Classic bicycling instructional film now online

The classic instructional film Bicycling Safely on the Road is now online, thanks to League of American bicyclists instructors Martin Pion and Dan Carrigan.

Bicycling safely on the road, 1979 from danc on Vimeo.

The film is 25 minutes long.

Dan has asked me to compose this announcement, as I know the film better.

Its description in the IMDB online movie database is:

Author: Iowa State University. Research Foundation.

Publisher: Ames: The Foundation, 1979.

Producer, Richard H. Kraemer ; writer-director, Mark Shumard.

Summary: Defines the role of the bicycle rider on the road as that of a vehicle operator. Emphasizes the importance of skill in controlling the bicycle and adherence to traffic laws as prime factors in safe riding. Shows examples of proper riding procedures in various situations.

Narrator: Doug Brown. Based on the effective cycling program of the League of American Wheelmen.

The actual author of most of the content, and director during filming, was John Forester, pioneer in cycling education. He is listed in the end credits.

The motor vehicles, bicycle helmets and clothing shown in this film date it, and some of the lane positioning shown is not as assertive as many instructors recommend today. On the other hand, the video provides a concise and well-structured introduction to bike-handling and traffic-riding techniques.

Especially, check out the unplanned event at 12:40. You couldn’t pay anyone to get a clip like that.

The author and publisher have given permission for posting of the film online. You may use it freely.

The online version is transferred from a VHS tape. Another transfer from an original film print, in HD resolution and with color correction, is in the works. I’ll announce it when it is available.

4 responses to “Classic bicycling instructional film now online

  1. Great restoration job, John. It was like a trip down memory (bike) lane.
    Kat Iverson’s significant other

  2. Not my work — Dan Carrigan deserves the credit for the the transfer to video, which was from a VHS tape copy that Martin Pion lent him. Dan also posted the video online.

    And a much better-looking video transfer is in the works, from an original film print rather than a VHS videotape, and in HD resolution.

  3. Very Good! Some slightly dodgey looking flared trousers… but some good common sense advice. Funny hearing “Yield to traffic…” in the uk we’d say “Give Way…”

  4. Really an excellent video, despite the haircuts and flared jeans. I knew it HAD to be John Forester’s work even before I read the credits. The actors’ portrayals of riding technique – both good and bad – are very well-staged and well-filmed.

    With the addition of helmet cam videos and active digital traffic diagrams, the bicycling educator has a lot of tools in the tool box these days. Too bad that attention spans seem to be shorter. For 1970’s technology, this film covers the cyclist’s safety topic in a clear and comprehensive manner. Just like steel frames, this video has advantages that newer material doesn’t match.

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