iRide Teaching Philosophy & Skill Levels

Students require fun, safe and effective learning environments to grow anextra (2)d develop to their full potential.  iRide uses engaging and interactive exercises that spur movement, participation and accelerate learning.

Our 3-day iRide school program provides each class with one forty-five to sixty minute session per day. Our sessions stay within the safe confines of the school grounds and focus on patterning basic and intermediate skills through a variety of fun activities.  Most participants graduate to iRide Skill Level #3 or higher by the end of the program.

Our community programs vary in duration and frequency but all sessions include skill development, bicycle rides and games appropriate to participant age and ability following the Cycling Canada Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD). Learn more here.

iRide Instructors

A lasting and enjoyable learning experience for students begins with skilled coaches. Only Nationally Certified Coaching Program graduates are eligible to teach iRide programs, and each new iRide instructors completes an apprenticeship with experienced iRide head instructors. This way our instructors understand how to best share their cycling expertise all four types of learning styles: auditory, visual, kinesthetic and tactile. Our instructor team includes aspiring youth racers, professional coaches with cycling accolades and passionate parents trained to teach.  As a result, our dynamic team brings a wealth of knowledge and energy to the sessions, creating fun and memorable experiences. Meet our iRide staff here.

iRide Skills

The iRide program teaches a total of 10 basic and 3 intermediate riding skills in accordance with the NCCP Basic Cycling Skills coaching course. Our sessions are conducted within the safe confines of a traffic-free environment, utilizing school grounds, local parks, pump tracks, BMX and track cycling facilities and local trails.

  • Starting & Braking
  • Straight-Line Riding
  • Scanning & Signaling
  • Low-Speed Turns
  • Medium-Speed Turns
  • Ready Position & Limbo
  • Front Wheel Lift
  • Dismount & Remount
  • Bumping & Buzzing
  • Gearing & Cadence
  • Riding up variable terrain
  • Riding down variable terrain
  • Riding off a curb or drop-off

These skills are taught at all our iRide events.  Our coaches tailor the focus of each session to the age and ability level of their students.

iRide Levels

Understanding where your child is on the development pathway can be a challenge.  Luckily our iRide staff work with youth riders aged 6 – 16 every day!  To help identify what session best fits your child and at what point it is safe to advance to the next level, please review the below table.

In-school sessions require a minimum of Level 1 skill to participate* and often graduate riders to Level 4 over a 3-day program.  At this point, participants can further refine their skills at iRide Sprockids, an iRide Summer Camp, or a Club Taster Pro Ride. The goal of iRide is to increase youth club cycling participation and these levels indicate various steps and tips participants can use to improve their skills and track their progress.

Is your child brand-new to cycling? Learn more about the best ways to teach your new rider here.

Level Minimum Ability Typical Age Accessible Events
Pre Can balance, turn and travel quickly on a Strider Bike 3 - 6 yrs Expo
1 Can ride a 2-wheel bike, 60 pedal strokes w/o stopping 6 - 10 yrs. In-School
2 Start & stop quickly, stand & coast, tap head while riding 7 - 10 yrs. In-School
3 Can turn quickly, look behind while straight-line riding, ride off sidewalk curb 8 - 11 yrs. After-School
4 Lift front wheel, use gears to ride over 5-sec hill. Sustain a 1 minute Max. Effort 9 - 12 yrs. Field Trips, Camps
5 Stop'n Go w/o foot touch, pedal +120rpm for 20 sec. Sustain a 2 minute Max. Effort 10 - 13 yrs. All Above
6+ Stop'n Go w/ 1 hand on head, enjoys riding in a group. Sustain a 3 minute Max. Effort 11 - 17 yrs. Youth Club
Pre-iRide Typical Age Typical Equipment Suggested Learning Terrain Skills to Master
2 - 5 yrs. Strider Bicycle Local Paved Trail Balance
Kids Pump Track Straight-Line Riding
Level 1 Typical Age Typical Equipment Suggested Learning Terrain Skills to Master
6 - 10 yrs. 16" - 20" Bicycle Grass Field Starting, Braking
Paved / Dirt Trail Standing, Coasting
Kids Pump Track Ready Position, Scanning
Cornering: Vision
Level 2 Typical Age Typical Equipment Suggested Learning Terrain Skills to Master
7 - 10 yrs. 20" - 24" Bicycle Grass / Gravel Field Straight-Line Riding, Signals
BMX Track Limbo, Front Wheel Lift
Beginner Dirt Trail Cornering: Body Position
Intro to Dismount: Scootering
Level 3 Typical Age Typical Equipment Suggested Learning Terrain Skills to Master
8 - 11 yrs. 24" - 26" Bicycle 24" - 26" Bicycle Straight-Line (Beg. Stunts)
BMX Track Start & Brake (at speed)
Intermediate Dirt Trail Tight Turns
Gearing & Cadence
Level 4 Typical Age Typical Equipment Suggested Learning Terrain Skills to Master
9 - 12 yrs. 24" - 26" Bicycle Grass / Gravel / Trail Straight-Line (Pairs + Stunts)
BMX Track Cornering: Medium Speed
Velodrome Riding Uphill / Downhill
Riding a Curb / Drop-off
Level 5 Typical Age Typical Equipment Suggested Learning Terrain Skills to Master
10 - 13 yrs. + 26" Bicycle Variable Terrain Proficient at all above skills
BMX / Velodrome Front & Back Wheel Lifts
Mountain Bike Variable Terrain Obstacle Challenges
Introduce Endurance Challenges

iRide aims to increase youth club cycling participation and the above levels indicate numerous benchmarks that participants can achieve in their progression towards joining a local club.

*Our focus is on students who can ride bikes already. However, students who cannot ride a bike can still participate given supervision from school teachers while they practice basic riding on the first day. These students often join the iRide sessions in subsequent days, so all students gain a memorable experience.