This is an excerpt from Quality Lesson Plans for Outdoor Education by Kevin Redmond,Andrew Foran & Sean Dwyer.
Unit 6: Mountain Biking
Identifying Bike Parts and Bike Maintenance
Participants must be able to identify bike parts; wash, adjust, lubricate, and repair bikes; and check for problems before riding. This lesson makes a great rainy-day activity. The bike maintenance part of this lesson should be taught indoors so that small parts do not get lost.
- To identify parts of a bicycle
- To be able to wash, adjust, and lubricate a bicycle
Activity 1: Identifying Bike Parts
In order to ride safely, participants should inspect the bike before riding. To do this well, they must be able to identify bike parts. After familiarizing themselves with the diagram provided, participants can demonstrate their understanding of bike parts through an active game.
- Participants receive a labeled diagram of a mountain bike (figure 6.4) and follow along as the purpose of each part is explained.
- Parts covered include handlebars, gearshifts, suspension forks, tires, pedals, front and rear derailleurs, chains, chain rings, cassettes, brakes, saddles, and frames.
- Put participants into groups of two or three on one side of the area with bikes on the other side.
- Call out “Rear derailleur,” and the first rider (1) writes down the part on a sticky note, (2) sprints up to the bike (slowing down at a clearly marked boundary before approaching the bike), (3) places the sticky note on the appropriate part on the bike, and (4) returns to the group. Once finished, call out another bike part and the next person will go, and so on (see figure 6.4 for a list of bike parts for this activity).
- When the activity ends, give the groups time to self-evaluate their performance.
- Take a few minutes to discuss each part by having participants explain the purpose of the part.
- Participants should be well spaced so they do not run into one another during this activity.
- Having extra shoes with appropriate soles will help ensure that all participants are equipped with proper footwear for this activity.
Activity 2: Bike Maintenance
It is crucial to keep bikes clean so that they stay in good working order. Participants must understand that a mountain ride is not completed until a bike is cleaned at some level—from hosed off to full bike cleaning.
Participants clean the drivetrain (chain, sprockets, chainset, and derailleurs) in small groups:
- If the chain is dirty, place a little degreaser in a small pot. Dip a cleaning brush into the degreaser and scrub the chain clean (do not remove the chain).
- Degrease sprockets and chainsets next.
- After everything dries, relubricate the chain with drip oil or spray.
- Clean wheels and rims.
- Brakes need to be cleaned depending on the type (rim or disc).
- Clean and oil parts of cables normally in casing.
- Pull the front derailleur over to the largest chain ring, click the shifter as if to change into the smallest sprocket, and release the casing in the same way.
- Remind participants to rinse bikes thoroughly to remove all traces of degreaser.
- Demonstrate the cleaning process with a very dirty bike.
- Discuss procedures before and after cleaning.
- Participants must handle parts carefully because some might have sharp edges.
- Personal working areas must remain neat at all times so that no one trips over any equipment.
Before the session ends, give each group one index card. Participants are responsible for stating two reasons why bikes should be well maintained. On the other side of the card, participants should record one or two things that they do not understand about the lesson so that you can revisit the topic of bike parts and bike maintenance at the beginning of the next class.
This is an excerpt from Quality Lesson Plans for Outdoor Education.