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About Recycle

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    Junior Member

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    Near Chicago
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    I am a Cycling Merit Badge Counselor, a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor and national coach responsible for training and certifying instructors for the League's Cycling Instructor program. My goal is to make bicycling a safe, convenient, and fun mode of transportation for as many people as possible through education.

    I joined the forum to exchange information on best bike riding practices and counseling techniques with other Cycling Merit Badge Counselors and those interested in safe cycling.

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  1. A League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor (LCI) can offer suggestions for activities, provide training for either the scouts and/or for adult volunteers, or even customize one of the League's Smart Cycling programs for your group. A list of LCIs in your area can be found at https://bikeleague.org/bfa/search/map?bfaq= then click on your state, and expand the League Cycling Instructor tab.
  2. As others have pointed out, your mom could certainly be your Cycling MB Counselor. But even if she is not acting as the MB Counselor, she could still ride with you on the any of the rides. It doesn't matter if the route is one of your own design or if it is the 50 mi. route of an organized ride. You must to report to the MBC on the rides. The MBC is not required to accompany you. (Though I think he or she should,) When counseling, I accompany the scouts and buddy(ies) on the 50 mi. ride plus a couple of the 15 or 25 mile rides because I want to ensure they're riding safely ... but it's not required.
  3. As a Cycling MBC, I ask scouts, and sometimes parents and adult leaders, to demonstrate bike handling skills in a parking lot and on roads. Bicycling is a relatively safe activity, but bad things beyond my control could happen. I would never ask anyone to demonstrate anything on a bicycle without first having them sign a liability waiver. I have been unable to find any details about the coverage provided by the BSA policy. However, as a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor, I am covered by a League policy, as long as participants in the activity sign the League's event waiver. This is what I ask parents and adult leaders to sign.
  4. I saw about the same attrition rate. There were about 35 scouts at the troop meeting on riding safety and bike safety checks. 10 scouts participated various parts of the "Take a road test with your counselor..." requirement. 15 scouts, about 8 adult leaders, and a couple of grand parents participated in various 10, 15, 25, 30, and 40 mile rides. About half of the rides were organized by scouts and half by adults. Six scouts decided they could benefit from some additional miles before setting out on the 50 mile, so they planned the additional 30 and 40 mile rides on their own. 4 scouts, 4 adult leaders, and two grand parents rode the 50 miler. In the end, 4 scouts earned the Cycling Merit Badge and 4 adult leaders completed the League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 course. There were several things that saddened me. Two scouts repeatedly expressed a desire to earn the badge, but never made the necessary appointments for the discuss/describe/show requirements. They also missed the 50 mi ride. One scout brought a BMX bike in very poor repair to a camp out / 15 mile bike ride. Especially the seat could not be adjusted to the proper height . He bonked after about 7 miles, had to take a truck ride back to the camp site. and did not go on any additional rides.
  5. This thread brings up two issues that are particular to the Cycling MB. Personal Competence. How are other Cycling MBCs handling the current road bike or mountain bike options? So far I have been asked to counsel only for the road biking option, but the day will come when a scout wants to pursue the mountain biking option. Road biking is both my passion and my retirement gig. Mountain biking is not my area of expertise. I can get someone excited about mountain biking, but I am not the best person to help the scout on trail rides. While I will be delighted to act as counselor to scouts seeking the road bike option, I believe it best for me to refer those seeking the mountain bike option to another counselor 2 Parental Permission. One of the Cycling MB requirements is to “Take a road test with your counselor and demonstrate ..: (a bunch of stuff)†How do you avoid a situation where instructions about best riding practices from the Merit Badge booklet or from you are at odds with the parent’s expectations? I talk with parents about bike condition and road riding safety, either as part of a bike safety presentation at a troop meeting or by meeting with parents individually. I also arrange a Smart Cycling class for interested parents and scouts who want to know more about cycling, but are not pursuing the Cycling Merit Badge . The parent class is separate from the scout’s road test. LarryM
  6. Take a bike ride. Depending on experience, equipment, and nearby facilities, some options are 1) make a day trip in or to an interesting locale, 2) haul bikes to a camping area adjacent to a bike trail, camp and day trip from that base. 3) take an overnight (or longer) bike trip. It could be self supported if the scouts have access to suitable lightweight gear, or vehicle supported if not.
  7. I wonder what that means for MB counselor registrations in the merged councils. Is a MB counselor registered for all districts in the Calumet Council now registered for all districts in the new 50 mi x 150 mi area?
  8. Sounds like a nice trip. How many days were they cycling, and did they have SAG support or did they carry all their gear on-bike? Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I haven’t noticed a hydration problem among the scouts I’ve counseled for a Cycling MB. We do discuss the need for hydration and nutrition on rides over 10 mi. I insist that they stop about every hour to refuel with water, electrolytes and carbs. If it’s warm, I suggest they take drinks on the fly, or stop at an intermediate point for an additional swig of water. Hydration needs vary a lot depending on temperature, cloud cover, and exertion level. Unless it is a short ride, or particularly cool, I’d aim for 15 to 20 oz of water/ hr., plus carbs and electrolytes. Snacks that contain salt encourage them to drink a good deal of water on the break. Your crisps are great. Pretzel sticks are good, too, because they have complex carbs as well as electrolytes, and they travel well. I suggest bringing fruit that contains a lot of water, like oranges or bananas. That provides another source of water as well as the simple carbs they need. On a day trip, frozen grapes in a plastic bag and insulated in a couple paper bags will stay cold several hours, even in hot weather. A PB&J sandwich makes for a good snack after the 2 hour point. So do some of the better quality energy bars, e.g., Clif Bars. I would not consider your temp range 25-30C ( 76-86F) to be cool, so I would certainly get them in the shade or indoors for the breaks. Recycle
  9. Thank you for the welcome. It's good to be here.
  10. If you are looking into LCI certification I presume you've taken a Traffic Skills 101 or Road I course at some time. Have you been using the League's basic bike handling skills and emergency maneuvers material with the scouts? { or maybe this conversation should move to the Advancement Resources section} By way of explanation, the Bike Handling Skills section of the Cycling Merit Badge booklet is nearly identical ... almost word for word ... with a portion of the League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 class. The Traffic Skills class has 8 on-bike execises. Six are are exactly training for and demonstration of Cycling Merit Badge requirements. Two others, though not listed as requirements, are described in text and diagrams in the Merit Badge Handbook.
  11. After 50 years away from scouting I am one year back into it as a Cycling Merit Badge counselor. In Jan 2013 my grandson’s troop asked me counsel them as they earned Cycling Merit Badges. By the end of the year four scouts earned Cycling Merit Badges and one has only two of the requirements to complete. It was very satisfying to see the scouts get excited about biking. In addition to the required 2x10 + 2x15 + 2x25 +50 mile rides, the scouts, on their own initiative, planned and executed two additional rides of 30 and 50 miles each. While new to scouting, I am an experienced cyclist, a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor and Coach for the League Cycling Instructor program. It is my long standing personal goal to make bicycling a safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable mode of transportation for as many people as possible through education. I joined the forum to learn more about scouting and to exchange information about best riding practices and teaching techniques with other Cycling Merit Badge Counselors and those wishing to promote safe cycling.
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