Friday, December 30, 2011


½ Thousand and Counting!

Another year has come and gone and has gone by so fast, I am truly amazed! I am going to attempt to write an exciting article about what Penn’s Cycling School did this past year.  Oh, did I mention that I don’t know where this year went! Keep in mind that I am not really a writer so bare with me, I will do my best! Before I go and take all the credit. I would not be able to do what I do without the help of key people and organizations. 
Being safe on your bike starts with the individual making a conscious effort each time they roll out of the driveway.  For all of you who love riding your bike, you know how easy to get “lost” and daydream the miles away!  Did I mention how much I love to ride my bike?  
Bringing the message of HOW to be safe to others also starts with individuals. They know how important it is to bring awareness of the risks and problems of riding on our busy roads, distracted drivers, and mistakes people make when they ride.  They teach, preach, and form organizations to spread the message further!    
So without delay the great people and organizations that I have worked with are: Tina Russo. Coach for League Cycling Instructors (LCI), Bevin Maynard of Saint Joes Children’s Advocacy Center – Safe Kids,  Julie Bond University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation (CUTR) Bike Smart Program, and last but not least, Cris Vidal of the Ride to Defeat ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).  I also need to give Credit to the Florida Department of Transportation for Transportation Enhancement funds that make many of these programs possible.
With all these people and organizations, I have had the opportunity to do some awesome things this year! Anyone that has followed me for the past 2 years knows that this all started with my desire to get back to teaching bicycle safety with one little workshop.  Little did I know how perfect the timing was as the death rate for bicycle crashes began to rise in the area!  I ended up implementing 22 workshops reaching 214 people. 
This year was another amazing experience with 23 workshops reaching 520 people!  The highlight of the year and the toughest week of my life (Bevin, Christy, Collette and Jason) was implementing a week long bicycle safety education course (PRE – Drivers Education) at Martinez Middle School to 326 6th graders!  A HUGE Thank You to Bevin and Safe Kids for allowing me to be a part of this! I hope we can start changing driving behavior at an early age!
The other highlight of Penn’s Cycling School was facilitating the 3 day LCI seminar in April.  Tina Russo, with the help of League Education Director Preston Tyree (now former) trained and certified 14 new LCI’s.  There were so many people that helped us out through the weekend (Thanks You, Publix, Tim, Bevin, Guy and Crystal) we could not have done it without you!
Well that’s ½ of a thousand.  I didn’t include the children’s safety workshops that I was able to participate in there were 2-3 hundred more.  That means I am almost at 1000… maybe I can double or triple the numbers next year?   I hope so!  I want everyone to be safe,  and I hope I am helping save at least one life out there!   Be super safe in 2012!  Use your lights, follow the rules of the road, and pedal freely!  
Sharon Monahan
Penn’s Cycling School

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