A class on how to bike safely and confidently in traffic will be offered for the first time in Belleville this month.
"One of the 'selling points' of the class is teaching people how to get on our local trails without having to put their bike on their car -- just leave from home," according to Megan A. Riechmann, a community and environmental planner with HeartLands Conservancy.
Riechmann said cyclists of all levels of experience will learn something from CyclingSavvy, a three-part training program.
The first part is a classroom session from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Southwestern Illinois College's PSOP Building, 201 N. Church St. in Belleville.
During "Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling," participants will learn about bicycle laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies.
The first session is free to "driving age cyclists," but registration is required.
The rest of the program is Saturday and participants need to bring their own bikes.
"Train Your Bike" is from 8-11 a.m. in the parking lot of the PSOP Building. Students will do drills to increase their control and comfort in handling bikes in various situations.
The second session is $20 and limited to 10 attendees.
The "Metro-East Tour" takes participants on a tour of Belleville and Swansea from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Attendees will meet at the St. Louis Bread Co., 113 E. Main St. in Belleville.
The third session is also $20 and limited to 10 attendees.
To be part of the tour, participants must complete the first two sessions. The tour is about 10 miles long, and cyclists will ride at a pace of about 10 to 12 mph.
Register by Wednesday at www.cyclingsavvy.org/stlouis.
The event is sponsored by the Metro-East Parks & Recreation District, Southwestern Illinois College, HeartLands Conservancy and McCarthy Building Cos.
Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.