – it can reduce the impact of a severe head injury by 85%! And don’t forget Jim Forester: “cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as vehicles”!

Have a Blessed New Year Everyone and ride safe!

Sharon Monahan, Cycling Instructor

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