By Kimball Vaughn
Dec 21, 2017

Program Feature for LDS Youth: Cycling

Getting Stronger, Going Farther

Bicycling is a great way to combine exercise, travel, and recreation in one activity. Few activities are better than uphill cycling for intense aerobic exercise and physical fitness. Cycling’s downhill speed is simply thrilling.

This article features the program module from Program Features for Troops, Teams and Crews Volume 1. (You can also read this article for more information on how to plan using the program resources). For more ideas, you can also check out the LDS Youth Sports, Camping, and Outdoors section.

You can ride in bicycle races if you like, but most cycling is the non-competitive touring or commuting type— although you will probably have trouble resisting the urge to pass those riding ahead of you even when you are only touring or commuting. Trick riding on BMX bikes and trail riding on mountain bikes are also part of the cycling scene. Whether you stick to only one type or participate in all kinds of cycling, you will probably find that cycling becomes a valuable and enjoyable lifelong activity. It might even lead you to a career.

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

Meeting Plans & Ideas: Cycling

This month’s activities should:

  • Show youth how to ride safely.
  • Teach cycling first aid.
  • Teach youth how to maintain and repair their bikes.
  • Show youth how to plan rides and routes.
  • Teach good cycling nutrition.
  • Introduce youth to cycling organizations.
  • Teach about cycling gear and clothing.

As a leadership team, you may want to discuss the following items when choosing cycling as your program feature during your planning meetings.

Troop Meeting Planning Form
Click above for fillable troop meeting planning form.
  • Do we know an accomplished adult cyclist?
  • Where are the local bicycle stores?
  • What bike organizations and clubs exist in our community?
  • Do our members all have bikes and helmets? If not, how can we help them get equipped?
  • What cycling skills do our members already have, and what do they lack?
  • Does our community have a bike route map?
  • What are the best bike trails near us?
  • What are the best-organized bike events and programs in our community?
  • What kind of cycling will be most interesting to our members?


Preopening Ideas on Youth Program Resources

  • As youth arrive, show YouTube videos of Danny MacAskill trick riding.
  • Watch a YouTube video about a major cycling event like RAGBRAI or Race Across America. Inspect bicycles and bike clothing. Have arriving youth report on training rides they’ve taken..
  • Inspect helmets, gear, and clothing. If the main event will be an organized bike club ride or fundraiser, distribute registration forms.
  • Have youth ride to the meeting by bike for final inspection.


Opening Ideas on Youth Program Resources


Bicycle Basics

  • Discuss cycling safety and traffic rules, and introduce these topics:
    — Bike types and parts
    — Bike clothing and helmets
    — Bike training and nutritional needs

Route Planning

  • Introduce bicycle route maps.
  • Demonstrate websites for bike riders.
  • Demonstrate online route map creation.

Riding Skills Demonstration

  • Explain skills to be demonstrated later in the meeting.
  • Explain the route to be covered on evaluation rides.
  • Assign riders to leaders for evaluation and assemble at the starting line.

Main Event Final Preparation

  • Finalize the route for the main event.
  • Discuss transportation to and from starting line.
  • Discuss support arrangements.
  • Hold a final inspection of bikes, clothing, and gear.


3 Categories

Bicycle Basics

  • Essential• Learn how to change tires and tubes.
  • Lean how to adjust brakes, seat, and stem tube.
  • Learn skills for short-distance street riding.

  • ChallengingDiscuss a training regimen for a 50-mile ride.
  • Discuss nutritional requirements for a 50-mile ride.
  • Discuss clothing for a 50-mile ride.

  • AdvancedDiscuss gear storage systems for road bikes.
  • Practice using toe clips or clipless pedals and shoes.
  • Discuss clothing needs for long-distance touring.
  • Discuss gear needs for long-distance touring.

Route Planning

  • EssentialDiscuss safe cycling route criteria and streets to avoid.
  • Brainstorm most common dangers for city cyclists.
  • Demonstrate signals for turns and stopping.
  • Discuss other defensive riding techniques.

  • ChallengingDiscuss Teach drafting technique and sharing of the lead position.
  • Discuss techniques to avoid seat and neck pain and injury.
  • Walk through route planning for a 50-mile ride.

  • AdvancedExplain long-distance route criteria and route- elevation profiles.
  • Discuss long-hill climbing and descent techniques.
  • Discuss endurance nutrition and hydration.
  • Walk through route planning for a week-long tour.

Riding Skills Demonstration

  • EssentialCover these skills that will be used in evaluation rides:
    — Staying in the bike lane
    — Turning, stopping, and passing signals and alerts
    — Maintaining safe speeds for conditions

  • ChallengingCover these skills that will be used in evaluation rides:
    — Drafting in group of fast riders
    — Signaling to other group members
    — Taking the lead position
    — Obeying traffic signs and signals

  • AdvancedCover these skills that will be used in evaluation rides:
    — Packing camping gear on bike
    — Riding at night using lights
    — Obeying traffic signs and signals
    — Riding bikes, fully loaded with gear, up and down a steep hill

Main Event Final Preparation

  • EssentialDiscuss the benefits of bike commuting to and from school.
  • Discuss the health benefits of biking.
  • Show resources available for more biking information.
  • Discuss setting goals for long-term cycling.

  • ChallengingDiscuss year-round biking as a better transportation alternative.
  • Discuss winter-weather bike lighting, gear, and clothing.
  • Discuss summer recreational biking opportunities.

  • AdvancedDiscuss competitive bicycle racing organizations and events.
  • Discuss noncompetitive bicycle clubs, touring groups, and events.
  • Discuss bicycle vacation touring as a great way to stay fit on vacation.
  • Discuss advanced-level bikes and equipment; if possible, visit a well-stocked bike shop.


Getting Ready for the Main Event

  • Study safety rules and your city/state traffic laws, and practice riding an obstacle course.
  • Prepare for route planning using Internet resources.
  • Practice riding skills, and review traffic rules.
  • Study final route alternatives for the main event.
  • Finalize route map for main event.
  • Write personal and group goals for future biking activity.
  • Menu Planning (if applicable)
  • Duty Roster Planning (if applicable)
  • Patrols discuss what special items they will need for the main event.

Preparation for the meeting’s game or challenge


Library of Games and Challenges on Troop Program Resources

  • Have a tire-changing speed competition.
  • Run a short bicycle race or obstacle course.
  • Run a group trivia competition on safety and traffic rules.
  • Hold a riding-skills competition.
  • Hold a traffic-rules testing game.
  • Take evaluation rides from the meeting place, testing the skills covered earlier. Score groups and individuals and note needed improvements.


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