Even though I've been riding for over 30 years, I feel that anyone who uses public streets should be licensed for all the basic reasons and tested for the following basic riding skills like how to:
- actually ride a bike without falling.
- ride with one hand.
- ride with no hands.
- ability to look 180 degrees behind you in both directions.
- how to swerve
- how to bunny hop over obsticles
- how to use the brakes properly and efficiently
- how to take a corner effeciently without sliding out into the lane
- ability to perform a panic stop without falling
- ability to perform a evasive sprint... don't laugh
- getting in and out of clipless pedals properly without lurching into traffic
- how to fall properly.... because you're going to anyway.
- how to get out of a mess (riding in gravel and sand, recovering from catching a small ridge.
Hint: I just got a motorcycle, and I need to get training in order to get the license to ride it. I would do it even if it wasn't mandatory. It's made me keenly aware of the true risk of cycling, by comparison, to the motorcycle. and it's freakin' spooky.
Bicycles aren't that much different except for the motor.... and the speed, which is relative to how careless and stupid you want to be.....
Actually, motorcycles have two advantages over a bike:
1. They're power can SOMETIMES get you out of a literal death trap (yes, I know.... as well as in one)
2. For better or worse, at least your part of the "normal" traffic flow. It doesn't really buy you any less risk, I suppose, but at least you have a legal place on the road that isn't a debris filled bike lane up against the curb.
Don't take this the wrong way. I love cycling... much more than the motorized counterpart. But I think people should have to pass a basic skills test, similar to the motorcycle test. I don't think anyone of sound mind would have a problem with a proof of skill test which would afford them a license.
ALSO: A mandatory helmet LAW for bicyclist. No excuses.