Level 3

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Si
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Level 3

Postby Si » 24 Jul 2014, 2:13pm

Here's something that surprised me. I was talking a guy that runs a cycle training organisation and he told me that quite a lot of the people that work for him don't want to teach Level 3 bikeability (we were talking adults). I'd always assumed that everyone wanted to do this, and that it was the most popular bit for an instructor as it was the most challenging part*. Indeed, given that there is a grey area between the upper part of L2 and the lower part of L3, and that road conditions and circumstances on the day can mean that one sometimes has to include bits of L3 in a L2 session, I don't think I would be happy being taught by someone who was uncomfortable doing L3.
Or is it just me that feels like this?


* Yes, I accept that getting a non-rider riding can also be very challenging and fulfilling but that's not actually part of bikeability.

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Re: Level 3

Postby pjclinch » 27 Jul 2014, 9:10pm

Si wrote:Here's something that surprised me. I was talking a guy that runs a cycle training organisation and he told me that quite a lot of the people that work for him don't want to teach Level 3 bikeability (we were talking adults). I'd always assumed that everyone wanted to do this, and that it was the most popular bit for an instructor as it was the most challenging part*. Indeed, given that there is a grey area between the upper part of L2 and the lower part of L3, and that road conditions and circumstances on the day can mean that one sometimes has to include bits of L3 in a L2 session, I don't think I would be happy being taught by someone who was uncomfortable doing L3.
Or is it just me that feels like this?


Is that "uncomfortable" meaning find it a bit scary teaching it, or find it's a pain in the buttock teaching it?

If the former then I'd agree with you, if the latter I can understand it. The instruction ratios mean it's expensive in terms of time and/or money, and it can be more awkward finding suitable locations that provide a good level of reality while not providing too much of the stuff!

The limited 3 I've done so far I really enjoyed, and look forwards to more.

Si wrote:* Yes, I accept that getting a non-rider riding can also be very challenging and fulfilling but that's not actually part of bikeability.


Point of order, I'd say it is part of Bikeability 1 because it's basic bike handling. The Scottish resources do include a "getting going" bit for people who can't ride at all as part of level 1. You might think of it as "level 0"...

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Re: Level 3

Postby Vorpal » 27 Jul 2014, 11:31pm

I have only taught level 3 a few times, but I really enjoyed it.

I had assumed that all instructors wanted to teach level 3. I was quite surprised when a friend and fellow Bikeability instructor told me that he and I got all the level 3 requests that came to the county council because the other instructors weren't interested. I had not realised either that the demand for level 3 was so low, nor that only two of us were interested in teaching it.
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Re: Level 3

Postby Si » 28 Jul 2014, 8:48am

it can be more awkward finding suitable locations that provide a good level of reality while not providing too much of the stuff!


I'm not convinced of this: to me L3 is teaching people to ride where they would ideally want to ride.....thus you ought to be able to teach it wherever they are....remember that maybe half of the L3 outcomes are optional*. For instance, one of the ways that one of the places that I work for does L3 is to plan and do a journey from the client's home to their place of work: i.e. the ride that they will do most often on busier roads in most cases. But, there again, I'm in a bit of a privileged location, doing most of my L3 in the middle of Birmingham where you can certainly find all of the challenges that L3 requires.
And you can't have too much of the stuff :wink:

*dunno if it's the same in Scotland?

Also, yes, we too get very few requests for L3 compared to LTR, L1 & L2. I could understand people doing LTR & L1 and then stopping before L2 because they were only interested in riding round parks and cycle paths, but I find it strange that people do L2 but don't want to progress to L3.....perhaps it's the image of L3 being on big scary roads with lots of traffic, and thus it isn't being sold to them properly.

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Re: Level 3

Postby pjclinch » 28 Jul 2014, 11:59am

Si wrote:
it can be more awkward finding suitable locations that provide a good level of reality while not providing too much of the stuff!


I'm not convinced of this: to me L3 is teaching people to ride where they would ideally want to ride.....thus you ought to be able to teach it wherever they are....remember that maybe half of the L3 outcomes are optional (dunno if it's the same in Scotland?)


Where I would "ideally want to ride" wouldn't need most of level 2, never mind 3! :wink:

Fair comment, though. Though our course materials are different they're all based on the same NS Outcomes, and as you say a very large chunk are optional (in fact so much of it is "not compulsory" I hadn't realised that to be the case, to be honest!).

Si wrote:For instance, one of the ways that one of the places that I work for does L3 is to plan and do a journey from the client's home to their place of work: i.e. the ride that they will do most often on busier roads in most cases. But, there again, I'm in a bit of a privileged location, doing most of my L3 in the middle of Birmingham where you can certainly find all of the challenges that L3 requires.
And you can't have too much of the stuff :wink:


What I'm meaning is you can get stuff that pretty much scares your client away from busier places with too much of a baptism of fire. In a city you can move from gentle locations to serious ones over the course of a lesson without having to travel far, other locations you might have more of a gradient between easy and scary (small town with one big road, for example).

For the selective bits of Level 3 you're outlining (also what I've done to date) I share the surprise about reluctance to do it. It's just so much more interesting than Level 2, which is a not-exactly-rocket-science foundation. For doing the whole lot (which is what you need to be able to do) it's logistically rather more challenging to the point of being significantly more awkward, but the more I think about it the more I'm surprised folk aren't wanting to do it.

Si wrote:Also, yes, we too get very few requests for L3 compared to LTR, L1 & L2. I could understand people doing LTR & L1 and then stopping before L2 because they were only interested in riding round parks and cycle paths, but I find it strange that people do L2 but don't want to progress to L3.....perhaps it's the image of L3 being on big scary roads with lots of traffic, and thus it isn't being sold to them properly.


I wouldn't have put cycle commuting along Cleppington Road to King's Cross Hospital in Dundee as anything special myself (just a routine, moderately busy, urban road, Google and Streetview will show you), but one of my pupils described it as "exhilarating" to cycle along it for the first time armed with L3 knowledge. As you suggest, the worry seems to be paramount, rather than the opportunity of being able to ride pretty much anywhere with confidence and in reasonable safety.

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Re: Level 3

Postby Vorpal » 28 Jul 2014, 12:13pm

pjclinch wrote:What I'm meaning is you can get stuff that pretty much scares your client away from busier places with too much of a baptism of fire. In a city you can move from gentle locations to serious ones over the course of a lesson without having to travel far, other locations you might have more of a gradient between easy and scary (small town with one big road, for example).


Actually, I think it's worth taking level 3 trainees to scary places, not to scare them away, but to discuss strategies for dealing with them. Realistically, there are some places that some people won't want to cycle, ever, but that may provide real barriers to getting somewhere. And riding on the pavement may not be the safest choice, even when the council puts up little signs that suggest it should be.

There may also be times when a cyclist who is confident won't want to mix it in with traffic. Hauling my children around, for example, I make different choices than when I am on my own. A visit to a big, scary junction can contribute to a discussion about risk assessment and mitigation.
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Re: Level 3

Postby pjclinch » 28 Jul 2014, 1:15pm

All true, and certainly useful in the context of bits of L3 to adults.

With a complete structured course L1 to L3 I think strategies for stuff you can't do comes in at L2, and indeed at L2 it really needs to be emphasised what the pupil can't do yet, and that it's no shame to walk.

Somewhere like Dundee, which is pretty benign regarding traffic, I don't think there's anywhere you couldn't point out viable strategies that would be appreciated by people even if they didn't want to ride them yet, but something like Hyde Park Corner you'd give a lot of people the screaming heebie-jeebies without much positive to take away.

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Re: Level 3

Postby Si » 28 Jul 2014, 1:28pm

Well, the office I work out of in the city is hemmed in on three sides by DCs and multi lane roundabouts so it's pretty much straight into it for them! Yes, there is often an amount of trepidation but I find that it's soon overcome if you treat them right.....don't build it up as being big and scary, just treat it as another run of the mill situation with various strategies to progress through it, breaking it down into hazards and actions ('Horizons Backwards' as a certain training organisation call it). In fact I don't think that I've ever had a client say that they wouldn't do any particular bit of road that I've taken them on (if anything I've sometimes had to try to rein them in by the end :lol: ).


It is funny though...whenever I stop to discuss possible strategies for a particular situation, the one that very few seem to mention is to simply get off and walk on the pavement...something which I think a good L3 rider ought to be able to do with no problem.

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Re: Level 3

Postby pjclinch » 28 Jul 2014, 2:21pm

One thing which really helps with L3 for adults is most of them drive, and I start by asking them how they'd do it in a car, and it turns out it typically doesn't change that much on a bike beyond a bit more thinking about lateral position. The lady who was "exhilarated" on a normal, busy, urban street also went from zero to hero immediately when we did L3 roundabouts: "I just did it like I do in the car". That strategy won't really work with the kids though :(

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Re: Level 3

Postby Si » 1 Aug 2014, 4:16pm

Talking of L3.....
Have just had through a list of trainees which reminded me of something: it's funny how the vast majority of our LTRs and L1s are female Asian or Female Afro/Caribbean, yet the vast majority of L3s that I get are female white. Make of that what you will!

I guess I should really take note of motives for LTRs & L1s and see how many are ride with the family/get fit as opposed to ride to work (cycling as fun and healthy as opposed to cycling as a mode of transport).

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Re: Level 3

Postby pjclinch » 2 Aug 2014, 11:58am

Acronym Overload Syndrome... What's an LTR?
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Re: Level 3

Postby Si » 2 Aug 2014, 4:59pm

LTR: Learn To Ride.....i.e. the complete beginner who hasn't been on a bike before and needs to get through LTR before they are ready for Level 1.

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Re: Level 3

Postby keepontriking » 2 Aug 2014, 9:55pm

Along with Adult complete beginners, I find L3 the most rewarding. I have quite a few requests for 'training'.
Most are looking to undertake particular journeys often in quite busy situations.
I try and use the roads that the trainees will actually use and we discuss the best ways to deal with particular situations they will encounter.
I've just completed a session with someone doing an E2E who was particularly concerned about lorries, while another wanted to do a daily 10 mile commute in the dark on a busy road.
Then there are First Aid Responders or even nervous MAMILs...

Great fun, and the closest to real-life cycling that 'cycle-training' can be :D

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Re: Level 3

Postby John N » 24 Oct 2014, 8:54pm

I coach kayaking / Canoe up to 2* (at least I'm qualified to do so). But I've no intention of doing whatever is necessary to coach / assess a 3*. In fact I'm most happy doing 1*'s - just ensuring people feel safe on the water and know when to recognise when it's not safe to paddle. I was happy just putting in a few hours to pay back those who put in a few hours coaching me - and then it all went semi-professional.

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Re: Level 3

Postby Si » 25 Oct 2014, 11:40am

keepontriking wrote:I try and use the roads that the trainees will actually use ......
I've just completed a session with someone doing an E2E


By 'eck, that must have been a long session :lol: