Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Southern Maine
    My Bikes
    2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)
    Posts
    2,568
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Ride with newbie - in front or behind?

    When riding with a new commuter, someone to whom you are "showing the ropes", do you think it best to ride in front, to model good behavior and positioning, or in back, to shield the new person from overtaking traffic and observe his or her behavior in order to give advice? We're assuming it's just the two of you.

    Is your answer different if the person is not a total newbie, but still seems to be less skilled or experienced than you?
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    36
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    in front till they understand what you do, then in back to critique.

  3. #3
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sagamore Hills, Ohio.
    My Bikes
    Trek 1500
    Posts
    1,591
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd ride in the front for a while, then switch to the back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  4. #4
    AEO
    AEO is offline
    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
    My Bikes
    Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin
    Posts
    12,245
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd do what king says. show, then critique.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  5. #5
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Corona and S. El Monte, CA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale D600, Dahon Speed T7
    Posts
    1,648
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When taking Scouts out for their Bicycling Merit Badge, I ride in front. Reasons?

    1. I know where we're going.

    2. I can halt the line easier.

    3. If we're on the MUP I can warn other (slower) users that we have a string of cyclists coming (no, I don't wait for a nanosecond before I pass them to shout "ON YER LEFT!" as I blaze by ). We go over MUP courtesy before we ever start the on-road part of the cycling program.

    As they advance in skills, I may allow an older Scout to lead the group, and I'll move up and down the line to talk to/observe the others. We tend to get strung out, but there is always an adult at the end of the line.

    So, a long answer to your simple question...

    We typically can have about 15 or so Scouts on these rides.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  6. #6
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    1x9 mtb commuter, Blue Racing Ac4AL w/Record
    Posts
    3,407
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I go back and forth. You're in front, setting a good example, but you can't see if your 'newbie' is even paying attention. You also run the risk of dropping them like a bad habit without much warning, and that's no good either. You're in back, keeping an eye on the person, but then you're a wheelsucker and not sharing the load. So I go back and forth, always communicating....

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
    Posts
    6,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I showed another person my commute to work, I rode in front so he could learn where to make the turns just by watching me. I wasnt teaching him how to ride in traffic. When we got to a section of road with little traffic I rode next to him so we could chat.

    When I took an inexperienced rider out to try a little tour through the countyside I rode behind so it was easier for her to hear my instructions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member allan_dunlop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    50
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Ride with newbie - in front or behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking View Post
    When riding with a new commuter, someone to whom you are "showing the ropes", do you think it best to ride in front, to model good behavior and positioning, or in back, to shield the new person from overtaking traffic and observe his or her behavior in order to give advice? We're assuming it's just the two of you.

    Is your answer different if the person is not a total newbie, but still seems to be less skilled or experienced than you?
    The way I and all the instructors I know handle this is to ride in front of them for the first bit, until the other riders have a chance to get the feel for riding in traffic. I've taught more than 1350 people of all ages in traffic situations (roughly 900 being elementary school kids, and the rest being adults 18 to 81).

    For most courses, I have from 6 riders (in the case of beginners) up to 8 riders (advanced) in my group. After I can see (using my mirror and tons of shoulder-checks) that they're able to make the right decisions, then I have half ride in front and half in back.

    In your case, John--with one person--I'd recommend the same thing, and equip the rider with a vest (in my experience, two vested riders together get much more room than an individual rider). Let the other rider know to take the same lane position as you, so they're far enough away from the curb to keep drivers from buzzing them closely. I do this with both first-time riders and experienced ones.

    To do it most safely requires advanced classroom (traffic skills theory) and parking lot (bike handling skills) training, as well as clear, confident communication. The rider needs to know what situations they'll face, and how to handle them.

    Taking a cycling course will give you a really good feel for how to do this. You may even love it so much you'll want to become an instructor!

    Allan

  9. #9
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Southern Maine
    My Bikes
    2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)
    Posts
    2,568
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the advice, guys. Allan, I actually have taken Road I, although it was a year ago now, so I don't remember everything the instructor did. We did our ride this morning. I ended up leading most of the time, except a short jaunt through a private road without much car traffic, where we road side by side. Other times, we were close enough that it wasn't too hard to call back information to him. It's only a 5-mile commute, so it always seemed like we were coming up on something else new to him, that I wanted to lead him through. Maybe I'll ask him to lead on the way home tonight.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •