Part 1 of this series provided general reasons why teaching off the bike is important. Part 2 listed the first 6 of the 12 ways to make sure that you enjoy the process and engage your riders so well that they hang on every word (or moments of silence). Here are the next 6 tips.

7. Engage your students
Make eye contact. Get in front of them. Check their heart rate monitor. Ask them questions, and listen intently to their responses. Give them individual tasks, such as attacking on a hill or chasing another rider. Maybe even ask them what they want to do in today’s class, or for the next 5 or 10 minutes, and give them free rein.

But you also have to be very aware of whether someone is uncomfortable with you standing in front of them. Use your radar, as Janet Toussaint suggests in her coaching series, to take in the non-verbal hints from your students. Also recognize that the more often you do this, the more comfortable they will become, so give them some time to adapt.


  1. I haven’t done this myself, but I could imagine an online survey (like Survey Monkey) being another effective way to gather feedback.

    1. Author

      It would be a great and anonymous way. And it’s free for less than 25 responders. Perhaps I’ll address that in a separate article on asking for feedback. Thanks.

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