I recently did a Post course assessment for someone who combines Cycle Training with sports coaching. Both trainers and trainees were wearing racing lycra and using an outdoor track for level 1.
Youth Sports Trust do deliver training and wonder whether such links between racing and everyday riding are good or not.
(Would it be good if Formula 1 drivers got involved in training car drivers?)
I think it's important to try and make the link between club/racing cycling and Bikeability. Many people who ride in clubs, whether they be new or existing cyclists, haven't given a lot of thought to how to deal with traffic effectively. Newer cyclists are probably open to the idea of accessing training to help with this but persuading the more experienced cyclist that they would benefit can be tricky.
There is also the issue of the skills / etiquette / communication needed for riding in a club - some clubs are good at getting this over but others are not so good.
I agree with you Ken and take the points that David is making too - would be great to talk about other possibilities when training up new Instructors - if people seem very "lycra based" for want of a better phrase, we need to make the points that ordinary wear is ok too and bikes with fewer gears also OK - schools turn up with such a myriad of bikes and clothing - it is a good learning space.
REally important to encourage club riders to behave as part of the traffic, in my view, as this will help everyone in the longer run.
You might say that I am biased but I think the links are very positive. When talking about links between the sport and Bikeability we're not talking about Chris Hoy training young children how to ride bikes on the road. There is a lot of cross-over in Level 1 coaching and Level 1 Bikeability e.g. M check, getting on and off the bike, pedaling etc. From Level 2 onwards the courses are different but some of the principles of teaching/coaching are the same. Some of our instructors come from a coaching background and add a lot of value to our scheme. Moving on from the actual course, developing links between clubs and Bikeability ensures that children are exposed to as many cycling opportunities as possible - more cycling, more often. It works both ways, some clubs ensure their children complete Bikeability on joining the club - more children riding more confidently on the roads. Finally, I don't think we should discriminate if people chose to wear lycra - OK it's not the message we're trying to get across but in their environment it works!!
In my opinion it can only be a benefit for people to be introduced to, and experience as many different styles of cycling as possible for them to decide which they want to participate in long term. Would Bikeability be more effective if it was delivered as a club, as opposed to a short ‘come and go’ course? More opportunity for continuous learning/development? There is never enough time to understand how trainees learn, their motivations, and their social and psychological state or if/how they will participate in cycling post Bikeability.
I consider myself as more of a cycling coach than a cycling instructor. I think even the word 'instructor' suggests I just tell people what to do, and they do it, how I say. I think coaching is more about developing the participant first, and the activity second so that they develop their own thought and action process while participating. Although Bikeability is an outcome based pass or fail course, I still use my coaching philosophy “play to learn” as I feel our aim is to allow trainees to enjoy THEIR cycling experience as opposed to put them under pressure to pass a course - who will cycle again if they don't enjoy it? Recent research (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10777936/Children-no-longer-care-about-winning-or-losing-in-sport.html) tells us that 64% of young people would be relieved or not bothered if competition was removed from sport (I still feel this is relevant even though we deliver cycling as a physical activity and if we consider the competition as the national standards and not the amount of learning, development or fun being had). Just some reasons for why I choose to coach Bikeability instead of formally instruct it.
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