Getting people involved

For discussions within the Cycle Training profession.
Sven P
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Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 3:02pm

Getting people involved

Postby Sven P » 10 Aug 2015, 3:17pm

Hi folks... new on this forum :)

My question is . ... how does one get adults to join in on beginners or easy coaching sessions.. basics and having fun..

I run them for free in our neighbourhood, we have no shortage of new cyclists around here but no one seems particularly interested in coming along. The club has no problem getting kids involved but the grown up side of things is a bit of a flop.
I run discipline specific sessions that have at least got a few in but that is a bit easier, ie cyclo cross..

I'm not running the sessions via CTC, I'm a level 2 BC coach, [ yeah I know.... ] doing a ABCC level 3 course to do one-one fitness coaching etc but I do want to do stuff for local cycling to promote it and make it more enjoyable.

I have even tried running really easy club rides but with few takers, ha .. one or two have joined,, got fit and moved on to doing longer faster rides but have not been replaced..

cheers, Steve.

Vorpal
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Re: Getting people involved

Postby Vorpal » 10 Aug 2015, 3:47pm

Welcome.

I had the most success with adults, billing rides as 'health rides' and putting notices up in the local surgery and village co-op. One of the GPs recommended them to a few of her patients, as well.

It depends on lots of theing... What do you define as really easy? The definition might be different to someone who hasn't been on a bike for years.

I got a few folks who hadn't been on bikes in 30 years. I was very gentle with them, let them decide when they'd had enough, and didn't do anything but check their bikes and give them encouragement the first couple of times out. One very overweight lady worked her way up from a 1 mile ride to 14 miles with a stop for tea. And even though 14 miles was nothing for me, it took a lot of hard work for her to be able to do that, and she had every right to be proud of her accomplishment.

After the health rides had been going for a year or so, a few more people started to come along. I think it was word of mouth more than anything else. And I persisted, even when no one turned up sometimes.

Another point, people don't really like to think of themselves as beginners in adulthood. Ther prefer to think of themselves as returning cyclists, or occasional cyclists, or even leisure cyclists. They often don't feel they need lessons, just a few folks to ride with to give them motivation; a support group rather than a coach.

That said, it really depends on the environment in which you do it. I was running health rides in a rural village where everyone knew each other, and it was relatively easy for me to get a feel for what was needed just by chatting to people. You might need a different approach, and it's probably better to ask potential users of your service than us on a cycling forum.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Sven P
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Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 3:02pm

Re: Getting people involved

Postby Sven P » 10 Aug 2015, 4:18pm

We have a group that go out every week that are the really, really easy riders.. 4 miles max... mine was and in fact I'm out tonight for a pootle social of about 15 miles and it is stated that the pace is as easy as the pace of the slowest rider etc. This is via the clubs I am involved with and I think [ some of the other members agree ] that things need to be removed from the "club" type into the social and free to join in no strings environment.

I have a very good tutor in looking after less confident [ terrified :lol: ] riders in my girlfriend, back to cycling after 40 years or more away from the bike...
9 months of pootling around the lanes later.. she is fast going up hill.. a bit nervous down, still slightly wary of dodgy road surfaces, can ride clipped in.. ventured off road a bit. .. reads the Cycling Weekly every week and dragged me to the south of France to see the Tour this summer.. and was almost but not quite screaming riding along the canal yesterday... she used to swear and curse quite a lot at first.. she has coached me in dog obedience training... I think we are even....

You are probably right about "beginners" and "returners" etc.. We have been looking at the wording for advertising sessions....

I currently run as coaching sessions, sessions that are technique based rather than fitness, mainly due to time constraints.
I can run a session in an hour covering cornering or what ever but a ride is likely to take longer and I am not sure about the insurance implications for this... Club runs are covered but not sure about taking non club members out etc. I will have to talk to the club secretary about it I suppose, also it might change things if I charge a bit of money for it. Like most of us .. I'm happy to do a bit of freebee stuff but there is a limit :D cheers, Steve.

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Philip Benstead
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 7:06pm
Location: Victoria , London

Re: Getting people involved

Postby Philip Benstead » 11 Aug 2015, 6:17am

Sven P wrote:We have a group that go out every week that are the really, really easy riders.. 4 miles max... mine was and in fact I'm out tonight for a pootle social of about 15 miles and it is stated that the pace is as easy as the pace of the slowest rider etc. This is via the clubs I am involved with and I think [ some of the other members agree ] that things need to be removed from the "club" type into the social and free to join in no strings environment.

I have a very good tutor in looking after less confident [ terrified :lol: ] riders in my girlfriend, back to cycling after 40 years or more away from the bike...
9 months of pootling around the lanes later.. she is fast going up hill.. a bit nervous down, still slightly wary of dodgy road surfaces, can ride clipped in.. ventured off road a bit. .. reads the Cycling Weekly every week and dragged me to the south of France to see the Tour this summer.. and was almost but not quite screaming riding along the canal yesterday... she used to swear and curse quite a lot at first.. she has coached me in dog obedience training... I think we are even....

You are probably right about "beginners" and "returners" etc.. We have been looking at the wording for advertising sessions....

I currently run as coaching sessions, sessions that are technique based rather than fitness, mainly due to time constraints.
I can run a session in an hour covering cornering or what ever but a ride is likely to take longer and I am not sure about the insurance implications for this... Club runs are covered but not sure about taking non club members out etc. I will have to talk to the club secretary about it I suppose, also it might change things if I charge a bit of money for it. Like most of us .. I'm happy to do a bit of freebee stuff but there is a limit :D cheers, Steve.



I would suggest Newcomers or newcomer to social/group cycling
Philip Benstead | CTC London and FORMER CTC Councillor SE
| 0794-980-1698 | philipbenstead1@gmail.com |
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Cycle Ride? http://www.meetup.com/socialcycling4u/
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

Vorpal
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Re: Getting people involved

Postby Vorpal » 11 Aug 2015, 6:36am

I registered myself as an independent cycle instructor. I think professional insurance would cover most circumstances surrounding helping people cycle.

What I was trying to say--maybe I didn't express it so well--is that once people started increasing their distance, whether it was from 1 mile or 4 miles, often they wanted a little help increasing their confidence to ride on the roads. It's not too hard to find an off-road trail, or a little used BOAT that goes for a few miles, but much more than that, and people are likely to need to ride on the roads some of the time.

I ran a couple of taster sessions in a nearby town, and invited some of the health ride participants. I had a fair number of people at taster sessions, but I only got one private trainee out of it. Maybe if I had carried on doing it, I could have grown my independent Bikeability business that way. I moved away, so I don't know how it could have developed.

Most of my private trainees were children who had not passed level 2 in the school Bikeability sessions. A few were people sent to me by the county council.
“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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pjclinch
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Location: Dundee, Scotland
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Re: Getting people involved

Postby pjclinch » 11 Aug 2015, 5:11pm

At the Go-Ride club where I'm a BC L2 coach (what do you know? :? ) the main way of getting adults involved is have them join in the kids' sessions (mainly as extra hands) and joint sessions (such as at party events). That's how I ended up as a BC L2 coach, in fact...

My other involvement with adults is as a Workplace Cycle Instructor, which is a Cycling Scotland thing but any instruction qualification should be applicable. I tout my (free) wares to NHS Tayside employees (I work for NHST, and the Healthy Working Lives team endorse my efforts) and those that get in touch I run sessions for, from learning to ride for total beginners to coping with traffic of any degree folk want to mix with. Maybe get in touch with your local NHS and see if they have any opportunities for similar.

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

Sven P
Posts: 3
Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 3:02pm

Re: Getting people involved

Postby Sven P » 17 Aug 2015, 5:50pm

Thanks for all the advise folks... I think I will set something up that includes the technique coaching with health and fitness included... a trip to see the local health centres is in order I think.... designing a card and flyer etc .. :)
Looking at the times for my sessions,,, I will have to make em later evening and include some afternoon ones possibly.

Steve.