Helping an Adult gain Confidence on the Road

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by viniga, 2 May 2010.

  1. viniga

    viniga Über Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Looking for some advice...

    A friend, an adult female who can ride a bike, watched how I cycled from her car. Afterwards she asked if I could help her gain confidence cycling on the road. (Basically all I was doing was not riding in the gutter!)

    Unfortunately we live quite a distance apart otherwise I would just go out on the road with her for trips. The first thing I thought of was cycle proficiency, it seems in Scotland this has been replaced with the 'Scottish Cycle Training Scheme'. From the site http://www.cyclingscotland.org it does seem it is very much aimed at kids.

    Any thoughts from those knowledgeable?

    In the meantime I have sent on a copy of Cyclecraft.

    Thanks in advance for your wisdom.
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK
    I don't know about the training scheme specifically, but there ought to be something local aimed at adults.

    Cyclecraft is a good idea - also she could go out and do some practice. At first, just on quiet residential roads. There are some basic control exercises in Cyclecraft - slaloms, braking etc. Then she could ride round a set quiet circuit, practising hazard awareness, signalling, not riding in the gutter. Passing parked cars, looking out for the door zone etc. Just learning to think well ahead is the key thing, I think, that and being happy with your bike handling.

    Once she's more confident in that situation, she can do the same on more busy streets and so on.

    The fact that she wants help shows she is aware that she will benefit, which is the important first step to learning.
     
  3. ELL

    ELL Über Member

    I would say point her in this direction. When I was starting out I learnt a lot about road positioning, being confident etc just by reading some of the threads and looking at links of videos that are posted. Maybe search the forum for a few threads that would be well worth a look and send a link to her.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    viniga

    viniga Über Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Thanks Arch & Ell. I am still curious whether anyone knows anything about the Scottish Cycle Training Scheme??

    I might well point her to this site (as long as she stays away from the commuting forum!).
     
  5. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Can I ask how much cycling she does at the moment ? Does she need to sharpen her bike handling skills first ?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    viniga

    viniga Über Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Not very much, so I'll err on the side of caution and assume that her bike handling skills could be sharpened.
     
  7. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    Hi viniga, are you looking for a Qualified Cycle Trainer to point her at, or are you looking to train as a Cycle Trainer so that you can help her? If you are looking for a Qualified Cycle Trainer see here, you can narrow down to On road and cycle-proficiency. If you are looking to become a Qualified Cycle Trainer see here.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    viniga

    viniga Über Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Thanks HJ - I was looking for a trainer - I reckon that list will do the trick.
     
  9. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    Location:
    lost somewhere
    My two pennies... practice (1) looking over the shoulder, and (2) indicating while going in the direction you want (3) both of those at the same time. Those three totally terrifying to me, but once you get better, it makes you a whole lot more confident, and more likely to take a safer line on the road.
     
  10. Guvnor

    Guvnor Active Member

    Location:
    Essex

    All good stuff and also tell her not to be rushed into anything by other road users, not to worry that shes holding anyone up and stay safe;)
     
  11. Scoosh

    Scoosh Velocouchiste Moderator

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    I've often thought that gaining cycling confidence is akin to gaining confidence when a learner driver. Once basic handling skills had been acquired, I well remember, as a learner driver, being almost paranoid about holding up other traffic, either by going too slowly, not getting away from lights quickly enough etc etc :biggrin: :blush:.

    Once I got hold of the principle that I had as much right to be on the road as everyone else (and that they had all been learners too, once upon a time :biggrin:), I was able to relax and focus more on "improving my driving skills" (to use modern jargon :smile:).

    The same applies to confidence on a bike. Your friend has just as much right to be on the road as any other traffic and, by correct positioning etc, can make life on the road much better for everyone, especially herself.

    She's already well on the way by asking for advice and being concerned enough to receive instruction.

    There is a good opportunity next Sunday .... in Linlithgow .... :biggrin:
     
  12. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    Salford, UK
    +1, very good point.
     
  13. Jaguar

    Jaguar New Member

    Location:
    Norfolk/Suffolk
    The worst mistake I see beginners make is to ride in the gutter: it's much better to be *about* a metre out where you can be seen, ready to duck back in if someone passes you, followed by weaving in and out around parked cars: better to steer a straight line.

    Also: don't expect anyone to see you. Be prepared for idiots, all the time.

    And: a smile and a wave gets you a long way with most people.
     
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