Capital Crossroads and Discovery SID ambassadors can respond to any problems that occur downtown quickly thanks to their utility bikes. But riding a bike is not as easy as…riding a bike.
SID ambassadors, who are no-law enforcement patrol, must learn how to ride both technically and tactically. The International Police Mountain Bike Association or IPMBA offers a Security Cyclist Training Course that SID ambassadors must successfully complete.
This 24-hour course encompasses a multitude of lectures on topics such as clothing, night cycling, patrol and bike equipment, and patrol procedures. Course participants amass skills such as crossover dismounts, decision making, stair maneuverability, falling techniques and more.
In Ohio, bicycles are regulated the same as a motor vehicle. Through this bike training, ambassadors earn accreditation and permission to ride on the sidewalks through Columbus City code.
Ben Barker, the SIDs Operations Manager said, the training not only gives the SID some legal protection, but it also builds confidence and makes ambassadors better riders, allowing them to serve downtown in a more efficient way.
“We want our ambassadors to be well trained to be prepared to handle any emergency that may arise in downtown to keep the people of downtown Columbus safe,” Barker said. “The best way to achieve that is to have them go through courses like this one.”
Aaron Runyan, a team captain, and ambassador for the Capital Crossroads SID, attended the five-day IPMBA Instructor Course. As a certified instructor, he will be able to train other ambassadors.
“The IPMBA course is the highest standard of public safety cycling,” Runyan said. “Without learning how to operate our bicycles safely and effectively, our performance and impact on the community would suffer. Being able to safely and slowly maneuver around the public is imperative not only for their safety and wellbeing but for ours as well.”
For more information about SID’s safety services, visit DowntownServices.org. To request assistance, call or text the SID’s hotline (614) 228-5718. Capital Crossroads ambassadors are available from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm Monday – Saturday and 9:30 am – 8 pm on Sunday. Discovery District ambassadors are available 5:30 am – 11:30 pm Monday-Saturday.