Teaching a 15 yr old w/ ADHD how to ride a bike in traffic

Discussion in 'General Education' started by studbike, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. studbike

    studbike Guest

    Mar 25, 2018

    just joined this forum. I have zero experience teaching anyone anything! I am a lifelong cyclist (30 yrs old), and have been contracted by a neighbor to improve her daughter's riding skills. She has ridden as a child, but it's been a long time, and when they try and ride with her she is uncooperative and uneasy in traffic. So my task is to instill confidence in her, especially around cars. The goal is for her to be able to ride to the train station all summer. It's about a mile through hilly suburbs, with a couple of busy intersections.

    This is what her mom says: "[she has] adhd and memory challenges, and is an experiential learner (the classroom approach isn't right for her). She learns best with repetition. Simple and clear directions. maybe even a written sheet for her to review. A literal learner. can't learn from me or her dad, too much emotion and drama in the way!"

    to me, these statements seem to contradict each other.

    I'm in over my head here. Open to any and all suggestions about how to go about this.

    Here is my loose game plan so far:

    1st lesson: take her up to a car-free area and just get to know her. spend most of the time trying to bond with her and not really try too hard to improve her skills at anything. I will show her how to properly mount and dismount the bike (believe it or not most people don't know how to do this) and if she doesn't know about how and when to shift gears, maybe use that as a topic to talk about, but not obsess over.

    2nd lesson: back to the same area, but this time we will ride a little faster and practice shifting. Towards the very end of the lesson, I will ride faster and overtake her from behind, similar to what a car would do. Repeat this, getting a little closer, until she can hold her own line. leave it incomplete.

    3rd lesson: Continue over-take training until i can pass her closely without her wavering. hoping that breaking it between two lessons will make her more comfortable with it. Talk to her about when it's ok to ride on the sidewalk (almost never! but OK if you're escaping from an obstacle or emergency).

    4th lesson: time to go on real roads. I think i'm going to try a vibe similar to the first lesson: just watch and ease her in to it without any pressure to "learn" anything.

    5th: Turn-signaling, obeying the law and yielding to cars and pedestrians.

    6th: Emergency braking (shifting weight back and pulling the front brake hard). This is a dangerous, but in my opinion necessary ingredient to riding in urban areas. You need to be able to brake hard, but not panic and brake too hard and flip over the bars. her bike has vee-style brakes which are very strong, and you can easily flip over the bars if you just grab at them without practicing first.
  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Aug 2, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Mar 25, 2018

    Teach the rules of the road (traffic laws) before doing anything else. Have her act them out in order to remember.
  4. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

    Feb 18, 2009
    Likes Received:

    Mar 26, 2018

    I think you are taking on way too much responsibility here. Do you not have professionally run classes she could attend (and her parents could pay for). One slip while you are out on the road and you could be in serious trouble.
    Caesar753 and Been There like this.

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