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Any ideas for a bicycle obstacle course please?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by xpc316e, 29 Jun 2009.

  1. xpc316e

    xpc316e Senior Member

    I have a bicycle obstacle course which I take around to schools, and I'd like some more ideas for obstacles please: I have two limbo bars which the children have to pass under, a long plank with 'rungs' across it like a ladder that they ride along longitudinally, a see-saw, two planks at about a 30 degree angle to each other with a short gap in between them, and then I set out tightening curves with cones that they ride through. I also have a section in which they take a bean bag from the top of one cone, transfer it to the other hand and then throw it into one of three different hoops lying on the ground to score points.

    The children who use it are usually in the 12-15 year age group, and the idea is to sharpen their bicycle handling skills as well as having a bit of fun. Any ideas will be gratefully received.

    Thanks in anticipation.
  2. Dayvo

    Dayvo Guru

    A slalom course set out by traffic cones.
  3. karen.488walker

    karen.488walker New Member

    Sevenoaks :(
    They do lots of cycle training for kids in Switz. They do stuff like getting them to cycle around a tennis court and get them to shake hands with everyone in the group. standing on the crossbars and ramps and stuff. Small logs at diff. angles? avoiding buses and taxis? trying to cycle as slowly as possible behind a 6yr old and not going into the back of them when they stop suddenly?
  4. Piemaster

    Piemaster Über Member

    Hull or Brazil
    Some sort of team thing? One giving directions form a map through a coned course that the other has to ride. Bit like following a satnav.
    Blindfold one and get directed on a course (have to be chalked on ground to avoid cone incidents), or just ride to an area and stop in it (or straddle a line) then back again.
    Actually perhaps blindfolding and relying on their peers for that age group isn't such a good idea.....
  5. threebikesmcginty

    threebikesmcginty charmless nerk

    Lost Highway
  6. SavageHoutkop

    SavageHoutkop Senior Member

    can I come? :biggrin: sounds like great fun...

    and how do you get this past health and safety...?
  7. grhm

    grhm Well-Known Member

    I've done obstacle courses for scouts - roughly the same age range 10-14 - although our are all on rough grass and not paved playgrounds.

    Sound like you've got a good mix of obstacles.

    I like laying out a course they have to follow with various widths and cambers. One can challenge them to ride between two chalk lines (or pegged out ropes) that get very narrow in places i.e a have short straigh section that is only 6 inches wide (maybe narrower if on paved playground. Then a wider corner and another narrow section. You can be very mean or very forgiving.

    The scouts also seem to like riding over broom handles and long poles, pegged across the course. Some times closely spaced but parallel, others at odd angles with more space between.

    For the slightly more keen, you can make a short section that is a trench to be jumped/bunny hopped. Not actually done this over an actual trench, as although we've got some very keen offroaders (complete with SPD's), we've also got kids you've just got a new bigger bike and are very unsure.

    Also a few fairly open but tight corners gets them very competative. I.e. a corner thats a 180 turn round a cone. Some try a take the shortest route but struggle with the steep turn at low speed, others swing very wide round the cone going faster but going miles out of the way. Over rough ground they're never too sure which is best.

    I do like the bean bag pick-up and drop challenge - might have to pinch that idea...
  8. Globalti

    Globalti Nkosi sikelel I Africa.

    A couple of garden rakes as stingers?
  9. GilesM

    GilesM Veteran

    East Lothian
    A long jump, small ramp, they have to clear so many things, one example would be running chainsaws, but I'm sure you could find something slightly more child friendly, perhaps bean bags.

    Another option is to have an area marked out on the ground and everyone is on their bike in this marked out area, the purpose of the game is to get other riders to put a foot down or go outside the marked area, the winner is the last man riding. With certain kids it's best to mention punching is not allowed.
  10. GilesM

    GilesM Veteran

    East Lothian
    I think that is actually Child abuse.
  11. peanut

    peanut Guest

    just get them to jump up and down kerbs weave in and out of pedestrians, jump lights and tear through shopping centres . Its what most kids will probably end up doing :biggrin:

    sounds like you have an excellent set of hazards and obstacles already.Be good if you could include the right and wrong way to enter and exit roads from pavements ,around parked cars
  12. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    A bit like the bean bag idea, tyre hoopla - have then pick a bike tyre off a hook on a pole, ride on and hoopla it over another pole or cone. You could get different tyre sizes to make it easier/harder.

    And polo. Get them to grab a mallet from a helper as they go by, and hit a ball placed on the ground into a goal...

    Might be worth googling 'pony club gymkhana/mounted games' and seeing if you get any suggestions, a lot of them could be adapted to bikes... I just found this...

  13. xpc316e

    xpc316e Senior Member

    Thanks for the suggestions everybody. There is some great stuff there that I can use - I particularly like the equestrian games link.

    Just a bit of background on what we do: we are a county council road safety team that spends a lot of time doing cyclist training and at this time of year we get requests from schools to give them something to do for children who cannot afford to go on school trips during their activity weeks. We do this sort of stuff on grass, and have risk assessed things. Each hazard has an adult there to talk them through it, as we want to make sure they succeed. Thus far we haven't had any mishaps/injuries/damage to bikes. We also give them plenty of input on bike maintenance, puncture repairs, etc., and we run a clinic to ensure that bikes are OK. We have found that the girls seem to love it and can compete on equal terms with the boys. We give penalty points for putting feet down etc., and we do not run things against the clock as this does encourage recklessness - precisely what we do not want. The girls usually vie for the honours with the boys for the most skillful riders.
  14. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Sounds excellent!

    I dunno if it's within your remit, or budget, but have you ever seen some of the funny bikes like the 'weird' ones on here;


    All home made, I've just reviewed for Velo Vision the book the ideas come from:


    All possible with some welding skill, and loads of fun. When I worked for Company of Cyclists (try out shows for LAs, now called Get Cycling and employer of Mickle and Spandex), we also had an eccentric wheeled bike - the wheels were built with the hubs off-centre, to give a galloping sort of motion, kids loved it.

    If you had a couple of odd or trick bikes, it would be an additional skill test/reward.... If you know anyone who can weld...
  15. atbman

    atbman Über Member

    Seem to have mislaid a post I thought I'd made.

    1. 2 small pallets, 3 planks, 6+ 6" nails: cover pallets with plywood; drill hole in each end of each plank big enough totake nail and matching hole at each end of each pallet.
    2. Place plank (1) on pallet, drop nail thro' plank and pallet to hold in position and stick nail thro' other end of plank into ground.
    3. Place plank (2)at other end of pallet and place on second pallet with nails thro plank/pallets
    4. As 2 with plank (3).
    Kids then ride up plank (1), across pallet on to plank 2, across plank (2) and 2nd pallet, then down plank (3). Make more difficult by angling planks and pallets

    Get Transco offcuts of yellow plastic mains gas pipe (they come in 9", 12", 18" and 24". Get more planks and bolt to pipes: this creates seesaws of increasing difficulty.

    Contact British Cycling's local go-Ride coach and get copy of Go-Ride skills course for additional activities

    Get couple of milk crates with empty 1 and 2 pt plastic milk bottles, fill with sand (not water) and play pick up bottle from first crate (on its side) and put on second. Make more diffiuclt by graduating to upside down washing up bowl (or pallet) and finally picking up off floor and replacing. If you have an irritatingly good kid, make them pick up bunch of car keys.

    Log on to www.bsca.org.uk and look at their Trix awards for more ideas.

    Get length of 15mm overflow pipe; cut top off 2L pop bottle at point where it starts to curve; put bottle hole onto 6" length of pipe into and the bottle bit then acts as bowl into which you can put one of those plastic practice golf balls. Kids then do a relay, riding one-handed up to cone and riding back without ball falling out before handing on to next rider.

    My planks, pallets and plywood were picked up from civil engineering site - they were all slightly damamged and were being dumped, as were some boxes used for concrete shuttering and which I use with planks when pallets become too tame for the better kids.

    You can also place the pallet(s) under the seesaw base to make it more challenging
  16. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    I was thinking today, on a hot day, and if a certain amount of spalshing wasn't a problem, you could do something with water - for example, each kid have to cycle a course one handed, holding a small bucket in the other hand, brim full of water. The amount lost could be measured at the end and time penalties added or something - least lost wins. The bucket would have to be small enough not to be too heavy when full, of course.

    Or ride carrying a tray with plastic cups of water on it in one hand.

    I remember a lot of the games on We are the Champions required water to be carted down the track and poured into a clear tube, and the team with most won - it was a way of balancing speed (I know you aren't encouraging speed particularly) and steadiness...
  17. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Arch has sparked off an idea .. could you joust ... with some kind of water bottles?

    Line marked out down the playground... they must stay on their side and cycle towards the cyclist going the other way and then try to judge when to squirt them with the water bottle?

    I'd love to see the risk assessment for this event.... (chances of coming off the bike - definitely possible, chances of fun - definitely high:biggrin:).
  18. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Forget the kids, I'd like to do that!

    Might be more HS friendly if you did ride by shootings - trying to knock something off a stool with the jet from a supersoaker as you rode by...

    I think we may be straying away from helpful here...:biggrin:
  19. Cubist

    Cubist Pennine hill dweller and willy-waver

    Ovver 'thill
    We used to borrow (**cough**) the red and brown squeezy sauce bottles from a local truckstop and joust with those in the village square. Mind you we were on mopeds. You had to do two passes, and the idea was to cover your oponents visor first time, forcing him to raise it for the second run. Great fun.

    Water pistols would be less risky in terms of water volume for kids on bikes.
  20. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Forget H+S - we want fun...

    I've forgotten .... what's your profession now:evil: