For Instructors

Balance

I'm often asked why it is incorrect to test a student's balance by having them use their fingertips when riding in HP #2 while standing. My quick answer goes right to the subject of safety. It is simply unsafe to ask someone to ride without griping the handlebars, especially while standing. To check if a participant has appropriate balance while standing, I look to three main areas: 1: Slightly flexed elbows that are vertically in-line with the shoulders. Ideally, I don?t want riders showing what I call a diamond shape with their shoulders, arms and wrists. That shape could be a sign of too much weight being placed in the arms and hands. 2: Chest and shoulders facing the space in front of the bike. This cue has more to do with maintaining a proper back position. I?m simply asking them to lengthen their upper bodies and face forward. 3: I encourage consistent movement across the midline of the bike in order to maintain a comfortable rhythm/cadence. You may use other words and/or cues to assist your riders in finding balance. I believe these three areas of instruction are appropriate, safe, and easy to assess
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