The City of Sonoma will sponsor a free evening bicycle training event Tuesday, June 6, featuring Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition’s Smart Bicycling Street Skills 101 A class.

The class will be held at the Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St., in Sonoma. The class will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. A bicycle is not required, but participants are welcome to ride to the event. Participants should bring helmets for proper fitting techniques.

On Saturday, June 16, the city will sponsor a free one-day bicycle training event featuring Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition’s Smart Bicycling Street Skills 101 B class. The class will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes both hazard avoidance drills and a street ride where students will have extensive practice riding safely and confidently with traffic. Bicycles and helmets are required. The 101 A class or some experience bicycling is recommended before taking 101 B.

In October 2008, the Sonoma City Council adopted the Sonoma Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and in an effort to encourage residents to ride bicycles safely and to encourage more people to get out on bicycles in general, the City of Sonoma is offering free classes to the public.

Smart Cycling Street Skills is based on the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Road I Bicycle Education curriculum. The nationally certified instructors are walking bicycle encyclopedias and can answer any questions participants may have. Participants will ride away having benefited regardless of prior levels of experience.

Both expert and novice bicyclists will benefit from the classes.

“Street Skills is for everyone,” says Bicycle Coalition Education Director Tina Panza. “Whether you are new to riding and are curious about the most efficient gear ratio for riding uphill, or an expert rider who could use guidance on the best lane positioning when turning left at a busy intersection, the class has valuable information for you. I’ve been a bike commuter for years, and I thought, ‘I’m not going to learn anything new here’ – I’m happy to say I was wrong. I’m a safer bike rider now, and I enjoy riding even more than before.”

City of Sonoma is offering this class free. Space is limited. Contact Wendy Atkins at 933-2204 or watkins@sonomacity.org for reservations.