Teaching beginners

For discussions within the Cycle Training profession.
Jules

Teaching beginners

Postby Jules » 25 Aug 2006, 3:16pm

Most of my clients seem to be adults and children wanting to learn to cycle from scratch. I have successfully coached a few trainees to ride unaided but would be interested in any tips/advice from other instructors as to the best method to use. I use the balancing without pedals method but am not sure I really understand the logic of telling them to lean with the bike. I appreciate the physics of it but it doesn't seem to work in reality!! Most beginners take 2 sessions to become self-sufficient, in my experience, but there may be quicker ways. Would love to hear what successes or otherwise other instructors have had.

Mick F

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby Mick F » 28 Aug 2006, 6:56pm

I'm surprised no-one's answered this post yet.

What you need is my dad! He taught me by running behind and holding the back of my saddle. No doubt other dads did the same.

For adults, the main problem must be to get over their fear of traffic and roads. They may be able to ballance, but they wobble at the sound of traffic and hazards. Adults feel foolish and have a fear of falling.

Kids, on the other hand, are happy to play on their bikes and learn as they go (and fall off!).

Mick F. Cornwall

thirdcrank

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Aug 2006, 7:18pm

Very true. I taught both my lads when they were about 4. The elder wanted to learn and after about three steps with his puffing dad holding the saddle he was off. The younger lacked self-confidence and wanted stabilisers. I persuaded him to try without and after about three steps with his puffing dad holding the saddle he was off. Only problem was he kept screaming, "Don't let go, dad" so his puffing dad had to pretend for quite some distance and then reveal the truth.

I learnt to ride a bike when I was 13 - could not afford one before. It was much too big, a second-hand 23 1/2" Carlton and it was my mum who ran along holding the saddle Easter 1958. Mick Agar

Huggles

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby Huggles » 11 Sep 2006, 12:04pm

I have now 'done' two adults and one child client.

I have used running along with hand on saddle with the child. I tried that with adults (hard work) and partly pushing/steering while they pedaled. Scooting the bike (pedals still on works alittle but only to get a feel at the start.

With the adults. Depending upon level of ridgidity the puching steering method seems to be most reliable. and easiest on trainers body parts!

Any other suggestions?

thirdcrank

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Sep 2006, 3:38pm

A few years ago, probably about 1998, there was some publicity about what I can only describe as adult stabilizers. I can only think that I read about this isn the CTC mag so cj may have some info. Basically, I seem to remember that the bike was held upright in some sort of frame which allowed the natural sway of a cyclist while preventing a fall. A bit like a moble home trainer, if that makes any sense. (Once upon a time a static bike on rollers was called a home trainer). I think the inventor was at the working prototype stage. At that time I was the CRN or Right to Ride rep in Leeds and I seem to remember that the bit of the Highways Deppt that dealt with cycle traing either bought on or considered doing so. If you cannot get a lead anywhere else 0113 2476385 is the Council cycling number, they may be able to help. Presumably this never caught on or you would have been bombarded with cycling trainers telling you. Mick Agar

keepontriking

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby keepontriking » 11 Sep 2006, 4:59pm

I've taught about 20 beginners (child and adult) this summer. Most have been taught to start, ride and stop, in around 45 mins to an hour. Steering and other control skills follow.

However, those who take longest are usually those who have previously used stabilisers.
If they have got into the habit of lifting BOTH feet up onto the pedals BEFORE starting off, they will inevitably topple over!
AVOID advising the use of stabilisers AT ALL COSTS!

Jules

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby Jules » 13 Sep 2006, 10:12am

Thanks for the replies - an interesting selection of different methods! I doubt if there is one sure-fire method but a combination of different techniques will work for nearly everyone who wants to teach people to learn to ride a bike.

However, I was hoping for more info on the science of cycling whereby beginners are taught to lean right if the bike overbalances to the right and so on - I understand the theory (just!) but the reality of it doesn't seem to work too well. Maybe I should forget that angle and just concentrate on supporting the rider until they get their own sense of balance sorted out?

thirdcrank

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Sep 2006, 9:28pm

No matter what method you use, I think you are all doing a very commendable job. Keep it up. We need some new blood on these boards. too many BOFs

Donald Duck

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby Donald Duck » 15 Sep 2006, 7:50am

To whom are you refering?

Don the Duck

thirdcrank

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Sep 2006, 9:07am

Me for one. (And I am only one, honestly)

Tandemist

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby Tandemist » 16 Sep 2006, 2:08am

Yep, holding the back of the saddle worked for me - I can remember not believing that my Dad was no longer holding my saddle as I careered down the road when I was 5 years old.
It worked for my 3 Sons too. They have learnt from me in the same fashion.
I added a bit more encouragement though, by informing my 4 and 6 year old at the time that if they learnt to ride I would take them to Toys R Us and spend £10 on each of them.
It was £20 well spent because they both learnt to ride that same day !!!

nella

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby nella » 3 Oct 2006, 9:19pm

You should also pass on your own dangerous road experiences:
Beware of the articulated section cutting corners on artics when they turn left at the traffic lights. Don't move until there clear.

nella

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby nella » 3 Oct 2006, 9:19pm

You should also pass on your own dangerous road experiences:
Beware of the articulated section cutting corners on artics when they turn left at the traffic lights. Don't move until there clear.

nella

Re:Teaching beginners

Postby nella » 3 Oct 2006, 9:31pm

Plus don't pull out too sharply behind cars in case their towing a small trailer.
One a trailer starts whipping, ease back.
Don't try tucking-in behind coaches, they've got engines now.
Beware of hand signals on the near-side. remember drivers haven't got an arm that long. It's usually the clever clogs' passenger.
Beware of getting your front wheel in deep ruts on the road.
Avoid isolated puddles. Usually holes that need repairing.

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Punk_shore
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steering/ balancing

Postby Punk_shore » 25 Jan 2008, 6:02pm

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What is the colour(s) of your cycle?
Which of its benefits would you recommend?
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