Training, Technique & Skill Development Programs
We believe the first skills all cyclists need to know are defensive riding skills. No different than how we learn defensive driving skills: learning to anticipate and take appropriate action ahead of time to avoid collisions and crashes. To be able to take affirmative action – to ride defensively and safely – requires cyclists to be comfortable on their bikes. Once comfortable, cyclists can then develop skills of agility, balance, and the coordination needed to develop an efficient and powerful pedal stroke plus the advanced bike handling skills needed for Mountain Bike (MTB), Cyclocross, BMX and Time Trial (TT) events.
The place to start, the place to learn is in the safety of a parking lot, with experienced cycling coaches who will teach bike handling skills in a progression which meets each rider at their level of ability, building confidence and comfort while skills and abilities develop. That’s how we do it @TOETT.
No race car driver starts by learning how to drive at full speed, so why would cyclists?
Bike Handling Skills – Novice to Sport Level
Bike Skills Course promo video
Starting with basics… from pre-ride bike checks, straight line riding, and shoulder checks to steering and leaning turns. The goal is to have riders comfortable with being on their bike, the functions of their bike, and with basic bike handling skills.
The program runs 6 weeks, with 1 spare day in the event of cancellation due to weather. Sessions are 45 mins each and are held in Brant Cycle’s parking lot (link to Google maps). In case of a cancellation, participants will be contacted via email.
Requirements: a properly fitting helmet, a bike in safe working condition, and flat pedals. Without safe equipment, riders will not be permitted to participate. Clip (toe cages) or clipless pedals are not permitted. Riders are encouraged to have their helmet and bike inspected prior to the start date of the program.
In partnership with:
PROGRAM FEE $95 (all in)
Refund Policy: prior to any program filling up or 2 weeks prior to the start of a program which is not full, TOETT will provide a full refund.
Otherwise, TOETT does not provide refunds because programs are capped in size, and because athletes are informed ahead of time of participation criteria.
Athlete Feedback after Bike Handling Skills Course
“On descents, I didn’t realize I wasn’t comfortable going faster because I wasn’t fully confident in my ability to handle my bike at hi speed. Before the bike course, I would not descend any faster than 45kph. After practicing braking and emergency braking in the skills course, I descended King Rd and didn’t think once about speed as I was comfortable allowing the bike to run free. Afterwards I checked my bike computer and my max speed was 53 kph. Who knew I could gain such skill practicing in a parking lot.”
“I have tried and tried again to complete turn 4 on ‘Snakes & Ladders’ (@Kelso Conservation), each time I would stop and walk my bike as I wasn’t confident enough to attempt the turn. After practicing steering and leaning turns during the bike course, in the next MTB race in the Kelso Mountain Bike series I attempted the turn without second guessing myself, and rode it confidently. That wasn’t a one time event either, I have been able to consistently ride the ‘Snakes & Ladders’ path top to bottom since.”
“As a result of practicing turns during the course I was better able to handle my bike during the XTerra ‘Mine Over Matter’ Off Road Triathlon bike portion of the course. The course has a 2km section of winding single track with several tight turns having trees right on the outer edge of the path. Having practiced turns at varying speeds, of various diameters, handling this part of the course was easier as I was trained in using my entire body to lean, balance, to adjust turning radius while maintaining speed.”
Bike Handling Skills – One on One Coaching
Looking for someone to take you out on the roads to learn and/or apply bike handling skills in ‘real’ situations?
Learning in a parking lot is the starting point, but eventually those skills need to be applied out on the roads where there are cars, buses, trucks, not to mention pedestrians as well as other cyclists. Sometimes it isn’t other vehicles or pedestrians that pose the risk, sometimes its the weather. Staying safe, avoiding accidents, minimizing your chances of an incident cannot be left to everyone else: cyclists – like drivers – need to learn to ride defensively.
If you are a competitive cyclist, defensive riding is just as applicable to race day… riding shoulder to shoulder, bumping handlebars, avoiding obstacles and cornering while in the midst of a peloton, are not skills you learn by throwing caution to the wind, figuring you can learn on race day. Effective and efficient riding comes with practice, of technique, of handling skills, on & off the road.
One on one coached rides can be arranged by contacting Aimee@TOETT.ca
Advanced Bike Handling Skills & Cycling Technique
An efficient powerful pedal stroke is the outcome of multi-dimensional and multi-systemic training. Pro-triathlete Lionel Sanders even remarks in his blog that he has started to train cadence in realizing that “not all wattage is created equal”. Athletes seeking to develop an efficient pedal stroke which generates sustainable wattage must train all of the following five aspects of performance:
Core Driven Stroke
Developing an efficient pedal stroke is part science and part art, therefore one on one coaching is required for any athlete to tap into their fullest potential as an athlete, and as a cyclist. As a result, TOETT partners with The Athletes Cloud for all advanced level coaching in bike handling skill and cycling technique. Click on the banner below to link to the TAC (The Athletes Cloud) website to learn more.
It doesn’t take two to cause a crash. What are you doing to prevent yourself from ending up a stat? No, you cannot develop enough skill to react when hit from behind, but there are enough crashes that could be prevented if cyclists only took the time to develop bike handling skills.
Memorial on King Rd, Burlington remembering Meredith Hagan – triathlete and mother of two – who died when she lost control of her bike and slid into the path of an oncoming car.
Memorial at Kelso Conservation in the Summit parking lot remembering the firefighter who fell from the escarpment.
Pro cyclists injured or killed in car accidents:
- Dec 2017 – 23yr old Jason Lowndes, Israel Cycling Academy rider in 2017 / JLT Condor in 2018 – link
- Apr 2017 – 57yr old Steve Tilford, first US MTB National Champion (’83) & HoF inductee – link
- Apr 2017 – 37yr old Michele Scarponi, Team Astana – link
- Jan 2018 – 27yr old Caroline Buchana, 2x Olympian, 5x MTB World Champion & 3x BMX World Champion Cyclist – link
- Feb 2018 – 52yr old Cycling Author Andrew Tilin died after being hit by a car while changing a flat on the side of the road – link