Teaching someone to cycle

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Teaching someone to cycle

Postby wellington_street » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:23 am

So a thought occurred to me last night.

My gf doesn't have a bike at the moment, and hasn't really ridden regularly since high school (100% path riding), but she is keen to buy one and join me riding. However, the other thing is she doesn't drive. Never even got her L plates. This has never really presented a problem in the past, as she knows how to behave as a pedestrian, cross roads etc. and always had other options for getting around.

However, if she's going to start riding with me (on quiet streets, in low speed traffic, decent cycle lanes etc) then she would need to learn it from scratch as she doesn't have that driving experience to understand the road rules, the concept of giving way, how to identify hazards, or road craft. At least someone who has been driving has a good grounding on these before getting on a bike.

Has anyone had to do similar before? Any tips or experience to learn from?
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by BNA » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:28 am

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Re: Teaching someone to cycle

Postby zero » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:28 am

Everyone has to learn from scratch - she will have a passable understanding of the road rules from being an adult passenger anyway.
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Re: Teaching someone to cycle

Postby nezumi » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:46 pm

Not to the same extent, but my partner recently started cycling again, having not ridden since age 12.

She is a regular and confident driver, however she is still nervous on the road when cycling.

She recently attended a basic cycle skills put on by Boroondara council. Although she knew a lot of the material already (and some of it I disagreed with - e.g. using the rear brake as the primary brake) but she found some of it very useful.

Unfortunately she missed out on the second, more roadcraft oriented course as the weather was not favourable.

I do remember that I did a "cycling skills" course when I was away on camp in ~year 8 of high school. This has stayed with me long into adulthood.
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Re: Teaching someone to cycle

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:03 pm

Lots of shared time as you take her out into all likely conditions and show her the ropes.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Teaching someone to cycle

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:51 pm

Why not start with the L platers book and the road rules? While many of us consider it obvious, basic things like how to handle roundabouts, right turns at traffic light intersections and lane changes might not certain knowledge for a non driver.

Obviously there is alot of road craft beyond this but it would be a good start.
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Re: Teaching someone to cycle

Postby nezumi » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:38 pm

human909 wrote:Why not start with the L platers book and the road rules? While many of us consider it obvious, basic things like how to handle roundabouts, right turns at traffic light intersections and lane changes might not certain knowledge for a non driver.

Obviously there is alot of road craft beyond this but it would be a good start.


A good and sensible suggestion.
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Re: Teaching someone to cycle

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:17 pm

Yes, that's where I'd start too. And if you go through it with her you can simply modify some of the points through discussion, suggesting they might not apply to bike riders in the same way they apply to drivers.
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