As a novice bike rider, I have never ridden a bike around a metropolitan city before. I’ve only used multi-use trails such as the silver comet trail, or going around the Rose Bowl in California. This first day experience was very uncomfortable for me the entire time because I am not as comfortable riding a bike in traffic as the others in this class. The ride allowed me to try different riding facilities around Atlanta, I was definitely most comfortable along the Beltline because it was secluded and the landscape was flat. I was indifferent about riding on the bike lanes in midtown; the cars made me nervous but the bike lanes are very distinct and the other drivers seem to respect the bike lane. Also, on 10th street they had the protected bike lane so I did not feel like I was an inconvenience to cars on the road. The portion of the ride that caused me the most stress was riding on Edgewood and riding back to GT. Edgewood’s biking facilities were rundown, they had potholes, and the paint seemed to be fading in around so the lane itself was warn and not as distinct. Since the lane was less distinct, riding next to the cars made me feel very unsafe because I thought that I could get hit or could fall (I did fall), and had to be overall significantly more cautious about the cars around me.
I read the four given videos plus “Utrecht Summer Cycling 2014” and “Women Cycling in The Netherlands.” Impression of the videos is that the Dutch have a greater respect for their cyclists and their safety than in the United States. The video “How the Dutch got their cycle paths” also shows that the environment and land preservation is a priority for the Dutch and that they were ahead of the curve when they pushed for the bike paths in the 1970s. The intersection design segments differ from the U.S. because they allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists to cross in their own paths without integrating with the car traffic. They implement a secure path separating all the modes of transportation allow safe crossing for all parties involved. They designed their intersection so that drivers can visually know where the cyclists are and see them before proceeding and the cars are also in the direct site of the cyclist.
Mentoring and feedback are important aspects to the success of any group. Mentoring allows students to have a professional to learn from and collaborate with, however, I believe that mentoring is always a two-way street. Mentoring exemplifies productive collaboration of shared ideas while also adding the teaching component that will allow the mentee to grow professionally. Demonstrating good leadership skills and giving useful feedback are important components of a great mentor. The Mentor should be able to teach without being condescending or belittling the mentee for their possible ignorance in a field but rather give useful and direct criticism that doesn’t put down the mentee and still allows them to grow.
During previous internships I have encountered both useful and poor mentorship experiences. My biggest takeaway from my positive mentoring experiences is that there are some practices that I have that I should become aware of and should begin work on. I also learned of positive habits that I should continue to enhance. The poor mentoring experiences have only left me feeling defeated as a person and made me question my intelligence as well as my professional and social interactions. It did not give me any specifics on what to work on and I left the experience not having a clear understanding about what went well, what went wrong, or what could have been done better. These experiences showed me what useful feedback is and how it needs to be clear and direct, not sugar-coated, and not just thrown out with negative intent and no regard for the person it is being given to.