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04/09/2010 // HOW TO, INFO Leave a comment

Level 3 cycling

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I know how to cycle…. or so I thought. But after a cycling lesson from Graham Hills of Biker’s Delight I’m now not so sure!

Had previously spoken to Graham about going on one of his great cycling day tours and he mentioned that he was also a fully qualified cycling instructor. Was too good an opportunity to pass up when he offered to cast an eye over my cycling skills.

Apparently there are 3 levels of ability / lessons. Being a reasonably experienced cyclist I got to skip stage 1 (getting on a bike, changing gears etc) and stage 2 (going on the road) and went straight into stage 3 (complex road situations).

Just to make things a little harder we also decided to do the whole lesson on Boris Bikes. This also handily gave me an excuse to blame any of my cycling failings on the bike – which in my humble opinion are about 10kg too heavy, massively underpowered and very unstable. It is almost impossible to get any speed up which makes any complex maneouvres or even roundabouts difficult as you’re just so much slower than everybody else.

So without the benefit of speed or acceleration it does make your shortcomings more obvious. Mine were:

  1. Not obvious enough signalling. Signalling should be done firmly with a fully outstretched arm.
  2. Excessive signalling. There’s no need to signal if there’s nobody there to see it!
  3. Lane changing. Am definitely blaming this on the slowness of Boris Bikes but wasn’t forceful enough in changing lanes when traffic was fast and heavy.
  4. Road awareness. Not looking round behind me often enough. Especially useful for spotting motorbikes.

Would definitely recommend anyone to do this course whether beginner or experienced as you can always learn something new!

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