Learning to ride a bike – old school.

My six-year-old son, JT, is learning to ride a bike. We’ve been so convinced by the compelling and current research coming from folks like Horace Mann and the Prussian Army that we’ve decided to enroll JT in cycling school.

The school’s named “Cycle Riding Ultimately Deconstructed Academy.” Or C.R.U.D. Academy, for short.

JT’s day at C.R.U.D. is organized into several 45 minute periods.

  • 8:00 – 8:45 is Handle Bars and Grips
  • 8:50 – 9:35 is Pedals and Cranks
  • 9:40 – 10:25 is Shifters and Gears
  • 10:30 – 11:15 is Balance

After lunch…

  • 12:00 – 12:45 is Steering and Braking
  • 12:50 – 1:35 is Tubes and Tires
  • 1:40 – 2:25 is Frames

Every Friday, JT will take quizzes and tests in each course. Because the school is very cutting edge, we’ll actually be able to see all of his multiple-choice assessments online. I can’t wait to see his performance on the test where he selects the diagram of a person with good balance. And in the fall and spring, JT will take the CRCTs – Cycle Ready Components Test. From those results, not only will we have a better bead on JT’s cycling cognition, but the school will also be able to determine who the best biking teachers are. That’s a win-win.

His mom and I are very excited for the school term to conclude so that we can then take JT to bike with us. He should be so well prepared to put all of those content areas together into an integrated whole. The school told us they wish they could offer such an experiential course, but there’s just not enough time in the day with all of the content to cover. We said we totally understand.

We were thrilled to find a cycling academy that draws from the decades and decades of systemic wisdom from industrial-age structuring of school. I’ll let you know how it goes.

7 thoughts on “Learning to ride a bike – old school.

  1. Pingback: Exploring educational innovation… by skateboarding with a UCLA professor. | it's about learning

  2. Bo,

    My 5 year old son, Tommy, recently learned how to ride his bike (this summer). We would get him started on his bike and he’d fall…mostly because we stayed too close to home. So I came up with the idea to allow him to “explore” outside of his neighborhood on his bike, so learning became purposeful and “dangerous.” He wanted to go far from his house, like his three older sisters! As we began to go greater distances from home, he became more efficient and skillful. We no longer help him and he’s become a self-proclaimed “riding machine.” I could go on and on with this methaphor for teachng and learning. We must become comfortable with the unknown and willing to let go!

    • Chris,

      Thanks for the comment and the forwarding of the metaphor that I intended – that school needs to rebalance, to be more like HOW WE REALLY LEARN TO RIDE A BIKE!

      So glad that Tommy benefits from the experience of integrated, risk-filled, real-world LIFE!


  3. Bo Adams, You are a very clever writer. I so enjoy your vision as a parent and educator. But … please tell me where this academy offers courses in Memphis cause I have a new bike and am not sure if I can ride it. ( ha-ha) alice

    • Thanks, Alice! It’s interesting that we have the phrase “it’s like riding a bike,” and we don’t use “it’s like school learning,” isn’t it?!

  4. I love your satire, Bo! Riding a bike is an awesome example of how learning should be about doing. There is a place for observing and studying the physics and smaller components as well, but your example shows how cattywampus education can be.

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