Santa Monica, Calif., has a thriving cycling culture, with an extensive network of bike lanes. A commuter bike-loan program facilitates cycling to work. The city plans to unveil a bike-share program in November. But even here, plenty of people have no clue how to ride.
RPA, a Santa Monica-based advertising agency, learned that after it launched a program among its staff that included a charitable incentive for cycling. “We realized some of our young associates weren’t participating because they don’t know how to bike,” said RPA’s Annie Elliott.
So the agency hired Ron Durgin, co-founder of Sustainable Streets, a nonprofit that offers cycling classes, to teach the few employees brave enough to admit their deficiency.
As dozens of cyclists whizzed by on a shorefront bike path, Mr. Durgin rolled out basic bikes with hand brakes and no gears for the apprentices. The biggest challenge is overcoming the fear of falling, he said. “Adults have all these psychological barriers that kids don’t have.”