Author Topic: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor  (Read 7715 times)

hawkeye

Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« on: November 25, 2009, 07:30:24 pm »
The manager of the Leisure Trust where I teach swimming is a keen cyclist. By that I mean he can ride a bike with drops and keep his balance, and he builds his own machines. I do neither :-[.

Knowing that I commute by bike when working at the pool, he suggested that he and I do a cycling instructors course with a view to the Trust offering Bikeability training to local adults and children.

Cycle England have just emailed me to say my bursary has been approved so I just need to choose some dates for a course.

OMG! I know I'll have to buy and wear a helmet but will I get away with wearing ordinary clothes ?

Will a Cannondale Street Sport Nexus be suitable for delivering traing from or will I be expected to have derailleur gears like everyone else ?

My school didn't do Cycling Proficiency all those years ago so I've taught my 4 children to cycle without any training whatsoever.

My copy of John Franklin's 'Cyclecraft' is due from Amazon shortly.

Wish me luck; I've got a feeling I'll need it .... :o


Speshact

  • Charlie
Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 08:29:44 pm »
OMG! I know I'll have to buy and wear a helmet but will I get away with wearing ordinary clothes ?

Will a Cannondale Street Sport Nexus be suitable for delivering traing from or will I be expected to have derailleur gears like everyone else ?

Wish me luck; I've got a feeling I'll need it .... :o
Don't rush out to buy a helmet - while many people offered instruction by their local authority have to wear a helmet not many cycling trainers are obliged to wear one.

Cycling is meant to be an everyday activity so ordinary clothes are perfectly fine and logical (assuming you're dry and warm enough in the rain and cold etc. etc.)

I don't know the nexus but derailleur gears on your bike aren't necessary - you'll use one of the trainees to point out how they work although many kids will have single speed bikes. You do need to be able to look behind you comfortably on your bike to check that a snake of kids and your co-instructor aren't trailing 100m behind you.

Good luck with course - I'm sure that you'll learn lots from it of interest to you as a cyclist as well as a potential instructor.

jellied

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Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 09:28:45 am »
Good luck Hawkeye.

Regarding the helmet - no problem there although if I ever taught children I would struggle making them wear one if was not.

Any bike is fine, but it has to be reliable, the bike is your main tool of work. There's always some one in the group with a bike suitable for teaching some thing on - if you're doing one-on-one then use their bike if need be, if you're doing a group then some one is bound to have a bke worth looking at.

As for clothes - you need to be comfortable [warm and dry as you will be outside obviously]. It's a tricky choice beween wearing the full expected cycle gear and jeans and t-shirts, if you're training all day some padding doesn't go amiss.
A shitter and a giggler.

jogler

  • mojo operandi
Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 09:39:23 am »
The following comment is popular hereabouts but no less appropriate for that...

you'l be reet :thumbsup:

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 10:17:41 am »
Some observations from an established instructor:

You'll need some carrying capacity to carry kids' bottles, coats etc. as they rarely have cycle luggage. Also your tools, first aid kit, paperwork.

Well worth fitting a mirror so you can see what's going on behind you - like kids playing about, thinking you can't see them!

Carry some waterproofs for when it's raining; don't worry about sweating underneath as you won't be riding very fast!

Worth kitting out with a set of reflective vests, you'll get better respect from other traffic.

Get instructors' insurance from the CTC - £50/year if you're a member, otherwise £70.

Enjoy!

hawkeye

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 07:26:09 pm »
You'll need some carrying capacity to carry kids' bottles, coats etc. as they rarely have cycle luggage. Also your tools, first aid kit, paperwork.

I've got some panniers; tools, yes; first aid kit, OMG will there be blood? :o

Well worth fitting a mirror so you can see what's going on behind you - like kids playing about, thinking you can't see them!

Haven't been without a mirror for years. 8)

Carry some waterproofs for when it's raining; don't worry about sweating underneath as you won't be riding very fast!

Worth kitting out with a set of reflective vests, you'll get better respect from other traffic.

Get instructors' insurance from the CTC - £50/year if you're a member, otherwise £70.

Enjoy!

Worthwhile stuff, thanks all. I like the idea of insurance.

Update
I'm deep into my copy of Cyclecraft.
Passed some sort of telephone interview with a chap from Cycle Solutions and I'm booked on a course on 16th December in Durham.  :thumbsup:
I hope the weather is tolerable.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 08:19:42 pm »
Good luck and you will enjoy this job big time ;)

As for the lid problem, easy just say it was your parent or school who said so. It have worked for me and I don't wear a lid.

And for the rest the others have said it.
#bollockstobrexit

ed_o_brain

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 08:52:07 pm »
Good luck :)

hawkeye

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2009, 11:56:08 am »
Thank you all for your supportive comments.

I thought about the logistics of being on a course with 2 instructors and 12 students. Would we be hammering through Durham traffic all day and my aged bones struggling to keep up, or would we be standing around watching each other try various exercises at the mercy of the weather. It was the latter of course so my £15 investment in a padded waterproof Hi-Vis jacket was right on the mark.  :smug:

On the first day while returning from an exercise one of the instructors lost her phone and keys out of her pocket. They clattered on my wheel so we both stopped to recover them. In trying to catch the others up and avoid a speed bump I did some inadvertent off-road skidding, loss of control and eventual recovery with the instructor hanging well back out of the way. :-[ The back wheel took a sharp knock and I thought no more of it. Nice recovery the instructor said but I wished she had been somewhere else.

On the second day after some dry dry note-taking my rear tyre was flat. No time to fix it before the car-park teaching exercises in the rain so I borrowed everyone else's bike one at a time while they delivered their lesson. I learnt that a Brompton would rather fold up than go backwards and that its wet brakes were ornamental only; I learnt that 2 of the girls only ever adjusted the brakes they felt most comfortable using, one front and one rear, and I learnt that the Scott with hydraulic disks and fat tyres was completely unaffected by the wet. Over coffee much was made of my deflated so-called puncture-proof Schwalbe M+ tyres. The tyre was unmarked inside and out but the tube had a 2" split on the rim side when I came to fix it. ::-)

On the third day we did lessons in a quiet residential estate and got snowed on. Those of us with unprotected lesson plans had them turned to papier-mache and the instructor told us to act like 10-year-olds so one guy abandoned the group and hid behind a nearby hedge. Remembering to act like a child he started lobbing snowballs at the rest of us. ;D

On the fourth day it was Advanced Cycling and role-play teaching adults. The instructor told us to grow up. The T-junction that the instructors normally used was clear for traffic turning left but had compacted snow and ice for those turning right. It was hairy even for those motorists who thought about the weather conditions. Those who didn't and tried to floor it and whizz through on the amber found themselves stationary with wheels spinning and cross traffic bearing down on them, hooting and waving their arms. :o It was no place for training even though spectating was fun. ;D  We cycled up the road to find other junctions and roundabouts and it snowed some more. We acted through our lessons. Would I commute in these conditions, I was asked. I've done so in worse I replied kicking the packed snow out from the mudguards, would you? Absolutely not, she said but then her pink Dahon didn't have mudguards.

We had our photos taken for ID cards and documents for CRB checks were examined and we found that we had all passed and become provisionally accredited cycling instructors. :thumbsup:
I now have to wait for the offer of work from my new masters in Liverpool, be watched as I deliver lessons to real children and see if I can gain full accreditation.

It was a good week and I really enjoyed meeting the others (apart from my boss, of course :P) but I've a feeling that there's more fun to be had yet.

 


Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2009, 12:19:01 pm »
Congratulations !!   Well done.

That sounds like a fun four days.

If you can keep smiling through all of that then teaching should be a doddle.
Good luck and have fun. Keep us all posted.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2009, 12:26:34 pm »
Over coffee much was made of my deflated so-called puncture-proof Schwalbe M+ tyres.


They're only resistant.

Well done with the course.  :thumbsup:
Quote from: Marbeaux
Have given this a great deal of thought and decided not to contribute to any further Threads for the time being.
POTD. (decade) :thumbsup:

Pedaldog

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Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 10:18:36 pm »
Good show Hawkeye. 
I'd try and find a nice, dry multi - storey car park to do the lessons that don't involve car/road interaction.  I did my Cycling proficiency back in 1971 in Leeds. Great fun and I am sad that I lost my Badge and Certificate many years ago.

hawkeye

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2009, 09:08:17 am »
Good show Hawkeye. 
I'd try and find a nice, dry multi - storey car park to do the lessons that don't involve car/road interaction.  I did my Cycling proficiency back in 1971 in Leeds. Great fun and I am sad that I lost my Badge and Certificate many years ago.

Interesting point; where does one teach? The answer is only in areas that have been risk-assessed by my new masters. That includes playgrounds and car parks of the school receiving instruction (easy, eh?) and roads known to Head Office and marked on a street plan. So no, categorically no winging it in unknown locations.

PS I never did Cycling Proficiency so last week was the first formal tuition on cycling in 57 years. He he.

jellied

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Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2009, 09:44:22 am »
i find google street view perfect for checking out likely locations before going in at ground level and seeing the real parking, whether a skip has arrived etc. it's a tough job finding good locations for junction  1 etc.
A shitter and a giggler.

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2009, 10:22:05 pm »
So you did  training in Durham, city?

must have increased the number of cyclist's that day by a power of 10!

P.S. did you ride down the contra-flow cycle route on Redhills Bank?

(or up the other way?)

hawkeye

Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2009, 10:43:22 am »
So you did  training in Durham, city?

must have increased the number of cyclist's that day by a power of 10!

P.S. did you ride down the contra-flow cycle route on Redhills Bank?

(or up the other way?)

Not the city centre. The training was based at the Footy Club in Belmont Industrial Estate and the outdoor stuff was done in the car park and the residential estate nearby.

Our "Advanced Cycling" was done up and down Alma Place and Dragon Lane. On the way back to base the Brompton rider, juggler and unicycle rider led the pack in the "keeping up with the traffic" exercise. ;D I might have kept up if I hadn't had a bit of wheelspin in the slush. :-[

We were 12 students and 2 or 3 instructors.

We didn't go near Redhills Park. Is it scary ?



Re: Improper cyclist tries to become an instructor
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2010, 05:24:28 pm »
We didn't go near Redhills Park. Is it scary ?

Redhills Lane is err... interesting. Going up a rather steep bank (in the direction of the traffic flow) its a question of deciding if you should stand up or stay with your bum on the seat. Stand up and the back wheel spins. Sit down and the front wheel lifts off the ground. Stopping mid way to get off and walk is not always an option. I've seen someone stop and gracefully dismount their bike via a backwards somersault as the front wheel lifted.

Going down (on the contraflow cycle lane) can be equally interesting. There's a left hand bend at the bottom where you'll invariably meet a car on the wrong side of the road who thinks its one way and has put their foot down to take a run at the hill. Check that your brake pads have plenty of wear left in them before you start down the hill. They'll be noticably thinner by the time you reach the bottom.

Oh - and when cycling up hill - don't crowd the car in front. It's not unknown for them to get slower and slower until they first stop, and then start sliding back down towards you.

All in all - its just the road to send NCN 14 down...