Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

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tonythompson
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby tonythompson » 9 Aug 2013, 10:26pm

Bernard Cribbins comes to mind
" There was I digging this 'ole
'Ole in the ground so big and sorta round,
And along came a bloke in a bowler hat.
"Don't dig there dig it elsewhere,
your digging it round and it aughta be square"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq5pzufCZuY
Crossed Oz Perth to Adelaide to highlight Barrett's Disease http://www.tonystravels.com

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Cunobelin
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Cunobelin » 10 Aug 2013, 10:42am

crashgordon wrote:I have had members of the public saying the children shouldnt be on the road as they dont pay road tax!


I have had that when out with the family, we had stopped traffic to allow a safe crossing.... so pointed out the equally parasitic freeloading scum sitting in that passenger and rear seats of his car.

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Si
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Si » 23 Sep 2013, 7:48pm

I have a shameful admission to make, today I became that 'expert'.

Riding home from a bikeability session I came up behind three motor cyclists, two of which were clearly having a lesson. They were at a T junction doing a LO. And before I knew what I was doing I automatically told the last one that he ought to be in "don't pass me".... :oops:

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby pjclinch » 24 Sep 2013, 9:51am

But we are experts, with bits of paper and, ummm, everything! So that's all right... :wink:
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K.S.G.
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby K.S.G. » 8 Dec 2013, 11:05am

My instinct would be to get rid of them as quickly as possible so that I could keep my attention where it belongs. I'd thank them for their help and tell them that I would take a look at said "problem". Which I would actually do just in case they had spotted something relevant and important. I mean you never know. Perhaps they might have spotted a child's laces that have come undone or some such thing.

Grumps
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Grumps » 19 Dec 2013, 12:10pm

OP said he adjusted the seat. Not from North Devon then. Every time, without fail I see a school training group around here lots of kids are riding kipper footed with the saddle too low. Makes me want to approach the instructors and ask about standards but I wouldn't want to interrupt someone trying to control a load of kids on bikes. Surely these basics are in the training given to the trainers? I remember well my Cycling Proficiency Test covering foot position, saddle height etc. I got shouted at and called Kipper Feet Boy!
Crossing the road lessons seem to have gone the same way, prams pushed across on junctions etc. All seems weird, there are no public safety films showing kids how to cross the road anymore, yet cycling magazines seem to feel the need to draw diagrams for adults explaining not to go up the inside of HGV's! Parenting, common sense, where is it all?
Back to the point, I agree it must be a pain people trying to tell you your job, which you seem to have got covered and have pride in. The instructors I have seen here though, defiantly need advice, or maybe more powers/time to do their job properly?

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simonineaston
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby simonineaston » 19 Dec 2013, 1:11pm

Geriatrix wrote:Try riding a recumbent. The world is full of experts offering advice :)

or a Moulton, or a Brompton, or drive a Citroen, or use an Apple Mac... etc. etc.. There's something in the average adult male brain that finds it hard to cope with 'difference'.
I got used to it fairly early on; as a teenager I rode a Sunbeam motorcycle and my best mate a Harley so we had all sorts of 'interaction' with riders of more mainstream machines.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

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Si
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Si » 19 Dec 2013, 1:19pm

Grumps wrote:OP said he adjusted the seat. Not from North Devon then. Every time, without fail I see a school training group around here lots of kids are riding kipper footed with the saddle too low. Makes me want to approach the instructors and ask about standards but I wouldn't want to interrupt someone trying to control a load of kids on bikes. Surely these basics are in the training given to the trainers? I remember well my Cycling Proficiency Test covering foot position, saddle height etc. I got shouted at and called Kipper Feet Boy!


Don't jump to conclusions until you've examined the bikes. It's not uncommon for the majority of the bikes in any session to be BMXs - you simply can't get the seats up to the right height (for general riding) with them. On others that ought to be OK you often find either short seat posts or the bikes are so ill-treated that the post is stuck fast in the seat tube. It's not the instructor's job to spend half the session trying to fix such a beast; and if it's a BMX which would you rather: that the kid learns something about safe riding whilst using a less than ideal bike, or the kid is turned away and learns nothing about safe riding, but carries on riding his/her BMX everywhere anyway?

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Neilo
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Neilo » 19 Dec 2013, 1:25pm

All seems weird, there are no public safety films showing kids how to cross the road anymore


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MFuSMz1zh0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4suF8aa4Yv4

not about kids crossing, but still interesting
If it aint broke, fix it til it is.

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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Vorpal » 19 Dec 2013, 3:00pm

Grumps wrote:The instructors I have seen here though, defiantly need advice, or maybe more powers/time to do their job properly?


It's certainly true that time is very limited. And if you have a group of kids that just aren't as quick to get anything, it may just be hard luck. Some companies / local authorities will permit an extra day of training, if needed, but many will not. They will suggest the kids repeat the course another time.

It can be a challenge just to check the bikes, then get through the minimum course material in the time allowed.

TBH, if I was funding Bikeability, I would increase the hours of instruction by about 1/3rd, and include a follow-up lesson some weeks after the Level 2 course.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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simonineaston
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby simonineaston » 19 Dec 2013, 4:29pm

tonythompson wrote:Bernard Cribbins comes to mind
" There was I digging this 'ole
'Ole in the ground so big and sorta round,
And along came a bloke in a bowler hat.
"Don't dig there dig it elsewhere,
your digging it round and it aughta be square"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq5pzufCZuY

and that one about the piano - LoL!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby pjclinch » 20 Dec 2013, 10:31am

Riding position...

I've just finished the local P7's course, and this has involved fairly constant pointers about riding position. It's been entirely common for children to be able to put both feet flat on the ground while on the saddle, and of course they can't pedal properly. So... do we stop the lesson and spend time bringing their saddle up, often something they are quite resistant to? That's probably not a good idea, and of course puts us in the firing line if they find not being able to put two feet flat when they have to stop suddenly causes a nerve-jangling stagger (and I don't really mean in terms of legal liability, though there's that too, but in terms of you are someone seen to help them, and you've just made it hard (because they won't remember how much easier the pedalling was when they can remember how awkward stopping was)).

So while I'll put the really low-slung ones up a little, to take us from worse to bad, mainly it's a case of telling them to get a carer to move it up a little at a time and practice and get used to a higher seat. And sometimes something happens, but at least as often nothing does: you can lead a horse to water, but sometimes even inserting a high-pressure hose in its mouth won't get it to drink :(

There was one case where a pupil was absolutely resistant to the idea of the seat going up (main problem on a bike is he's very nervous, that his knees are up round his ears can't help but what can you do if he's not receptive to change?), but I know his folks so I called them up and said he'd really benefit from a higher seat. Next session the seat is higher, and the riding is better, but later on that day it's back down. Why? because it's a BSO and you can't actually do up the clamp so as to keep the saddle in place.

If I spent the time I'd like to sorting out riding position we'd lose a substantial amount of the time we can actually ride bikes. And helmets... Local council insists they wear them so the school has no choice but to enforce, so they all wear them, and the NS Outcomes state that if they wear them they have to knnoe how to fit them properly, and they generally aren't fitted properly. So the amount of time wasted faffing about with the damn things eats up considerable time that could be spent on something of actual benefit to them.

We are increasing the amount of notes home with information, and the next time we're going to have not only a checklist on mechanical soundness before they come in to be checked for mechanical soundness, but there'll be a photo with how to set an approximate saddle height. I suspect it will only really penetrate to the ones who already have it right, however...

Vorpal's point about available time doesn't really apply in our case: I'm a current parent, the CTA working with me is a parent of a former pupil and both of us are happy to give spare days (he has shifts, I work a 4-day week) and we've hacked on until we're happy and the school have been very good in letting things drag on a bit. But we still didn't have enough time, even ignoring all but the really shocking cases.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Si
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Si » 20 Dec 2013, 11:25am

And helmets...


Oh yes, another good way to waste half a session...virtually none are adjusted properly and many of the kids can't adjust them for themselves, even getting them on the right way around is a big ask for some kids. Added to that you get the Afro Caribbean girls with the braids and the Asian lads with the Patkas, which mean that in both cases the helmet is about 6 inches above their heads and totally useless...but the LA/insurance requires it. And just how difficult can it be to put on a simple hiviz tabard?

That's the thing with kids though - unless you've done it you simply can't understand how much faff the simplest of operations is when you've got several of them doing it at once. I know one instructor who, before virtually anything else, just teaches the kids to lean their bikes against a wall in a row, all pointing the same way and overlapping to save space. The amount of time that this can save later is unbelievable.

and I guess that is why the appearance of the self appointed, know it all, expert can rankle and cause an amount of counting slowly to ten under one's breath - given how difficult it is to get some kids to do the simplest of tasks, having some busybody rock up and tell you that you have to concentrate on some insignificant detail when you are just trying to get the kids to stay of the correct side of the road! What did I get the other week...oh yeah....."they should have indicators fitted" :roll: .

Having said all of that, working with the kids can be great fun and very rewarding......and can be a nice change after doing some of the adults.

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby pjclinch » 20 Dec 2013, 2:45pm

Si wrote:That's the thing with kids though - unless you've done it you simply can't understand how much faff the simplest of operations is when you've got several of them doing it at once.


It's like committees: the amount of time they soak up tends to track the square of the numbers present...

Si wrote:Having said all of that, working with the kids can be great fun and very rewarding.


Yup. For the assessment of the class we've just done we decided the best way to decide what they'd really taken on board was a 1:1 journey around the local streets and leave all the planning, positioning, observation and signalling to them with no friends to follow. We were expecting quite a few "amber traffic lights" but they really rose to the occasion and aside from one lad who was so nervous he took to cutting the heads off all the turns everyone passed with flying colours. We were very pleased, and so were they, and clearly appreciated the effort we'd put in.

Also earlier this week I gave them a talk on safety equipment, including the shock news that actually helmets aren't all they're made out to be and dayglo jackets won't guarantee they're given all the space they should get. Their teacher felt they were a bit young to have that level of information, which on the one hand is fair, but on the other how old is old enough, and they showed greater insight, maturity, engagement and intelligence than the Transport Select Committee of the UK Parliament managed recently.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Vorpal » 20 Dec 2013, 3:22pm

Their teacher felt they were a bit young to have that level of information


I don't buy it. First, I'd far rather that children clearly understand that a helmet won't save lives, than depend upon it to do so.

Second, if they are old enough to judge the risks related to riding a pedal cycle on the roads, then they are old enough for the level of detail necessary to understand those risks.

Bikeability students have already been brainwashed into believing that helmets are magical, and IMO, disabusing them of that notion is important. Maybe at the same time, a few teachers can be educated.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom