ABCDE Bike Check

A – Air in tires?
B – Brakes working properly?
C – Chain lubed?
D – Deraillurs shifting properly?
E – Everything else. Do a drop test and listen for awkward noises.

Video: Bike Safety Check

Helmet Check

  • Proper size and fit?
  • Sitting level on the rider’s head?
  • Straps form the letter “Y” under the ears?
  • Buckle closed and snug under chin?
  • Any noticeable damage to the helmet?

Video: Helmet Check

Equipment & Rider Check

  • Appropriate Clothing
  • Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Closed-Toe Shoes
  • Drink
  • Snacks
  • Proper pre-ride nutrition (food and water)
  • Flat Repair
  • Multi-Tool
  • Extra Clothing Layer
  • Positive energy and mindset
  • No recent injuries or personal concerns that may impact you today

Pre-Ride Talk

  • Take a head count (take a picture of your group for easy reference of count and looks then delete after practice)
  • Describe intended ride
    • Review intended distance, elevation gain, etc and talk about conserving energy / proper throttling to not burn out too early
  • Consider weather precautions (see lightning policy below)
  • Reminders about
    • Essential skills (if a refresh is needed)
    • Coach is always in charge
    • Stopping
    • Spacing
    • Other trail users
    • If you get separated….
    • Trail etiquette (see below)

Reflective Questions

  • What were our goals as we began our ride today?
  • How did we accomplish those goals?
  • Did you notice an improvement in one of your teammates today?
  • What did you like most about today’s practice or ride?
  • What would you like to change for next time?
  • How can I/we coach you better?

3 Essential Skills

  1. Head up, eyes scanning ahead
  2. At least one finger on each brake lever at all times (even when climbing)
  3. Level pedals when not pedaling

Video: 3 Essential Skills

See also “101 Skills Instruction” page.

How to Instruct

  1. Name the skill
  2. Explain where, when, and why it is used
  3. Explain teaching points with static demonstration
  4. Provide a moving demonstration
  5. Prompt for questions
  6. Have students practice and provide feedback
  7. Prompt for remaining questions
  8. Offer progressions, if appropriate

Video: Introduction

Trail Etiquette

  • Badgers ALWAYS yield to hikers, horses, and other bikers unless specifically invited to continue on
  • Be nice and say “hi”
  • Communicate to others – on your left, signal turns, slowing, etc
  • Say “thank you” or “have a nice day”

Injury Response

  • Remain calm
  • Assess the scene
  • Secure the scene
  • Administer first-aid
  • Is evacuation required?
  • Call emergency contact
  • Complete injury form

Weather Response Plan

Per the team’s weather policy, we will ride in the rain but follow strict protocols regarding lightning. It is the head coach’s responsibility to determine if conditions are safe to practice, including utilizing weather apps to look for lightning less than 10 miles away, checking predicted storm cell movements, and listening for thunder. The head coach will also review severe weather response plans with other coaches and students on a regular basis, including possible shelter opportunities found throughout that practice’s trail network and how to respond should a rider be surprised my imminent danger like close-in lightning strikes. Once your individual ride group departs, it is the responsibility of those coaches to also monitor these same resources since the head coach could be in a different ride group and become diverted due to another issue or not having cell service to communicate. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.