Teaching kids to ride on roads - turning right

tgotb
tgotb Posts: 4,714
edited January 2014 in Commuting chat
I need to teach my 7-year-old how to ride safely on roads. Her bike handling is easily up to the job (she races cyclocross fairly successfully) so it's really a case of teaching her what the road markings mean, where to position herself, what to look out for, signalling etc.

This mostly seems quite straightforward; the plan is to start by taking her to the junction at the end of our road and stand on the verge discussing manoeuvres, before trying them out in practice. Once that's sorted, we ride off to different junctions/ slightly busier roads etc (no plans to take her to Vauxhall Cross just yet though!)

The one thing I can't figure out is turning right, either onto a more minor road, or onto a bigger road at a T-junction. If you cruise at 20mph with power to spare, moving out into the traffic at the appropriate point is trivial, but even if the traffic's very light that sounds like a more intimidating proposition for a small child travelling at half the speed.

I have vague memories from school cycling proficiency, of pulling over to the left and waiting for a gap in the traffic, but I'm not sure how well that would work when coming up the vertical part of a T-junction.

What recommendations do you guys have (for right turns in particular, or the whole exercise in general)?
Pannier, 120rpm.

Comments

  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    Personally, for someone that age, I think I'd have them treat turning right like crossing the road (maybe as you describe in the cycling proficiency). At a T junction, it might be safer that they go left until they're a safe distance from the junction and cross the road that way.

    7 seems young but, when I thought about it, I was cycling 2 miles to school at that age.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    For coming 'up' the leg of the T, either stop and dismount and cross the road (the one you are entering!) as a ped or stop 25 yards from the junction and when it is clear behind progress to the middle of the road and to the stop line.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 28,506
    I'd PM that nice Mr EKE, seeing as he does this for a living.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
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  • EKE_38BPM
    EKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    First off, have you considered contacting the council about cycle training for her (and maybe yourself too)? Most (if not all) London councils (maybe in the provinces too) offer free training and delivering that training is how I make my living.

    Next, pulling over to the left isn't what is taught these days, but if safety is an issue on a particular road and that is the safest thing to do, then do it. You get no points for being brave but stupid!

    Turning right minor to major:
    You should always ride outside the doorzone (the width of the door and a little bit more) and that position usually puts you in the middle of the lane. Only one vehicle should go through the junction at a time and that vehicle is YOU, Other traffic should wait behind. Lots of right shoulder checks so that you know what is going on behind you. At the first of the Hazard Warning Lines, right shoulder check and signal right for 3 seconds. Hands back on the handlebar, fingers covering the brakes. Position yourself in the middle of the lane and slow as you approach the Give Way Lines. Start looking at traffic on the major road. Traffic coming from the right is closer than than traffic coming from the left, so look to the right first, then the left, then right again. Stop if there is traffic coming, but if it is clear both ways, then go straight across onto the correct side of the road and turn so that you are in the correct position on the new road (outside the doorzone). New lane, new look, so do another shoulder check.

    When looking to emerge from the minor road, visibility is key. Parked vehicles on the major roads can obscure traffic coming from the right so you may have to slowly roll beyond the GWL to see if traffic is approaching from the right, this is OK.

    I'm writing this on my phone and can't be bothered to write any more but will edit this post later to add a bit more detail and also write how to turn right major to minor which is the hardest, and therefore last, turn taught on Bikeability Level 2.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
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    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

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  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I think the question is whether a 7 year old has the road awareness (and, I suppose, "presence") to do everything the conventional way (as taught).
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • tgotb
    tgotb Posts: 4,714
    Thanks all - some great advice, and looking forward to the additional info from EKE.

    Hadn't considered council-provided training. Richmond don't do it for free, but costs are reasonable and I'm happy to pay; I'll investigate further.

    Just to clarify, I'm not expecting to send her off on her own at this stage; the real goal is that we can go for a bike ride together that involves some riding on (carefully-chosen) roads. I'll be either behind or next to her (she's comfortable riding in a tight group, one-handed with hand on adjacent rider's shoulder etc) but I don't really want to be giving her detailed instructions on how to approach every junction; if she already knows what we're supposed to be doing, I only have to give her the odd prompt.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,560
    Does her school do bikeability training? If so I suspect she'll only be allowed to do it when it's offered to her year group which may not be for a couple of years. Worth asking though.
    When I ride with the kids I tend to ride behind and a little bit further out barking instructions if necessary.
  • Torvid
    Torvid Posts: 449
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  • I found this on the Richmond Council website:
    http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/transpo ... adults.htm

    •1-2-1 session (1.5 hours): £25

    This is for adulst & children, despite the misleading URL.

    I'm considering cycle training for my 4 year old, just not sure when he'll be ready to take it in.

    - Jon
    Commuting between Twickenham <---> Barbican on my trusty Ridgeback Hybrid - url=http://strava.com/athletes/125938/badge]strava[/url
  • EKE_38BPM
    EKE_38BPM Posts: 5,821
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    First off, have you considered contacting the council about cycle training for her (and maybe yourself too)? Most (if not all) London councils (maybe in the provinces too) offer free training and delivering that training is how I make my living.

    Next, pulling over to the left isn't what is taught these days, but if safety is an issue on a particular road and that is the safest thing to do, then do it. You get no points for being brave but stupid!

    Turning right minor to major:
    You should always ride outside the doorzone (the width of the door and a little bit more) and that position usually puts you in the middle of the lane. Only one vehicle should go through the junction at a time and that vehicle is YOU, Other traffic should wait behind. Lots of right shoulder checks so that you know what is going on behind you. At the first of the Hazard Warning Lines, right shoulder check and signal right for 3 seconds. Hands back on the handlebar, fingers covering the brakes. Position yourself in the middle of the lane and slow as you approach the Give Way Lines. Start looking at traffic on the major road. Traffic coming from the right is closer than than traffic coming from the left, so look to the right first, then the left, then right again. Stop if there is traffic coming, but if it is clear both ways, then go straight across onto the correct side of the road and turn so that you are in the correct position on the new road (outside the doorzone). New lane, new look, so do another shoulder check.

    When looking to emerge from the minor road, visibility is key. Parked vehicles on the major roads can obscure traffic coming from the right so you may have to slowly roll beyond the GWL to see if traffic is approaching from the right, this is OK.

    I'm writing this on my phone and can't be bothered to write any more but will edit this post later to add a bit more detail and also write how to turn right major to minor which is the hardest, and therefore last, turn taught on Bikeability Level 2.
    Righty ho. After a massive delay, I've finally got the time to complete my post:
    Turning right major to minor:
    This is carried out as a series of manoeurvers linked together: Moving from the left side of the lane to the right side of the lane, waiting in the correct position, final checks and entering the minor road.
    From the "width of a door and a little bit more" position, do a right shoulder check to look for a gap in the traffic behind you to move into and signal right for three seconds. Move to the right hand side of the lane and maintain this position (people get tempted to drift to the left again rather than riding in the middle of the road) up to the road you want to turn into and if you have to wait, wait at the top to the T (extrapolate the minor road's Hazard Warning Lines and the point where the extrapolated HWL crosses the lane marking on the major road is where you wait). If the road is wide enough this position could mean that you have other road users passing you on both sides, if the road isn't wide enough for vehicles to pass you safely on the left, they should wait behind you. Do a right shoulder check every now and then so that any vehicles know that you know that they are there and if you are waiting for a long time signal again so other road users know why there is a cyclist standing in the middle of the road. When there is no oncoming traffic do a final right shoulder check (known as a life saver check) and, assuming there are no numpties attempting to overtake you, cross the lane and enter the minor road.
    When entering the minor road you should aim for the middle of the lane and stay out of the door zone.
    "New lane, new look", so do another right shoulder check and continue your journey with a big smile on your face.

    That is basically it. There are other things I could add, like telling a story about demonstrating the right turn major to minor and a numpty overtaking me as I did the lifesaver check. Or things like when waiting to turn right, have your pedals in the 'set' position so that as soon as it is safe to go you can just apply the awesome and go without faffing around.

    Hope it goes well.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • jonnyboy77 wrote:

    I'm considering cycle training for my 4 year old, just not sure when he'll be ready to take it in.

    - Jon

    My 3.5 year old goes to local go ride sessions with his sister (6) He does OK with most of the basic stuff but when it gets complicated he can't do it, for example following a track with a chicane marked out he got confused on the route so I had to pull him out for safety. This week they were putting an arm on the shoulder of the rider beside them, he just couldn't do it so got frustrated and sat it out. He is learning good skills, but can't do it all, I guess that is why a lot of Go ride sessions set a lower limit of between 6 and 8 to start.
  • jonnyboy77 wrote:

    I'm considering cycle training for my 4 year old, just not sure when he'll be ready to take it in.

    - Jon

    My 3.5 year old goes to local go ride sessions with his sister (6) He does OK with most of the basic stuff but when it gets complicated he can't do it, for example following a track with a chicane marked out he got confused on the route so I had to pull him out for safety. This week they were putting an arm on the shoulder of the rider beside them, he just couldn't do it so got frustrated and sat it out. He is learning good skills, but can't do it all, I guess that is why a lot of Go ride sessions set a lower limit of between 6 and 8 to start.

    Is that the Sky Go Ride thing?

    - Jon
    Commuting between Twickenham <---> Barbican on my trusty Ridgeback Hybrid - url=http://strava.com/athletes/125938/badge]strava[/url
  • jonnyboy77 wrote:
    Is that the Sky Go Ride thing?

    - Jon
    It's the Go Ride Cycling organised by clubs under the auspices of British Cycling Coaching

    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-rid ... is-Go-Ride

    A local cycling club takes on all the organisation with BC trained coaches from within the club. It's very good and traffic free but definitely more towards the competition skills rather than any type of road skills as the OP was looking for.
  • tgotb
    tgotb Posts: 4,714
    Thanks guys, this is really helpful :-)

    I can thoroughly recommend the go-ride clubs; my daughter's been going to Hillingdon Slipstreamers for 2.5 years, and the standard of bike handling in her age group is incredible. Very much biassed towards the sort of skills needed for racing, but means that I can take her out on the road without needing to worry about her ability to control the bike. They don't push the racing too hard at her age (just one short race at the end of the session) but I'm a big fan of kids doing competitive sport anyway, so long as they're doing it without pushy parents breathing over their shoulders.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • TGOTB wrote:
    Thanks guys, this is really helpful :-)

    I can thoroughly recommend the go-ride clubs; my daughter's been going to Hillingdon Slipstreamers for 2.5 years, and the standard of bike handling in her age group is incredible. Very much biassed towards the sort of skills needed for racing, but means that I can take her out on the road without needing to worry about her ability to control the bike. They don't push the racing too hard at her age (just one short race at the end of the session) but I'm a big fan of kids doing competitive sport anyway, so long as they're doing it without pushy parents breathing over their shoulders.

    I'm looking to see what the local clubs do round here, and what age they'll start at. Closest would be Twickenham CC, and my 4 year old was impressed with what he saw at their Kneller Gardens event last summer, he was very disappointed that he wasn't racing on the grass track!

    - Jon
    Commuting between Twickenham <---> Barbican on my trusty Ridgeback Hybrid - url=http://strava.com/athletes/125938/badge]strava[/url