The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is sponsoring six, two and half hour road safety classes meant to give both children and parents a solid understanding of rules of the road and safety on two wheels.

"It provides an educational foundation and inspiration for bicycling safely and competently as a family and individually," said Tina Panza, director of the bicycle coalition's Safe Routes to School program. "They come out of it with a better understanding of how they all operate on bicycles on the road."

The first class is Saturday in Santa Rosa. Pre-registration is recommended. Workshops will also be held in Sebastopol, Sonoma, Petaluma and Healdsburg.

The class will take both parents and children through the basics of bicycle safety while riding through drills and maneuvers, according to organizers. The second half of the class will have participants head out on a one- to two-mile neighborhood ride during which cyclists will get instruction on how to deal with traffic and other real-world situations.

All workshop teachers are League of American Bicyclist-certified instructors.

Participants are required to have working bikes and proper helmets.

(Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@press or on Twitter @benefield.)