The summer holidays are always my favourite time of year to coach, because I get lots of opportunities to coach at different sessions.
As I have done for the past few years, I helped with the British Cycling holiday activities. The first day I helped at was at Derby Arena/Velodrome. The morning was spent outside, on road bikes in the car park, and the afternoon was spent on the track. This was my first time in a few years that I have helped at a track session (because I was only allowed to assist, rather than coach, before I completed my track coaching course earlier this year: Track coaching course). I really enjoyed helping the coach with the activities and getting more involved with the session than I previously could.
The second day I helped at was at the closed road circuit in Nottingham. I coached the younger riders with the help of an assistant coach. In the morning, I focused on basic skills, such as cornering and riding one handed, and in the afternoon, I chose to do a series of fun games and races. All of the riders enjoyed it.
One of my favourite events to help at is always the Let’s Ride event (or equivalent) in Leicester. This is the 4th year I have helped, after riding it once in 2015. This is a big event where the roads are closed to allow people to ride without motor vehicles. I helped with the British Cycling Go-ride section, which is an skills course for young riders, with cones to weave in and out of and wooden tracks to ride. I love this event because it is coaching people who don’t usually ride, or don’t ride with a club, and can have a big impact on their skills. It was a very busy and hot day, but it was great fun.
A few weeks after the Leicester event, I also helped at the Let’s Ride event in Nottingham. This event had 2 go-ride activities for children to ride. In the morning, I helped with the activity aimed at younger riders. This was based at the children’s cycle track (on Victoria Embankment), which is a fantastic facility for learning how to use the road, without going on the road. It has give way signs, zebra crossings and working traffic lights. The sessions were based on practising road skills in a safe environment. The sessions finished with a game of bike limbo. I did remarkably well, considering my bike was the largest – I only got out when the pole was lower than my handlebars. In the afternoon, I helped at the section which is similar to the skills course at the Leicester event.
Overall, I have loved the time I spent coaching during the summer.