There are three distinct purposes of this clinic.
The first is to outline basic bike handling techniques and to improve riding proficiency skillfulness on the bike.
The second is to hone in on the riders’ innate sense of balance and center of gravity and to explore the handling limitations of their bikes.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, the goal of the clinic is to improve the riders’ confidence in their ability to handle their bicycles thus leading to a great sense of relaxation on the bike and an ability to adapt to and handle themselves in tight or dangerous situations.
This clinic takes place in an empty parking lot. Riders will need proper riding attire and safety gear (helmets). Clinic will take approximately 2 hours to complete, including a question and answer session at the end.
Skill # 1 – Follow the leader
In this exercise, the ride leader leads the group through a series of twists and turns, swerving around obstacles and bunny hopping over small objects.
The intention of this drill is to loosen up the riders and get their brains and bodies kick started for the more challenging exercises to come.
Skill #2 – Looking over the shoulder
Each rider pairs up with another rider of approximate equal size and weight. Taking turns, the pair rides the length of the parking lot with the subject’s right hand on their partners left shoulder. As they ride, the subject practices looking over his right shoulder while maintaining a straight line. The partner looks ahead, maintaining their line to keep the pair riding straight.
The partners switch sides so that each rider practices looking over their right shoulder while leaning with their right arm and their left shoulder while leaning with their left arm and then over their right shoulder while leaning with their right arm and their right shoulder while leaning with their left arm.
The intention of this drill is to teach the rider to look behind them without swerving off their line and also to get them comfortable with making contact with another rider.
Skill # 3 – Shoulder Bumping
The partners ride the length of the parking lot lightly bumping shoulders, making sure to protect their handlebars to prevent hooking. First on one side, then on the other.
The intention of this drill is to teach riders what to do in case of physical contact with a car or another rider.
Skill #4 – Leaning
The partners ride the length of the parking lot leaning their full weight on to the other rider creating a stable triangle. First on one side, then the other.
The intention of this drill is for the rider to learn how to remain relaxed and confident when coming into contact with another rider.
Skill #5 – Picking up water bottles
Water bottles are placed on the ground. Rider rolls up to the bottle and picks it up and puts it into their cage. First with one hand, then the other.
The intention of this drill is for the rider to get a better intuitive grasp of their center of gravity and balance. It is also to improve confidence and relaxation on the bike.
Skill #6 – Turning around in a parking space
The rider rolls up to a parking space and without touching the white line on either side of the spot, performs a full 180 degree turn.
The intention of this drill is to teach the rider how to steer the bike as opposed to leaning it. It also improves their confidence in slow speed maneuvering.
Skill #7 – The slow speed race
Riders line up at an impromptu starting line on one side of the lot. A finish line is set up on the other side of the lot. On Go, the riders clip in and ride towards the finish line. The last person to cross the line without putting a foot down or riding sideways or backwards wins the race.
The intention of this drill is for the riders to put together the various skills they have learned during the session and also to have a fun contest that will leave the participants feeling good about what they’ve accomplished.
Typical Clinic Schedule
8:00am-8:15am: Introduction to Clinic/Ride to parking lot for skills practice
8:15am-9:30am: Learn/Practice Skills #1 – #7 (outlined above)
9:30am-9:45am: Ride back to start
9:45am-10:00am: Q & A
Next Clinic: TBD *click to view calendar