Skills required by a Cycling instructor

English

Survey done

Survey of knowledge and skills required by a cycling instructor

Aim of this research

This methodology aims at collecting views and opinions in order to elaborate the knowledge, skills and competences that a cycling instructor needs to have in order to be able to deliver effective training for current and prospective cyclists.

Groups surveyed

  • Cycling Instructors
  • Tutors who train instructors
  • People who have had a cycle lesson
  • People who have not had a cycle lesson

Cycling Instructors

  1. What are the characteristics/ skills of a cycling instructor?

Instructor A

Ability to assess trainees level of competency, and understanding what they want to achieve and how best to address that.

Excellent communication skills and inter-personal skills being able to interact with a range of people and age groups.

Full understand of how effect communication and road positioning, how to teach, demonstrate and assess outcomes of this

Instructor B

Enthiusiastic cyclists, confident people. Socially conscious people

  1. What do you believe a trainee appreciates the most in a cycling instructor’s character?

Instructor A

Friendliness and confidence.

Instructor B

enthiusiasm and charisma

  1. Do you believe that sex, age, appearance play a role when a trainee chooses a cycling instructor?

Instructor A

In general no, however there are a wide range of cultural issues that need to be considered, i.e. some cultural/religious practises may forbid an unrelated male to teach an unrelated female).

A clean, professional appearance is essential for a cycling instructor.

Instructor B

  •  
  1. Which problems do a cycling instructor encounter?

Instructor A

Trainees bringing un-roadworthy bikes to the lesson.

Behaviour problems from children in groups lessons

Instructor B

Having to ease the Negative image of cycling in the press and by drivers. Making people see cycling is a SAFE activity!

  1. What kind of training did you receive in order to become a cycling instructor? (For example: how many hours? What did the courses include: Bicycle handling, road safety, environment/ pollution, urban environment, regulatory/Informative signage? etc.)

Instructor A

A four day NSIT course, observation opportunities post course, followed by a Post Course Assessment (PCA) within six months of passing the NSIT course. The course covered every bit of theory and practical training needed to become a cycling instructor.

Instructor B

Instructor training course, instructor tutor course, maintainance, further bike maintainance, first aid course, snaking course, SUD courses, over 200 hours I would estimate.

Involved safety, bike skills, child development, child safety

  1. Which are the topics of your education as an instructor that proved to be the most valuable during your practice?

Instructor A

Understanding hidden dangers on the road (i.e. car doors opening) and road positioning at junctions.

Instructor B

Road safety, group handling

Tutors

  1. What kind of people have shown interest of becoming cycling instructors? (Specific background? Character? Knowledge?)

Tutor A

Commonly people with an arts background, a liberal attitude and keen cyclist. People looking to make a difference in their city and are interested in encouraging cycling.

Tutor B

Enthiusiastic cyclists, confident people. Socially conscious people

  1. Which are the personal characteristics and the behaviour that, according to your experience, are not so favourable in order to make a person a good cycling instructor?

Tutor A

Argumentative in nature is not a good characteristic for a cycling instructor; it limits their personal appeal and also their ability to accept negative feedback.

Shyness can also be a limiting factor, but usually confidence arises with time and practice.

Tutor B

Angry people. inpatient people

  1. During his training, which is the necessary knowledge (except the technical one i.e. bicycle handling, safety issues, etc.) that a cycling instructor should acquire? (For example: information’s about the urban environment, develop pedagogical skills, etc.)

Tutor A

Informed opinion on the benefits of cycling to both the individual (both mental, physical and monetary) and the benefits to society as a whole (i.e. the positive externalities associated with cycling).

Understand of cycling groups and pressure groups for the activity is useful.

Understanding of how to access useful information regarding cycling (i.e. on-line mapping facilities and road/cycle lane maps).

An understanding of the issues (politically and socially) with cycling and how the cycling environment is probably going to appear in the future.

Tutor B

Information on infrastructure and correct road positioning

People who have had a cycle lesson

Provided an online survey to people who had received a cycle lesson in December 2015. The survey was carried out on the 27th January 2016.They were asked to tick those items that they felt were important for each section. They were also asked to add any comments. The items were shown randomly for each person.

35 emails were sent and we received 8 responses, a 23% response rate

Main headings

  • What are the characteristics that you would like a cycling instructor to have in order to make you feel comfortable?
  • In which topics should the cycling instructor emphasize during your training? (For example: Bicycle handling? Safety? Environment/ pollution? Information concerning the urban environment? Regulatory/Informative signage?)

Questions and responses

Respondents Gender

Female

5

Male

3

Age

9 - 15

1

16 - 20

1

21 - 30

2

31 - 40

1

41 - 50

1

61 - 70

2

Characteristics

What are the characteristics that you would like a cycling instructor to have in order to make you feel comfortable?

Quality                                                Number who selected

Confident,

7

Friendly manner

7

Speaks well,

6

Punctual

6

Knowledge of the area

5

An enthusiastic cyclist

4

Organised,

4

Regular cyclist

4

Dresses as a cyclist

2

Looks professional

2

Has a normal leisure bicycle

2

Wears a helmet

2

A campaigner for

1

Male

1

Mature (30 or older)

1

Wears everyday clothes

1

Young (under 30),

1

Good communication skills.

1

Female

0

Has a racing bike

0

Not a campaigner

0

This shows that the main requirements are those of any teacher irrespective of the subject. Issues about their skills are secondary. Having local knowledge is seen as important.

Topics Taught

In which topics should the cycling instructor emphasize during your training? (For example: Bicycle handling? Safety? Environment/ pollution? Information concerning the urban environment? Regulatory/Informative signage?)

Bicycle check

7

How to reduce my risk

6

Use of cycle lanes

5

Road positioning

5

Dealing with other traffic

5

Route planning

4

How to respond to other road users

4

My specific issues

4

Highway Code

3

How to control my bicycle

3

Road signs

2

Benefits of cycling

1

Showing other road users where I want to go

1

Environmental benefits of cycling

0

Health benefits

0

The top requirement is to provide a bicycle check. An instructor must have a good knowledge of how to check a bicycle. They must show the client how to reduce their risk and also how to use cycle lanes and where to ride on the road. Issues relating to the benefits of cycling and the rules of the road where not seen as important. Most of the adults would probably know how to drive.

People who have not had a cycle lesson

The same methodology was used as above. In this case emails were sent to all of the people who had booked a lesson for February 2016. The emails were sent on the 27th January 2016. Emails were sent to 11 people of which we received 4 responses a 36% response rate.

Questions and responses

Respondents

 

Gender

Female 4

Age

21 – 30      2

41 -  50      2

Characteristics
What are the characteristics that you would like a cycling instructor to have in order to make you feel comfortable?

Friendly manner

4

Confident

3

Punctual

3

Wears a helmet

3

Organised

2

Speaks well

2

An enthusiastic cyclist

2

Regular cyclist

2

A campaigner for cycling

1

Looks professional

1

Has a normal leisure bicycle

1

Not a campaigner

1

Knowledge of the area

1

Dresses as a cyclist

0

Looks professional

0

Male

0

Mature (30 or older)

0

Wears everyday clothes

0

Young (under 30),

0

Good communication skills.

0

Female

0

Has a racing bike

0

 

Added qualities by respondences

Extremely knowledgeable about road safety. Can alter training according to client i.e. to suit my 11-year-old son.

Good people person as would be meeting new people with a range of different personalities etc.

They respondents are similar in that they emphasis the personal qualities of an instructors. The main difference is the requirement to wear a helmet. The training puts the emphasis on not getting injured in the first place.  

Topics Taught

In which topics should the cycling instructor emphasize during your training? (For example: Bicycle handling? Safety? Environment/ pollution? Information concerning the urban environment? Regulatory/Informative signage?)

Bicycle check

3

Dealing with other traffic

3

How to respond to other road user

3

Road positioning

3

Showing other road users where I want to go

3

How to control my bicycle

3

Use of cycle lanes

3

How to reduce my risk

2

 Road signs

2

How to reduce my risk

1

Health benefits

1

My specific issues

1

Highway Code

1

Route planning

1

Benefits of cycling

0

Environmental benefits of cycling

0

Health benefits

0

   

The first few similar items are similar to the previous group. No other well defined requirement but issues of benefits are not seen as important.