Published: 18 July 2014
With the summer holidays approaching, there is plenty of opportunity to make use of the long days and better weather conditions.
Here, we consider the variety of ways that you can help the riders you coach to make the most of their extra time.
Early morning starts
Rather than staying in bed until lunch time, riders could use the day to go out for a longer ride that may not usually be possible with school or work commitments. This additional time on the bike could also be used to learn a new skill or fulfil a specific cycling challenge.
Learn a new bike skill or set a challenge
Extra time could be spent learning a new skill, such as a manual front wheel lift or descending more confidently. The British Cycling Insight Zone provides plenty of information for riders, to support the work you do with them. Set the riders homework, encouraging them to explore the resource and feedback on what they have found. Challenge new skills by targeting a particular event or distance. Click here to access the Insight Zone.
Explore new routes
Whether at home or on holiday, the British Cycling mapping tool can be used to plan a route to ride with family, friends or club mates. Younger riders should consider tapping in to the knowledge of more experienced riders to find out new places and routes to ride. Riders can also share their routes at club nights.
Learn more about the bike
Riders (and coaches!) could spend the extra time in the holiday period to learn more about how to look after their bikes. Plenty of reputable websites have instructional videos to help you learn these new skills. Set a summer holiday project – from changing a tube to measuring and adjusting their bike set-up - riders of all ages and levels of experience can start September as more self-sufficient riders with a greater understanding of their machines.
More opportunity to race
With lighter evenings and the race season in full swing, there is plenty of opportunity to race, not only at the weekends, but also mid-week. You could mix it up a little and encourage riders to try different disciplines, such as a mid-week closed circuit road race and a regional mountain bike race at the weekend. Not only is this fun, but it will help to develop new, transferable, skills which will improve the overall performance of the riders you coach. Find events in your area here.