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          Note: The following video, shot on August 12, 2012, was uploaded to Vimeo on January 10, 2013, after extensive editing.
expanding arrows cropTo view it in full-screen mode, please start the video and then click on the 4 arrowheads symbol (reproduced at right) just left of vimeo below.
To minimize again, click “Esc” on your keyboard (Mac).

Bicycling Made Simple: Gerry Noll Shows How from Martin Pion on Vimeo.

On August 18, 2012, Gerry Noll and I set off to show how relatively easy it is to safely bicycle on Ferguson’s main roads if you just know the basic rules and skills needed for safe cycling, which almost anyone can acquire.
         Thanks to Ferguson’s progressive attitude towards bicycle transportation, which it is helping to encourage, Gerry and I were legally permitted to decide whether to control or share the curb lane on the four-lane arterials where most of the video was shot. The curb lanes are typically 12 ft – 13 ft wide in Ferguson, which is definitely not safely shareable with the buses and large commercial vehicles using them, and is tight even with cars, as discussed in previous thinkbicyclingblogs, such as Bicyclist lane control: Why the law needs changing, posted on June 25, 2012.
         To avoid being squeezed to the side of the road, I chose to control the lane throughout the shooting of this video, with Gerry following my lead. As amply demonstrated, that rarely caused anything other than a short delay to following vehicles in our lane.

Note on videotaping:
Pion with bike helmet & cameras IMG_5310         I modified an old hardshell Bell Tourlite safety helmet to hold Gerry’s Contour HD 1050p fixed focus videocamera, designed for active sports taping, plus my Canon S-95 camera in video mode. Being fixed focus the Contour distorts vertical objects near the edges of the field of view, causing them to bend, so I had that facing forward, while my Canon, which doesn’t produce this kind of distortion, faced backwards to tape Gerry and his interaction with following motorists.

Background note on Gerry Noll:

A then-bearded Gerry Noll posing outside his Ferguson Bicycle Shop on November 15, 2012, after being photographed bicycling past new BMUFL sign at south end of Ferguson-controlled Florissant Rd.

Gerry Noll posing outside his Ferguson Bicycle Shop at 429 S. Florissant Rd. on November 16, 2012.

         Gerry opened his Ferguson Bicycle Shop after retiring from nearby Emerson Electric in April 2011, and became a certified Cycling Savvy Instructor in June 2011 and now offers CS courses to adults, so he was a natural for the “starring role” in this movie.


  1. In the picture on the bottom of the page it says thats Gerry Noll. That looks like his bicycle but the man doesn’t look like Gerry.

    Martin’s reply: That’s Gerry in his undercover cyclist disguise. When I saw him recently he was clean-shaven.

  2. great instructional gerry and martin!

    Martin’s reply: Thanks, John! I hope to work on editing this down further, since that may well help it get a wider audience, but it takes a lot of time, so it’ll have to wait.

  3. I wouldn’t edit it. The film shows multiple destinations and how to deal with them. Good work!

    Martin’s reply: Thanks very much for reviewing and your positive response. I may end up leaving this version but also adding an edited one for those with less patience! (Also, it does no harm to try and focus on the essentials for a more general audience, e.g. on YouTube.)

    • Dennis Kruse LCI 3331
    • Posted February 4, 2013 at 11:08 am
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    The video was great but it was too busy with trying to read the text, watch the insert, and watch Gary all at the same time. I think talking might cut down on the busyness.

    Martin reply: Thanks for your comment Dennis and I agree. I invited Gerry Noll to read the written text to provide audible commentary to address this point but that never happened.

    I’m thinking of editing it down if/when I get time, shooting for 3-5 mins., and hopefully add audible commentary then.

    • Theodore (Ted) Egan
    • Posted December 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm
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    Lovely, short video on how to negotiate “in town” riding. Just the kind of things, I’ve been trying to teach my wife and her friend (new cyclists). Seeing someone else, “do it right”, is just what they need to get over their fears for the short in town rides we take to get to our local bike paths. Thanks for taking the time to make this video.

    Martin’s reply: You didn’t find it too long at ~8-1/2 minutes? That’s long for most such videos, which can be as short as 1-2 minutes up to around 4+ minutes. A video of 4:21 min. covering a lot of ground well is The Rights and Duties of Cyclists, by Dan Gutierrez and Brian DeSousa. You can find it in various places on-line by Googling the title. I strongly recommend it.

    • Theodore (Ted) Egan
    • Posted January 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm
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    • Reply

    The “Rights and Duties of Cyclists” video was also a good video, but I found the larger (more busy) environment where it was made to be much too intimidating for newer cyclists. I would never attempt to take newbies out where they were riding because they would freak out at all of that traffic. Your video, being made in a smaller town was perfect. I have found that newer cyclists are pre-occupied with their riding, gearing, braking, and grip on their handlebars. If they ride into a busy environment with traffic, they can become overwhelmed very quickly. (Once to a point where I had to walk two bikes home, but that’s another story)! The length of your video is good because it covers numerous situations that riders encounter when on the road. Also, the musical background with the lack of talking, gives your video a much more relaxed feel (like a pleasurable bike ride should be). Narration can make the video seem more instructional, which can make newer riders more anxious. Based on what I was looking for, (short, “in town” riding for newer cyclists), I think your video is just right! Thanks again.

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