foot-faff

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Paulatic
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Re: foot-faff

Postby Paulatic » 25 Jul 2015, 11:01pm

I too favour right pedal back when braking. When coming to a standstill I finalise the stop using front only and allow the right pedal round to 2o clock ready to restart.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby pjclinch » 26 Jul 2015, 7:29am

Back-pedal brakes aren't on the NS radar. They really should be...
In fact I'll fire off an email to the folk reviewing the Bikeability Scotland materials at the moment and point that out. I hadn't mentioned it because 51 weeks of a typical year they're off my radar too.

I learned all about them on a Dutch hire bike with just the back pedal brake (pay extra if you want a front brake too) in the Amsterdam rush hour. Now that was a baptism of fire!

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Re: foot-faff

Postby mjr » 26 Jul 2015, 8:27am

I brake with the foot that will be on the outside of the next corner... or if I need more braking power then I use both feet, which leaves the pedals at 12-6.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby pjclinch » 26 Jul 2015, 8:58am

mjr wrote:Who cares? It's not a race and any way that stays under control is good enough.


While it's not a race there are many times (e.g., getting on to busy roundabouts) where being a bit snappy about setting off makes the difference between making progress and getting stuck, possibly with a line of frustrated drivers wondering when the hell you're going to get out of the way. Clearly not an issue at L1, but why get to L3 and have to suddenly revise what you do?

mjr wrote: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.


If it's instilled at L1 it becomes automatic and takes no thought at all. And with no thought at all the rider is ready to push off, whether it's uphill, whether it's with heavy luggage, whether they're stood or seated, whether they're on a recumbent trike, whether they're on a tandem, or anything (again, a uni is an exception...). The context for "best" here is universality: whatever your cycle, however it is configured, whatever you are carrying, a pedal-ready start will get you going. It's not the best, end-of, but it is best for teaching as a drill that will practically always give a suitable start without stopping to think about it.

When we adopted our kids our son was already riding on 2 wheels, with a scoot-from-the-saddle start. I suggested pedal-ready was better, but he wasn't having any of it. What was wrong with his way, anyway? We stay on a hill, by a fairly rough track. It won't work if you're going up the hill to start, I said, and getting going at the T at the top of the hill you'll have run out of road before you're going fast enough to get on the pedals. It didn't work when he tried going up the hill to start, and at the T at the top of the hill he ran out of room before he was going fast enough to get on the pedals. Some months later, he'd grudgingly accepted that his way wasn't always necessarily best, but he's been happy since with pedal ready. My attempts to teach him rolling mounts and dismounts have fallen on deaf ears (his wee sister much prefers them if starting from off the bike), but despite having a marked reluctance to take any advice from his adoptive parents (teenager at 7!) in the hilly town where he lives he's stuck with pedal-ready because it always works.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Si » 26 Jul 2015, 12:22pm

Who cares? It's not a race and any way that stays under control is good enough.


Well you obviously do judging by the effort that you are putting into the thread :wink:

But it has already been explained up thread. If you don't believe then I suggest that you take some brand-new to cycling learners out and see the difference that being able to start properly and promptly rather than faffing around makes to both their confidence and their safety.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Vorpal » 26 Jul 2015, 12:35pm

I think it makes a big difference to new cyclists, as well. I tried and tried to get Mini V to pedal on her own, but she always wanted me to push her, and would stop or fall over, as soon as I wasn't, anymore. Then, I had the idea of showing her the 'pedal ready' start. I put her feet in the right place, and I got my bike with the intention of showing her how I push off, and when I looked pu again, she was pedalling off under her own power :D 8) :D

I had a similar experience with another child I taught. Now, it's almost the first thing I teach, and the kids I've taught that way get it much quicker. Littlest got it on his first try, and he'd had less time on the back of the tandem and less time on the balance bike than Mini V.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby mjr » 27 Jul 2015, 12:02pm

Yes, some won't get on any other way and will appreciate the help and it's as good a way as any to tell them, but I fear others are discouraged by being told at Level 1 that there's only One True Way which they might not be able to do... after all, some instructors don't do it, which is how this thread started.

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:Who cares? It's not a race and any way that stays under control is good enough.


While it's not a race there are many times (e.g., getting on to busy roundabouts) where being a bit snappy about setting off makes the difference between making progress and getting stuck, possibly with a line of frustrated drivers wondering when the hell you're going to get out of the way. Clearly not an issue at L1, but why get to L3 and have to suddenly revise what you do?

Right-side at 2 o'clock (aka Bikeability's "pedal ready", aka "Safe Start" in cycling proficiency) is no snappier than several other ways of setting off and can even be worse sometimes. And anyway, at a busy roundabout, isn't it more important to be able to crawl the last few metres to the line so you're ready to accelerate into any gap rather than stop-starting if you don't need to? I get grumpy with motorists who don't "slow and flow" onto roundabouts too: be ready to stop, but be ready to go too if you can - it's even better when they've dived past me in a bad overtake just before the roundabout splitter island :roll:

Also, while I appreciate in reality there's a risk of road rage and other criminal behaviour from drivers behind, is it good to be justifying teaching decisions in theory on the grounds that it gets cyclists out of Mr Toad's way sooner? :shock:
The context for "best" here is universality: whatever your cycle, however it is configured, whatever you are carrying, a pedal-ready start will get you going. It's not the best, end-of, but it is best for teaching as a drill that will practically always give a suitable start without stopping to think about it.

Always - except if they stop unexpectedly on a bike with no free backpedal and they aren't familiar with other ways of starting... :roll:

It didn't work when he tried going up the hill to start, and at the T at the top of the hill he ran out of room before he was going fast enough to get on the pedals. ...

Oh well. I've lived at the foot of a 1 in 4 and could still push first / pedal after most of the time. It's useful to mix up how you start off, though, to have a few tricks in the bag.

Si wrote:Well you obviously do judging by the effort that you are putting into the thread :wink:

Nice attempt to discourage any dissent from The One True Way.

But it has already been explained up thread.

It really hasn't.

If you don't believe then I suggest that you take some brand-new to cycling learners out and see the difference that being able to start properly and promptly rather than faffing around makes to both their confidence and their safety.

Sure, I'll go do that on top of everything else RSN. :roll:
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Re: foot-faff

Postby Vorpal » 27 Jul 2015, 1:17pm

There is no *one true way*, and all the Bikeability outcomes require is that students be able to start and pedal on their own.

There are two reasons for the 'pedal ready' position, and that it is the right foot. The pedal ready position is easy to teach and easy to use. That it is the right foot is only because when you mount, it should be from the kerb side, not the traffic side, and it's easier to look back for traffic with the left foot down and the right foot in pedal ready position. Also, some people need to lean the bike a little, and that way it is leaning away from trafic, rather than into. I don't know about others, but I always explained and demonstrated this stuff to Bikeability students.

I can't recall that any of the students ever had trouble with these concepts, or using their right feet for pedal ready. Those who struggled, or had trouble with any of the outcomes in either level 1 or 2, all had difficulty with other outcomes. Not start and pedal.

Frankly, if I'd had a student who could do it using another method than right foot pedal ready, I doubt that I would have failed him / her, as long as s/he could set off safely, check for traffic, etc.

I don't in principal have a problem with other ways to set off, but the time available in Bikeability is *very* limited. There are up to 15 kids to get through all of the level 1 outcomes in approximately 2 or 2-1/2 hours. We use the simplest method and stick to that.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby mjr » 27 Jul 2015, 1:54pm

Vorpal wrote:There is no *one true way*, and all the Bikeability outcomes require is that students be able to start and pedal on their own.

Are you sure? The delivery guide says that under observation "the trainee should find the “pedal ready” position (pedal above horizontal in roughly the 2 o’clock position) with their foot on the pedal" and so on.

Anyway, if you would allow other starts to pass if they were otherwise OK, then wonderful, you're a saint and probably other participants here are similarly great, but this might not reflect general practice among those who just follow the book.

I feel I should also acknowledge that Bikeability is much better than Cycling Proficiency in general about starting and stopping - Bikeability doesn't require people to start off from or stop in a ready-to-squish position against the kerb, for example.

I don't in principal have a problem with other ways to set off, but the time available in Bikeability is *very* limited. There are up to 15 kids to get through all of the level 1 outcomes in approximately 2 or 2-1/2 hours. We use the simplest method and stick to that.

Yes, I think we'd all agree that there's far too little time given to this and that exacerbates various problems, such as not covering motor-free routes until level 3 - most kids won't do level 3, yet much of their riding may be on motor-free routes and so they have to figure out things like over-the-shoulder side-road crossings by trial and error (and hopefully not a fatal error). :(
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Re: foot-faff

Postby pjclinch » 27 Jul 2015, 3:48pm

mjr wrote:Yes, some won't get on any other way and will appreciate the help and it's as good a way as any to tell them, but I fear others are discouraged by being told at Level 1 that there's only One True Way which they might not be able to do... after all, some instructors don't do it, which is how this thread started.


Any codified system of instruction will tend to suffer from "One True Way" adherents, but that doesn't mean it's built with no room for any flexibility. And as already noted, I've quite specifically criticised current Bikeability Scotland L1 resources for hinting at that and requested they be changed in the current review (Bikeability Scotland is a re-brand and update of the previous Ready Steady Bike/Scottish Cycle Scheme/Go By Cycle revised to make it NS compliant, but the current L1&L2 resources are significantly based on pre NS materials and the current review is to get them past that, so they're not as up to speed as much as Bikeability at this moment in time).

That having been said, some ways do work better than others for most of the people most of the time. The usual situation I emphasise pedal-ready is a child coming out from a T-junction trying to get going while staring down at the pedals instead of where they're going or around at what might be coming. I say to use pedal ready because in action it works to correct the fault I've just described and often see, not it's One-True-Way-ness.

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:Who cares? It's not a race and any way that stays under control is good enough.


While it's not a race there are many times (e.g., getting on to busy roundabouts) where being a bit snappy about setting off makes the difference between making progress and getting stuck, possibly with a line of frustrated drivers wondering when the hell you're going to get out of the way. Clearly not an issue at L1, but why get to L3 and have to suddenly revise what you do?

Right-side at 2 o'clock (aka Bikeability's "pedal ready", aka "Safe Start" in cycling proficiency) is no snappier than several other ways of setting off and can even be worse sometimes.


If you already on your bike it is the fastest way. That's why racers in a gate start at pedal-ready.

mjr wrote:And anyway, at a busy roundabout, isn't it more important to be able to crawl the last few metres to the line so you're ready to accelerate into any gap rather than stop-starting if you don't need to?


That all depends. Have you never come to a roundabout or other give-way junction where you can see in advance of arriving that you will have to stop and wait? (How about the ones with a "Stop" sign? :wink: ). At some point you will have to stop, and then start. That there are many times slowing and not stopping is better doesn't alter that, and at L2 it's much better (at least in the first instance) to have a child stop and be sure it's safe than roll on out without looking properly (and they're still learning to look properly, so best not to have to blend that skill with another of keeping rolling through a junction where they don't have right of way).

mjr wrote:Also, while I appreciate in reality there's a risk of road rage and other criminal behaviour from drivers behind, is it good to be justifying teaching decisions in theory on the grounds that it gets cyclists out of Mr Toad's way sooner? :shock:


I don't like holding people up, I don't particularly like being held up. I don't think I know anyone keen on either. If it's easily avoidable, and gets you where you're going quicker with no safety penalty, why would you not want that?

mjr wrote:Oh well. I've lived at the foot of a 1 in 4 and could still push first / pedal after most of the time. It's useful to mix up how you start off, though, to have a few tricks in the bag.


And you are representative of a self-taught 7 year old on a one-speed BSO in your ability to scoot up a 25% gradient to get going? I think you're probably rather more capable. If we're going to burden down L1 with "a few tricks in the bag" to start off we'll waste a lot of time that could be much more usefully spent elsewhere, because pedal-ready really is pretty close to a lowest-common-denominator start that can be used by anyone on any sort of bike or trike. At L1 a simple method that doesn't have children look at what they're doing but where they're going makes so much sense you'd need a pretty compelling reason to not teach it. "I don't do it that way myself" doesn't really cut the mustard. The point about back-pedal brakes might if there were tangible quantities of them in circulation on kids bikes in use in the UK. What number there are are probably in the hands of families who are entirely able to teach their children how to use them.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Si » 27 Jul 2015, 5:53pm

mjr wrote:
Si wrote:Well you obviously do judging by the effort that you are putting into the thread :wink:

Nice attempt to discourage any dissent from The One True Way.


How is answering a question discouraging dissent? And what is this 'one true way' that you've suddenly come out with? I think that if you really believe that bikeability is saying that this is the only way to do it then you've not really grasped the problem with writing a manual that is deliverable to quickly and to people with many different abilities and attitudes. You will find that most bikeability instructors do not religiously follow every instruction in the manual when they are not working. However, the manual has to be able to set a standard and a method to reach it that can be used by totally inexperienced riders.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby pjclinch » 27 Jul 2015, 7:26pm

As I emphasise to my trainees (both beginner cyclists and assistant trainers), what we teach is a way, not the way, but we teach it because it is a good way which should see them right if they stick to it.

It should hopefully be pretty obvious there's more than one way to do things, because I almost always get on and off from a rolling mount. If the kids come to the local junior Go Ride club I'll teach them a rolling mount, but not for Bikeability. It's icing, where pedal-ready is cake.

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Re: foot-faff

Postby Philip Benstead » 27 Mar 2016, 2:44pm

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.
I am going to be elitist, if they can't sort themself out they are imho not cyclist, they just ride a bike. I am left handed I naturally mount on the right, I taught my self to do it on the left. I meet a few cycle instructor who I would not trust to lead a club run.
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Re: foot-faff

Postby squeaker » 28 Mar 2016, 8:49am

Vorpal wrote:... and it's easier to look back for traffic with the left foot down and the right foot in pedal ready position.

Is it? With right foot down, and slightly back, isn't it easier to twist to look over your right shoulder?
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Re: foot-faff

Postby pjclinch » 28 Mar 2016, 7:11pm

Philip Benstead wrote:I am going to be elitist, if they can't sort themself out they are imho not cyclist, they just ride a bike.


It's nothing to do with that, we've recently been informed the relevant hurdle is a British Cycling membership...

Philip Benstead wrote:I meet a few cycle instructor who I would not trust to lead a club run.


Cycle Ride Leader is an entirely different qualification... Not that anyone leading club runs would need the official Piece of Paper to tell them what they can already do, but it is a notably different skill set.

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