Dorcas Adkins, the safety education program director for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, was interviewed by the Examiner as part of the 3-minute interviews series.
Why is it important for WABA to promote bicycling?
I think it’s the most elegant solution to the largest number of problems we face nowadays. It’s a no-brainer for me — air pollution, traffic congestion, obesity, you name it. People just need to be more active.
What programs do you have coming up for the spring?
For the spring, I’m leading a program in schools in D.C. which teaches children in kindergarten through fifth grade pedestrian and bike safety … In Maryland, we have another program, a similar one, where we train the teachers.
You teach Confident City Cycling classes to adults. What do you teach in these courses?
Usually, we teach three general things. We teach about the bicycle itself and how to do bicycle maintenance, we teach about the rider’s needs … and most importantly, we teach about the cycling environment, which for a commuting cyclist is the road itself.
What is the most important rule bikers need to follow?
I think the simplest one is always wear your helmet, and that’s the easiest to convey. But certainly, in the case of children, teaching them how to stop a bicycle and when to stop a bicycle is most important.
Do you have a favorite bike path?
Yes, lots! Certainly, the Capital Crescent Trail [and] the towpath along the canal — it’s not paved, but it’s beautiful.