foot-faff

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Si
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foot-faff

Postby Si » 24 Jul 2015, 5:55pm

As an instructor can you sort your feet out? No seriously......I've worked with a load of new instructors recently and virtually none of them can get the left foot down, leave the right on the pedal and then get to 2o'clock and start off.

I know that NS requires that we try to get trainees to do it properly but if they can't then we can allow them to put the right foot down...but I'm amazed that so many instructors can't do it.

Plus, a non-required extra that I always try at L1 is to get the trainee actually stop with the right foot still up in 2 o'clock so that they can start again immediately without any foot-faff. When I asked an instructor to demo this they nearly fell off and the trainee had to show them how to do it!!!!

Why is it so hard? Just as an experiment I tried doing it with right foot down and left foot on pedal (i.e. the wrong way for me) and had no trouble.

Can you tell that I'm getting annoyed by small things today.....oh the joys of standing in the rain doing bikeability when all but one of the trainees don't bother turning up.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Vorpal » 24 Jul 2015, 6:01pm

As someone who has cycled many miles on both sides of the road, I used to just put down whichever foot was convenient.

When I did my instructor course, we all had to do it properly, and I really had to think about it. Every time. But I practiced and thought about it, until I did it consistently the right way. Now that I'm living in Norway, I still do it that way. Unless I think about it, I find I put my left foot down. Or start off with my left down and my right on the pedal :oops:
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Re: foot-faff

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 24 Jul 2015, 6:22pm

Clearly the right leg as the 'power leg' is ideal in a country where we drive on the left, as it leaves you leaning away from traffic flow, and in the event of a fall you're more likely to fall towards the path then the vehicles. However, there's notNing inherently wrong with left foot leading so long as you're mindful with your road positioning in case you take a fall.
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Si
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Re: foot-faff

Postby Si » 24 Jul 2015, 7:34pm

so long as you're mindful with your road positioning in case you take a fall.


so you need to cross into the on coming traffic to stop'n'drop ;-)

Nope, my issue is not with debating the NSs but with NSIs demoing it.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 24 Jul 2015, 7:49pm

Demoing? Not in my dictionary I'm afraid, although since my dog attacked it everything from Butter to Opera is also missing.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby pjclinch » 25 Jul 2015, 7:35am

Never really had a problem with this, and made a point of getting able to do it two-sided many years ago. Given the number of kids on MTBs with high BBs I think it's worth showing how to step down forwards from the saddle as you come in to land, which will always be with one foot on the pedal at 6 o'clock while the opposite one goes down. It'd be a bit weird (and frankly a bit worrying) if someone teaching basic bike handling couldn't do that.

What surprised me more was that for a cycle sport coaching course I did (The British Cycling Level 2) a considerable fraction of the candidates couldn't do a rolling mount or dismount (not even a jump, just to/from a scoot) from either side, never mind both. Don't think a future in 'Cross awaited them!

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 25 Jul 2015, 8:03am

Some years back I had one guy on a course who had been a BMX champion as a kid. He could pull off the most incredible track stands indefinitely, so the issue never really arose for him.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jul 2015, 10:02am

My partner and I used to split some tasks according to which of us could do it, or do it best. So if you've got to work with someone who has trouble with any aspect, demonstrate it yourself, and give them other stuff to do :)
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Re: foot-faff

Postby mjr » 25 Jul 2015, 1:38pm

The whole foot at N o clock BS is something that irritates me. I can do it but usually don't.It's one suggestion but I don't see why we care if you do a CX mount and a flying dismount as long as you don't wobble. This is probably part of why I'm no instructor.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby Si » 25 Jul 2015, 5:05pm

mjr wrote:The whole foot at N o clock BS is something that irritates me. I can do it but usually don't.It's one suggestion but I don't see why we care if you do a CX mount and a flying dismount as long as you don't wobble. This is probably part of why I'm no instructor.


I think that not being an instructor, or at least not being someone who regularly teaches newcomers to ride, you are missing the problem a little. I'm sure that you can do a cyclocross start, or whatever, perfectly safely and effectively on the road, in traffic, etc with no probs. But imagine someone new to cycling, their first time on the road with cars passing them - they are real nervous, if not terrified. There is a gap in the traffic - if you have drilled into them starting from 2 o'clock then they can put the power down and get going, if on the other hand you have left them to faff around with their feet, try to scoot off with one foot at 6 o'clock and the other flailing around looking for a pedal then they are going to end up panicking and stalling in front of the approaching bus (which was miles away when they started but is now quickly bearing down on them). As for teaching a newbie, who is having to give 100% concentration on just keeping the bike straight, how to do a CX start.....best call the ambulance before you start...save the wait ;-)

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Si » 25 Jul 2015, 5:07pm

Vorpal wrote:My partner and I used to split some tasks according to which of us could do it, or do it best. So if you've got to work with someone who has trouble with any aspect, demonstrate it yourself, and give them other stuff to do :)


Ah, works up until the point that you are working alone, or you are working with a partner who can't do it either :lol:

(Although I always get someone else to explain gears at L1 if I can. :oops: )

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Si » 25 Jul 2015, 5:12pm

Given the number of kids on MTBs with high BBs I think it's worth showing how to step down forwards from the saddle as you come in to land, which will always be with one foot on the pedal at 6 o'clock while the opposite one goes down


Yep, that's one I found that some instructors don't initially teach as it doesn't occur to them (guilty as charged m'lord when I started). Although I've managed to get people to do this leaving the right foot at 2 when the left lands. But I view it as a nice to have rather than a necessity...as long as they get the foot down and the other immediately hooks the pedal and gets it to 2 so they are ready to go as soon as there is an opportunity.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby pjclinch » 25 Jul 2015, 7:37pm

mjr wrote:The whole foot at N o clock BS is something that irritates me. I can do it but usually don't.It's one suggestion but I don't see why we care if you do a CX mount and a flying dismount as long as you don't wobble. This is probably part of why I'm no instructor.


You say you don't usually start this way... So how do you start from junctions and in stop/start traffic? Beyond Si's point, the pedal-ready position is the best way to start from a pause. Even the style-point-maximum track standers are at a disadvantage: someone at pedal-ready will beat them off the line with no problems, because they're free to concentrate on the lights or whatever rather than balance and they're ready for an optimised power-stroke to get them going.

And on top of that, 2 o'clock pedal-ready will work on pretty much any cycle bar a unicycle. 'Cross mount on a bike with a child seat (and child) in place? Probably not the best of ideas! 'Cross mount on a recumbent? I can do a rolling dismount from mine, but can't get going that way. Pedal-ready is an excellent works for anything default and so deserves its place in the NS. The Scottish resources are being reviewed this summer and one of my suggestions is that it shouldn't be suggested it is the right way to always get going, but because of the way it also works for getting going from a pause and because anyone can do it, it's the right thing to teach as standard.

Kids tend to have their saddles too low for optimum pedalling but easy to get both feet down, and at least the ones I see typically default to come in to land with both feet down. Do that at a T junction and after they've decided it's safe to come out they then waste the first opportunity faffing about with their pedals or a rather crap start from a scoot (particularly lame going uphill). With one foot down and pedal-ready they're immediately ready to roll.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby mjr » 25 Jul 2015, 10:21pm

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:The whole foot at N o clock BS is something that irritates me. I can do it but usually don't.It's one suggestion but I don't see why we care if you do a CX mount and a flying dismount as long as you don't wobble. This is probably part of why I'm no instructor.


You say you don't usually start this way... So how do you start from junctions and in stop/start traffic?

Usually, I push off with the standing foot and just start pedalling. The standing foot changes mainly on the wind direction, such are the fens.
Beyond Si's point, the pedal-ready position is the best way to start from a pause. Even the style-point-maximum track standers are at a disadvantage: someone at pedal-ready will beat them off the line with no problems, because they're free to concentrate on the lights or whatever rather than balance and they're ready for an optimised power-stroke to get them going.

Who cares? It's not a race and any way that stays under control is good enough. This is meant to be easy, like riding a bike. If someone can't figure out any other way to get started, then this is as good a way as any but best? It depends. If you're thinking about getting your feet in position to start again, that's brainpower that could be paying attention to whatever is causing you to stop.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby rfryer » 25 Jul 2015, 10:45pm

Si wrote:As an instructor can you sort your feet out? No seriously......I've worked with a load of new instructors recently and virtually none of them can get the left foot down, leave the right on the pedal and then get to 2o'clock and start off.

I know that NS requires that we try to get trainees to do it properly but if they can't then we can allow them to put the right foot down...but I'm amazed that so many instructors can't do it.

Plus, a non-required extra that I always try at L1 is to get the trainee actually stop with the right foot still up in 2 o'clock so that they can start again immediately without any foot-faff. When I asked an instructor to demo this they nearly fell off and the trainee had to show them how to do it!!!!

Why is it so hard? Just as an experiment I tried doing it with right foot down and left foot on pedal (i.e. the wrong way for me) and had no trouble.

Can you tell that I'm getting annoyed by small things today.....oh the joys of standing in the rain doing bikeability when all but one of the trainees don't bother turning up.

What's the approved technique for stopping with a back pedal brake? I favour my right foot for braking, which leaves my cranks about 180 degrees out of position for restarting. And it's hard to correct without a freewheel, unless you have foot retention and are happy to lift the rear wheel while pedaling forwards.

What's the right way to do this, especially if you have no foot retention?