Just taught an 80 years old how to ride a trike...

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  • Possibly the oddest training I've given insofar.

    (same tricycle as pictured).

    I've made acquaintance with her via the local GPs of which the doctors know me and aware that I taught cycle training (he's my regular doctor I went for my knees problem), as she express how diffcuilt it is to ride a trike to the doctors.

    diffcuilt? I mean it's a trike, all you need to do is simply pedal and steer, surely it's perfectly straightforward? surely it's not hard to understand that there's no leaning to be done (Oilver, sit!), surely there's nothing needed to be learn?

    This is where I was wrong, turn out she has been riding bicycles all her life and found that the weight of her bicycle when fully laden very diffcuilt and her balance wasn't what it used to be, so she made the decision of purchasing a tricycle for ease of use (as well as extensive storage space), what happen here is that she's so used to riding a bicycle, her body lean when she turn the handlebar, and because the trike doesn't lean, she almost fell off!
    Also she was gripping the handlebar pretty tightly that made it diffcuilt for her to steer, you really have to unlearn what you know about riding a bicycle in order to ride a tricycle, it's an entirely different kettle of fish despite having one extra wheels.

    I wasn't taught how to work with elderly on tricycles, I don't think there's such syllabus on it to says the least, so I have to improvised;

    First method; both her hand on my left hand while I steer the bicycle with my right, I also ask her to try and sit up straight as she was squirming a lots not keeping her body straight, this method allow her to sit up and pedal, so after a couple of laps around the court, she's beginning to feel more at ease understanding how the bike start to feel.

    Now the next bits is the steering - she grip them really tightly, and I mean if you told me she's giving birth, I'd be happy to believe you, so devising a method of simply pushing the handlebar with the end of her fingers is the best solution, and I tap one of her hand to let her know which one she should be pushing, and after a couple trail and errors, she's getting the hang of it, simply pushing the handlebar gently seemed to work extremely well.

    She still have a long way to go, but for a first trike lesson, it was surprising how much I've learnt from her in how people react to riding a trike, I also realise this is what CTUK taught me when I was doing the instructor course.

    I don't know how many of you have taught people on tricycle before but I though I would share this as for all I could know, these information might be of some use.

  • Well done, Ed.
    Spread the love.

    Say hello to the lady from us!

  • When I was getting a motor vehicle drivers licence at the age of 32, I also had the 'lean' issue.

  • Good work Ed.

    Not that I want to piss on your chips and I wholy admire anyone who wants to maintain their independance, but older people utilizing the already full-to-capacity road networks do tend to prove to be a little bit indecisive. Now we have a geriatric on a bicycle to deal with as well as those who insist on still using cars.

    They don't have what you might describe as "lightning fast reactions" and their reflexes are reasonably subdued by the time they're octogenarians.

    All this aside, good luck to you - Ed-ucator Scoble!

  • Good on you Ed,
    got a feeling they may not be caning it round the hangar lane gyratory more like a pootle along canal somewhere so should be all good.
    keep it up

  • Excellent stuff Ed. I imagine having the independence that riding a bike brings means even more to her than it does to us.
    And well done on improvising ways to teach her; that's always a big part of the pleasure of training.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Well done Ed. Your next customer ...

  • satisfaction?

    It's a very odd and nice feeling that the more I trained her, the more trust she put in me when controlling the trike, but yes it's hugely satisfied seeing your teaching coming in effect, I now know how Will felt when he taught an adult riding a bicycle for the first time.

  • When I was getting a motor vehicle drivers licence at the age of 32, I also had the 'lean' issue.

    You mean in a car?

  • Yes, since you're so used to riding a two wheels vehicles, it's an extremely odd feeling when the car lean the opposite way instead giving the sense of falling over, and to some, it's quite a freaky experience.

  • must admit at the mo, my work is far more about the other end of the spectrum,
    getting 4/5 year olds and up off stabilisers,
    that is gold every time trust me,
    from spring will be back to doing lots of KS2 10/11/12's street training again.

  • getting 4/5 year olds and up off stabilisers...

    You sure Max is ready for that?

  • When I was getting a motor vehicle drivers licence at the age of 32, I also had the 'lean' issue.

    When i was about 7 i watched my brother crash into a fence outside our house as he learned to drive. he seemed shocked that his leaning was having no influence on the direction of the car. He let his learners permit lapse after that and didn't try again for 3 years. we still take the piss out of him about it.

  • Me and the girlfreind are looking into getting a cargo trike and I've read a lot of people say the trike thing takes some getting used to... Think about the camber of the road and having to lean with it?!

  • Let says when cornering, the bike does the exact oppose of what you expect it to do - when you're cornering, you lean in the corner, whether on a trike, despite your body leaning in the corner, the trike lean the opposite direction.

    it's surprisingly easy to lift one of the rear wheel when you're cornering really hard.

  • #dredge

    Nevermind being 80, I've just bought this sweet fixeh trike :


    And I'm having exactly the same issues she did.

    I have a two-wheels-at-the-front cargo trike for taking the kids to school on which is fine, but this one is a different beast. I find I'm constantly battling the steering to keep the camber of the road from making me drift into the gutter and after three miles my forearms ache from the effort.

    My immediate thought was that I need wider bars, but do I just need practice? Any tips?

  • You lean, you must lean so hard to keep the trike on all three, you might even need to cork your leg over the top tube to achieve this at a higher speed.

    I'm sure YouTube have dozen of video of tricyclist blasting through corners.

    P.s. Old lady enjoy her trike now.

  • Nice one Ed!
    You beat my eldest trainee who was 74 when she learnt to ride a bike (to ride with her grandchildren). She wasn't a real complete beginner as she vaguely recalled riding in India when she was a little girl of 4.

    Just been at the watching a sailing race at the Hackney reservoir. Serious leaning skills required for that.

  • So I haven't been out on the trike much, but the few times I have it's still a pain as I have to constantly steer against the camber.

    The rear stays are independently adjustable so I wonder whether I make it crab a little bit. Shorten the left stay so it wants to naturally turn right out of the gutter.

    Good idea or no?

  • Can't say that I've taught an 80 year old yet- I'm impressed! I have to say that the trike does take some getting used to- it wasn't a quick transition for me, surprisingly. It's definitely a different ride.

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Just taught an 80 years old how to ride a trike...

Posted by Avatar for edscoble @edscoble