New rider -what would you say?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Mister Paul, 10 Sep 2007.

  1. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Legendary Member

    There's a guy in my office who has just started commuting to work. He hasn't ridden abike for years, hasn't driven for several years, and has very little road confidence.

    He's booked some cycle training (we can get individual training for £3/hour, subsidised through a PCT), and in the mean time is avoiding roads as much as possible. I've been through a couple of routes with him that involve very little road cycling.

    When he gets to parts he isn't confident but the pavement is pretty clear he cycles on the pavement. If it's busy with peds he gets off and walks.

    He asked me what I thought and I told him that I don't have a problem with his pavement cycling in these circmustances. I think there's a place for it, and he's on the right track to build confidence and get onto the roads in time.

    Would anyone have advised him differently?
     
  2. GrahamG

    GrahamG Über Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Not at all - you've just posted a similar theme thread to mine! At the end of the day he's being courteous and we have to just accept that there are some very timid road users for whom avoidance is always the default mode of preservation. Just make sure he keeps his speed down and watches out for emerging cars past the driveways.
     
  3. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I would have probably advised him to stop being a big girls blouse and get out there on the road, but then again that might have scared him off.
    Pavement cycling's fine imho if done carefully, and if it's going to give him confidence and he's careful of peds then it's probably the way to go.
    Why not set up a few mock scenarios on an industrial estate to toughen him up? Could stick a few mattresses down on the verge just in case.
     
  4. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    NO, that's what NOT to do - then he'll be more wobbly. He needs to keep his speed up!
     
  5. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    That all seems very sensible to me Mr P. Apart from the illegality, I don't see anything wrong with considerate pavement cycling.

    Unfortunately this is the UK, and we can't seem to do anything in moderation or with consideration.
     
  6. GrahamG

    GrahamG Über Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Good point there Bonj (I was forgetting that aspect of the beginner) but I was meaning more in terms of below 15mph!
     
  7. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Location:
    Cambridge
    If his pride wouldn't be hurt by it, suggest going for a pootle out on the road with him at lunchtime. Might do his confidence the world of good.
     
  8. sheddy

    sheddy Veteran

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Could he do some offroad routes at the weekend to hone his bike skills ?
     
  9. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    buy him that cyclecraft book.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Legendary Member

    That's exactly what he's doing. With the most excellent Birmingham Cycling and Walking Map tucked into his pannier.

    The most satisfying aspect of this is that I've been trying to encourage him for ages and he's been reluctant, but now he's tried it he's realised how great it is, and has been out every weekend.

    FWIW, he bought a surplus Center Parcs Dawes Dutch style bike (CP hve just changed to another brand and had some unused bikes left over) which he got for a bagain price. Hub dynamo, single speed, full guards and rack. Perfect for where he's at at the moment, and he doesn't care what people think about his bike. It's just a shame others don's share the same attitude. Bouncing around on a lump-of-iron-full-suss-£99 mountain bike only has a negative affect on the experience.
     
  11. GrahamG

    GrahamG Über Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Awesome, a little part of me wants a Pashley or Dutch city bike - anything dead simple and reserved like that.
     
  12. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Probably not. I'm anti pavement cycling mainly because it muddies the water over whether cyclists are legitimate road users (in the eyes of some drivers). But I think in this instance there is probably no real harm in getting someone started this way. Just make sure he eventually graduates to road use.
     
  13. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    Nogland
    He needs some Dutch courage! :blush:
    Give him time, he'll be all right with some experience, and guidance from you, if required, if he develops at his own pace.
     
  14. I think riding around on an ex-Centre Parcs bike may turn me off, that said watch him fly if he ever gets something a little lighter.....
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Legendary Member

    There's nowt wrong with it. It's brand new, and the hub dynamo and lights alone are worth paying what he did for the bike.

    There's a little Center Parcs sticker on the seat tube, but he's not bothered about taking it off.
     
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