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Saturday, January 15, 2011

What is Your Smart Cycling IQ?

First published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan December 20, 2010

The Bike Co-op’s “train-the-trainer” program will train sixty or more community members in the basics of smart cycling in the next several months.  Why don’t you join us?  Determine your Smart Cyclist IQ by taking this quiz (answers are near the bottom). 
1) If you pass a pedestrian while bicycling on a sidewalk or trail you should:  a) yield; b) emit an audible signal before you pass; c) moderate your speed; d) all of the above.
2) The most important measurement in fitting a standard diamond-frame bicycle to a rider is: a) rider weight; b) wheel diameter; c) crank length; d) stand-over height. 
3) Colorado law requires that cyclists ride as far right as:  a) possible; b) practicable; c) they feel safe; d) none of the above.
4) How many feet in advance should a cyclist signal his or her intention to turn right? a) 20; b) 40; c) 80; d) 100.
5) A properly fitted helmet should be worn: a) tilted back to protect the back of the head; b) level, covering the forehead, with the chin strap loose; c) tilted back to protect the back of the head, with the chin strap tight; d) level covering the forehead, with both the ear straps and the chin strap tight.
6) What gear combination is easiest to pedal up a steep hill?  a) small chainring and large rear cog; b) Large chainring and large rear cog; c) small chainring and small rear cog; d) large chainring and small rear cog.
7) Optimum cadence for long-distance cycling is from: a) 25 – 50 rpm; b) 50 – 75 rpm; c) 75 – 95 rpm; d) 100 –125 rpm
8)  What is the minimum width, in feet, of a car lane that can be safely shared by a bicycle and an automobile side by side? a) 20; b) 12; c) 14; d) 18.
9) Which of the following statements is true?  Bicyclists are considered pedestrians when they a) choose to ride against traffic; b) ride their bike on a sidewalk or trail; c) are crossing the street in a pedestrian crosswalk; d) are walking their bike.
10) A white front light on a bicycle should be visible for how many feet ahead?  a) 100;
b) 300; c) 500; d) 700.

Answers:  1) d; 2) d; 3) c; 4) d; 5) d; 6) a; 7) c; 8) c; 9) d; 10) c.

If you missed only one or two questions you should consider helping the Bike Co-op teach this material.  Smart cycling is more than knowing the answer to these questions, though.  Join us for hands on practice to learn bike handling skills in Fort Collins traffic in January or February.  One Saturday class and the free online course at will make you a smart cyclist and qualify you to help with our Youth Skills Bicycling 123 program.  For more information and to sign up for a class visit

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