Duke of Edinburgh Award

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Kat
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Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Kat » 23 May 2009, 11:44am

Hi,
I teach at a school with a large Duke of Edinburgh programme and jointly lead the gold group. We are being encouraged to introduce D of E expeditions on bikes rather than walking, and although this seems fine in principle, I can't quite work out how this would work at gold level. Cycling off road with all kit, food etc in wild country seems a nightmare (I'm a road bike person myself and a bit of a wuss!). If there is anyone who has been involved with DoE on bikes (at any level of award), I'd be really interested to hear the kinds of routes/surfaces/distances/equipment you used!!!
Thanks
Kat

Tonyf33
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Tonyf33 » 23 May 2009, 12:51pm

This could be possible however you would have to adapt the ground covered in such a way as to make it equivalent to the challenges on a walking D0E. The human body can cover all sorts of differing terrain & adapt fairly easily, it doesn't (generally) require maintenance and/or replacement parts/special tools. Given the extra bits you'd be carrying that you wouldn't on a walking DoE (tools/spares) plus the actual weight of bike I dont think you can cover anything like the same ground.
The type of off roading would have to be limited because you just cant accquire the skills in a few months. You'd need well suited, well kitted out bikes, covering rough ground is notorious for busting bikes.
Good idea in principle but needs some serious thought on converting what is done in a 5 day expedition on foot over rough terrain into the equivalent by bike in terms of overall challenge. Does it need to be off road??
How about the coast to coast route, this chap did 210 miles in 5days off/on road http://homepages.tesco.net/~c2c/, add in carrying/pitching your own tent & that would be a good start

Manx Cat
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Manx Cat » 23 May 2009, 12:59pm

Both my teenage daughters are ebarking on teh D o E award, Beth via the Air Cadets she is now on her gold award, and Rosie via school - she is doing the Bronze.


I am so pleased to hear of someone pro active in thinking of cycling as part of the Gold award, as I feel it would fit into the criteria nicely. I do not know all the ins and outs of organising such an event and specifically for Gold as well, but if your group of students were to perhaps to sort out a long distance route (on road or off it - sustrains is a good starting point) to include all accommodation stops, anti-bonk rations, what to do to prevent dehydration and how to treat it and maybe sunstroke, so perhaps even 1st Aid certificate as well, plus emergency break downs and of course all the pre-training for an event assuming not all the group were long distance cyclists with the fitness this requires. Could they not, under supervision organise a long distance trip, in the UK or in Europe and have it verified by DoE?

Rosie has been able to use our cycle trip along Hadrian's Wall that we did last summer for her sporting activity part of her bronze award that she is currently working on. It was a 180 mile cycle trip over 5 days.

For Rosies Bronze award, we did an organised trip, its been ok ed because she had to sort out her own training programme for this, and she had to contact Hospice IOM to organise the sponsorship - thus getting points for her community part of the award. She has evidence such as printed sponsor sheets, and photographs of the giant cheque handed to Hospice IOM as well as a nice letter from Hospice as well. (I did want her to do the Radio show with me, but her 13 year old shyness got the better of her on the day and she declined this.).

Edited to add, we did the route on hybrid road bikes, and Rosie on a slick tyred mountain bike. The sustrains routes are mostly suitable for all types of bicycle, some specifically for mountain bikes and are listed as such, the majority of their routes are b roads or old train tracks that are suitable for all sorts of bicycles So long as your group have a road worthy bike, they should be free to go.

Google Sustrains to get their web site, you can also ask them all sorts of questions that will help you in your decision making for this, such as risk assessments etc (sorry to raise that horrible pair of words again!)

I know you will get good support from this forum on this subject.


mary

Edwards
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Edwards » 23 May 2009, 2:56pm

I think you will find the cycling expedition is more done as an exploration. I also think you will find it recommended to do the expedition linking any of road sections as needed.

The best I can do is suggest you look at http://www.DofE.org/go/downloads
Cycling expeditions are mentioned for gold award.
Keith Edwards
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drossall
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby drossall » 23 May 2009, 9:24pm

I've done road cycling with Scouts (10-15) over several decades, but always escorted. Since Gold participants are 16 I think I'd be looking at Sustrans-type on-road routes. The training could include level 3 Bikeability.

roguecarl
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby roguecarl » 7 Nov 2011, 11:56am

hi there, i'm currently doing my DofE gold, after having walked bronze and silver (literally and metaphorically) it seemed that gold was going to be more challenging, and being a cyclist through and through, it seemed like the best way to do it. unfortunately our DofE coordinator is out of his comfort zone with me biking it, so i have to go elsewhere for it.
right, to the point. my family and i have toured on bikes many times in the summer holidays, through France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark. and i am primarily a mountain biker, so doing Gold on a bike seems simple in my mind. provided you use a decent expedition bike, or a cyclocross. of sorts. the trails aren't the hard part, you just need to teach the people how to ride properly, not just pushing the pedals. the trails couldn't be too difficult or anything though, so a freeride trail is out of the question, and a grade 3 climb also. it just needs a little more thought than walking. in my opinion it would be reasonable to ride between 30 and 40 miles each day, as it's a whole day riding, at a good pace, but others might want to do slightly less.
in conclusion, it's not too difficult, take road touring, and adapt it to be a bit tougher, think about your route carefully (forest tracks, bridleways, byways) and from there it's pretty much the same.

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quiksilver
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby quiksilver » 7 Nov 2011, 2:06pm

Did my DofE in the 70s, great memories.

karlt
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby karlt » 7 Nov 2011, 2:15pm

South Downs Way?

Ayesha
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Ayesha » 7 Nov 2011, 2:31pm

I just found a website which described a DoE 'Hike' of 20km per day for four days through the Alps.

Working on road cycling being 5 x as efficeint as travelling by 'shank's', this would be a 100 km per day 400 km ride.

Any of Colin Bezant's AUK Cambrian 400 rides split into four parts.

Hector's House
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Hector's House » 7 Nov 2011, 2:46pm

My question is, does it have to be off-road? when I did my gold practice, we met a gaggle of school-kids doing their DofE gold... by bike. Some of them were horribly inexperienced at cycling. I noticed a couple who had slightly flat tyres. :shock: They all had mountain bikes, but their route seemed to be mostly road.

edit to clarify: one of our members knew one of the school-kids. I'm just going by what that bloke told us about the route. He seemed to be more clued up than alot of them. :?
Last edited by Hector's House on 7 Nov 2011, 3:31pm, edited 1 time in total.

Graham O
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Graham O » 7 Nov 2011, 2:55pm

From my experience of DofE with the Air Cadets, the award organisers are looking at the youngsters taking responsiblity for their expedtions and being involved in all the planning and execution thereof. It should be suitably demanding, but not just physically, so 100km at day, by itself, would not be requirement. At the other end, 20km on road could be deemed not challenging enough. Contact your local award organiser or the national body for guidance. Personally, I would think that a 3 nights away challenge along a Sustrans path, trans Peninne way or C2C would be ideal for them.

The Mechanic
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby The Mechanic » 7 Nov 2011, 4:59pm

Ayesha wrote:I just found a website which described a DoE 'Hike' of 20km per day for four days through the Alps.

Working on road cycling being 5 x as efficeint as travelling by 'shank's', this would be a 100 km per day 400 km ride.

Any of Colin Bezant's AUK Cambrian 400 rides split into four parts.


100km a day off road on a bike is serious work. I would be surprised if many average D0E'ers would be able to manage that carrying all their kit.
Cancer changes your outlook on life. Change yours before it changes you.

Tonyf33
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby Tonyf33 » 7 Nov 2011, 5:44pm

I'd tend to agree, though does depend on overall terrain. If for example you were to use the Alps hiking comparative, 100km a day for 4 days ON road through the mountains would be a tester in anyone's book. I'd say a lot more difficult than hiking 20km IME but again does depend on routes chosen and weather conditions. 100km a day OFF road in the mountains I think would be a step or two too far.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Nov 2011, 6:17pm

When I cycled my gold dofe off road miles counted for ?double? road miles.

It was great fun - after a colleague buckled a wheel we had to demonstrate we could fix it that evening...

Food and tent wise was OK actually. Dartmoor was lovely...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

drossall
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Re: Duke of Edinburgh Award

Postby drossall » 7 Nov 2011, 8:29pm

I failed to get my (silver) DoE in the 70s. We decided on cycling for an activity, but it kind of, well, rather, took over :oops:

We never did anything serious to get the Award, because we were too busy club riding and time trialling, but here I am, 35 years later, still cycling :D