This year would have been my 5th year helping at the Let’s Ride/ Skyride in Leicester.
Here was my account of the first time (at the time, I was writing blogs as part of my volunteering award from British Cycling):
During the summer holidays, I was invited to help my coach in the go-ride section of the SkyRide in Leicester. I rode to the event and arrived at 9:30. I helped the coach to set up a course which would be technically challenging but rideable by all of the riders. The course included slalom, a mount and dismount section and a wooden section. Once it was set up, I tested it on my bike.
I then had to coach a small group of 2 or 3 riders around the course. Many of these riders weren’t club riders so it was important to avoid using technical cycling terms. I think this is key to ensuring the riders understands you, whenever coaching at a public event or in schools. It wasn’t just leading them around the course; coaching them meant giving them tips on everything, even if it seemed obvious to me as a cyclist. I found this was one of my weaknesses as I used cycling terms a lot when giving advice. However, this was something that got better as I got used to coaching people who didn’t understand technical terms. This included not using the word ‘dismount’ but instead ‘jump off your bike and run’. Once I was confident that they could ride the course well, I would record the time taken for them to complete one lap. These results were compared and placed on a leaderboard for each category. I think this was encouraging to riders and they were motivated to try to beat their time.
The main thing for me was ensuring it was fun for all the riders as this is what will keep them motivated to continue cycling.