Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

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Piers
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Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby Piers » 22 Dec 2009, 6:59pm

I ride a Recumbent Trike and use two mirrors to see behind. In addition I can turn to look behind, but trike steering is very sensitive so maintaining course is mostly possible (with a bit more practice it will get easier) but given my head height I can't make eye contact with larger vehicles anyway, so I don't practice infront of HGVs ;-).

I can ride an upright bike but suffer from painful joints (under investigation - possibly Fibromyalgia) so cannot ride for a long time. Other than showing my daughter the basics of Level 2 signalling I have not ridden an upright for 4 years.

Can anyone offer guidance on this - I can explain the importance, I can provide a demo on my recumbent in quiet surroundings, I can probably manage it at most junctions but may 'slip up' and forget. I can, of course, explain that mirrors can be used but are less effective. As a recumbent rider I rely on the 'what's that' factor to maintain a safe space around me to make up for the reduction in eye contact opportunities.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby Cunobelin » 22 Dec 2009, 8:01pm

I appreciate your issues, but a lot of education is by example. Do as I say, not as I am doing can lead to confused messages.

This is especially true if you are approaching for instance a junction. I know I approach differently on my Catrike, than on the Street Machine, and again on the Thorn.

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moultoneer
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby moultoneer » 22 Dec 2009, 8:43pm

You don't ride for very long as an instructor, at least on levels 1 and 2. Most of your time is spent standing at junctions instructing and watching the trainees. So I would suggest using an upright bike.

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Piers
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby Piers » 22 Dec 2009, 10:52pm

Thanks - useful suggestions, especially wrt approach to junctions.

Supplementary question - how much of the Instructor training course can I do on a recumbent and how much would require an upright. The indications I have are that ~3 hours for each of the 4 days are on a bike. Does it sound feasible to take a recumbent and an upright, or is most instructor training likely to be moving form one part of a city / town to the next, and only returning to the training centre on the odd occasion ?

I appreciate it could depend on the provider. I am hoping it will be Cycling Solutions, but have yet to sort out the financial side.

I have trained children on the Hampshire County Council scheme (which had 4 hrs in a playground, 3 hrs on quiet roads a multiple choice quiz on the highway code and a test on public roads - so close to Bikeability level 2). The main diferences were: a 1.5 hour evening talk was all the instruction, though we could always ask for advice later; no on road cycling to show what was required (though we did as it was easier to show than explain); 2 instructors with 2 to 5 children each (though 1 instructor was okay 2 was simpler); pay was as a casual employee if you wanted to claim it; you 'volunteered' to help a school rather than were employed to train at several schools.

Given this history I am very keen to get trained and start instructing 'properly'. I just need to make sure I can survive the training and be successful at teaching. I want to make sure before letting others down rather than hope it'll be okay ...

adinigel
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby adinigel » 23 Dec 2009, 7:43am

I see no reason why teh type of bike used should make much, if any, difference to how a course is run. Much of the level 2 and 3 is behaviour on the road, observation, signalling, positioning, attitude which will not differ much whatever you are riding / driving. There is a very large overlap between what I teach on a bike with what I teach in a car.

As far as I can see, yes you can still be an instructor.

Nigel
DSA registered Driving Instructor, RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Car Instruction, SAFED registered van trainer, National Standards Cycling Instructor

keepontriking
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby keepontriking » 23 Dec 2009, 11:36am

Piers wrote:
I have trained children on the Hampshire County Council scheme (which had 4 hrs in a playground, 3 hrs on quiet roads a multiple choice quiz on the highway code and a test on public roads - so close to Bikeability level 2). The main diferences were: a 1.5 hour evening talk was all the instruction, though we could always ask for advice later; no on road cycling to show what was required (though we did as it was easier to show than explain)...


In my experience the HCC scheme is quite different to the National Standards training in that instructors were not allowed to ride at all during the training and that nearly all the limited on-road training had to be on 'police/LA' approved sections of road, 'protected' by cycle training in progess signage. In at least one instance all the road training was at the end of a residential cul-de-sac which had no traffic.
I too ride a recumbent trike and train several days a week but could have difficulty if I used it instead of a bike. I think the way other traffic treats you on a recumbent is very different to when riding a bike, so I'm tending towards the negative.
However, why not join in as an assistant/observer first and see if it would be workable? And don't forget that you can also teach other aspects of cycling other than Bikeability 1 to 3.
Email me if you wish. I may be able to help.

John Holiday
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby John Holiday » 4 Jan 2010, 4:21pm

As an Instructor working in North Wales,I think it would be difficult to get the techniques of positioning over to children when using a trike.
You might do it on a recumbent cycle, but not a trike.
Coincidentally, I took my Windcheetah Recumbent to a training session recently, together with my Brompton, just to show them that there are other types of cycle available. The Windcheetah created enormous interest (& huge grins!)& we had to ration their time as they all wanted a go!

adinigel
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby adinigel » 4 Jan 2010, 10:30pm

John Holiday wrote:As an Instructor working in North Wales,I think it would be difficult to get the techniques of positioning over to children when using a trike.....


Why should it be difficult to get the techniques of positioning over when on a trike?

I really fail to see why there should be so much aversion to the use of different types of bike when instructing. Bike training should be inclusive and should include as many types of rider and transport!

Nigel
DSA registered Driving Instructor, RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Car Instruction, SAFED registered van trainer, National Standards Cycling Instructor

John Holiday
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby John Holiday » 5 Jan 2010, 11:31am

I agree up to a point, but knowing how difficult it is to get ten & eleven year olds to grasp apparently simple concepts, using an entirely different cycle to demonstrate is likely to confuse further!
We have enough difficulty in getting them to ride on the road when a lot of them turn up on BMX bikes.
Am all for demonstrating other types of cycle, but we cannot expect youngsters to grasp the 'road sense' we have aquired over years, in a couple of road sessions.

adinigel
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby adinigel » 5 Jan 2010, 4:36pm

I'm sorry, but I really don't see how demonstrating on a different type of bike should confuse the pupils.

I quite agree we can't instill complete road sense in a few hours - whatever the bike used by the instructor.

Nigel
DSA registered Driving Instructor, RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Car Instruction, SAFED registered van trainer, National Standards Cycling Instructor

xpc316e
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby xpc316e » 8 Jan 2010, 5:46pm

I used my recumbent tadpole trike for my National Standards training course and the instructor was doubtful about the wisdom of it at first. When we did the mock Level 3 stuff towards the end of the week he had to admit that it was a superb tool for the job. I do not use it for actual training of Levels 1 & 2 because it is so much easier to put a folder in the car (I often have to travel quite some way to train), but for actual rides on the road it is excellent. It gives me great vision of what trainees are doing, and ensures that drivers give us plenty of space. It is useful to demonstrate the advantages of taking up a primary position, because its width means that cars cannot take liberties and squeeze past me.
Riding a Dahon Jetstream P9 folder, a Claud Butler Cape Wrath MTB, and the latest acquisition, an early 90s Vision R30 above seat steered recumbent.

John Holiday
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby John Holiday » 11 Jan 2010, 1:00pm

Your last point about car drivers not taking liberties whilst riding a recumbent tricycle was precisely the point I was making, namely that all the children we are teaching will be on cycles & will not have that benefit.
I have never subscribed to the view that tadpole recumbents are at greater risk by being lower. Generally when I'm on my Windcheetah drivers seem to give good clearance on basis of "what on earth is this in the road"!
We have to try to simulate the conditions that our trainees will experience when riding on their own.

xpc316e
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby xpc316e » 12 Jan 2010, 12:12pm

John Holiday wrote:Your last point about car drivers not taking liberties whilst riding a recumbent tricycle was precisely the point I was making, namely that all the children we are teaching will be on cycles & will not have that benefit.


I accept your point John, but I find that the use of the trike demostrates in a very visible way to children the kind of benefits they will get by taking up the primary position. It gives a very strong message that 'the more room you take up, the more room drivers will give you - if you ride along in the gutter, they will squeeze past you all the time'. There may be better ways of achieving the same goal, and the use of a conventional bike may mean that examples of positioning may seem more relevant to them, but I feel that a recumbent is not a bar to giving effective instruction. I certainly wouldn't use it to demonstrate the off-road activities, because not having to balance seems like cheating when we are trying to get children to signal effectively etc., but that doesn't mean that it cannot be used to good effect in other areas in instruction. It is very much a swings and roundabouts situation, and as someone who cannot ride a conventional bike for anything other than very short distances without considerable pain, I shall carry on using mine. As I said before, the guy who ran my course was dubious about its use, but was won over at the end. Needless to say he had to have a go on my trike, and he loved it.
Riding a Dahon Jetstream P9 folder, a Claud Butler Cape Wrath MTB, and the latest acquisition, an early 90s Vision R30 above seat steered recumbent.

adinigel
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby adinigel » 13 Jan 2010, 8:03pm

I tend to find that on training sessions the car drivers give the trainees plenty of space making it difficult to simulate this idea you are trying to put across John. That's me on a standard bike too. When you are training a group of cyclists it will be difficult to subject the pupils to situations that will arise when they cycle on their own - regardless of the type of bike you are riding!

Nigel
DSA registered Driving Instructor, RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Car Instruction, SAFED registered van trainer, National Standards Cycling Instructor

John Holiday
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Re: Recumbent Cyclist - Can I be an Instructor

Postby John Holiday » 14 Jan 2010, 11:45am

Yes,with regard to realistic on-road cycling situations, we are often conscious that passing motorists will treat a group of trainees with considerable caution to the point where they will give way un-necessarily, & we have to explain the them that when they are cycling on their own, this is most unlikely to happen!