Straight Line Riding, Steering & Control
- Cyclist is able to maintain a straight and predictable line while riding.
- Cyclist displays balance while making controlled turns.
This lesson teaches students how to control steering with their bodies and to not simply rely on turning the bicycle handlebars. Students will perform a weave drill to help them practice their handling skills to prepare for riding on streets and riding "2x2"* with the rest of the club.
*By this time, the club may have ridden as a group already. Establish language for when the group is to be riding in 2 parallel lines, our default arrangement for riding on open roads. This format can be called 2x2, side-by-side, peanut butter and jelly, etc.
NOTE: Make sure students are looking up and ahead while riding – and not at the ground in front of them.
Volunteers will communicate how riding in a straight line is important to keeping them predictable to motorists while riding on streets. The bicycle will tend to go WHERE THE RIDER IS LOOKING. Share how losing focus and drifting further towards traffic could be very dangerous to the rider, especially when vehicles are trying to safely pass.
Allow a few student questions following volunteer sharing.
NOTE: Remind students to complete an ABC quick check today and before EVERY ride.
- Set up course using cones, to indicate where the student will perform the skill and the volunteers will conduct support and assessment. These areas should also serve as teaching stations in which the skill will be demonstrated for the cyclists, and where cyclists will return when instructed.
- Halved Tennis Balls
Steering and Control
- Begin this drill in the Power Start position and in a gear that’s appropriate for your conditions (shifting is not required).
- Use proper hand and body movements to navigate smoothly through the course.
- Minimize upper body and head movement during drill.
- Only ride course one at a time.
- After students have completed oval course several times, add Alligator Bridge and Snakes on Trees - one on each straightaway of the oval course.
Tip: Watch for and encourage students to ride in a relaxed and ready position — Shoulders loose, elbows bent, eyes up. Riding "tense" makes it more difficult to keep a straight line.
Volunteer Connector Summary
Team Builder — Use answers to prompt discussion and review. Have cyclists share their responses out-loud.
Using a show of hands, have cyclists rate themselves on the following categories for today’s lesson.
- I GOT IT! — I can explain myself or teach someone else
- I’M NOT SURE — I’m still thinking about the lesson
- I NEED HELP PLEASE — Still need some practice
Volunteers identify students that may need a little extra one-on-one help with steering or straight line riding in the coming weeks.
- Bike Club Reads - Lesson 4
- Day 6 Virtual Script - Straight Line, Steering & Control
- Bike Club Control Poster
- Video: How To Find Best Position and Fastest Line in The Race
- Course Diagram: Alligator Bridge
- Video: Alligator Bridge Overview
- Course Diagram: Snakes on Trees
- Video: Snakes on Trees Overview