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Class Descriptions

Are you looking for a class that isn't yet on the Class Calendar, or you would like to work with NCAT to set up a class for a group in New Haven? First, check the Class Calendar to see if there is already a class that would fit your needs.  If not, send an email to Elias, NCAT's Education Coordinator, and we'll get back to you with options.

Bike Maintenance 101: The Basics

This class is for cyclists who know how to ride a bike and would like to learn and practice hands-on basic repairs and adjustments on their bicycles, as well as the essentials to carry on a ride. This class does NOT include fixing a flat tire. See Maintenance 102 for how to fix a flat tire.

 

Bike Maintenance 102: Fix a Flat Tire

This class is for cyclists who know how to ride a bike and would like to learn and practice hands-on repair of a punctured tube and/or tire on their bike. Even if you are only out for a quick ride, you don’t want to have to push your bike home after getting a flat tire.


Bike Skills 101: Learn to Ride for Kids

This is is a free group class for children age 5 and up who are ready to ditch their training wheels and ride a two-wheeler for the first time. With our safe, easy, effective method taught by experienced instructors, kids will learn how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bicycle. Most students get the hang of it in one session, but even if they don’t, parents will leave equipped with an easy, low-stress technique. We also invite kids to come back for additional Bike Skills 101 sessions, if they do not feel ready to move on to Bike Skills 103, 201, and 203 yet.

Bike Skills 103: Youth Road-eo

The Youth Road-eo is a 2-hour supervised practice session with stations for kids to practice various skills. We provide a safe, controlled learning area and the watchful eyes of NCAT's trained instructors, who will offer tips on how to effectively stop, start, and steer a bike. Bike Skills 103: Youth Roadeo is intended for recent Learn to Ride participants, but we welcome anyone who isn’t confident with their bike control skills.

Bike Skills 203: Bike Path Ride for Kids

This on-bike class gives youth cyclists more opportunities to sharpen their skills on short, easy, mostly flat group rides. You are required to have taken Bike Skills 101 and/or Bike Skills 201. Children and their parents/guardians can meet other novice cyclists and explore the New Haven area. These rides will take place on bike paths (also called greenways), such as the Farmington Canal Greenway, with minimal riding on streets.

Bike Skills 102: Learn to Ride for Adults

This is a free group class for adults and mature teens who are ready to ride. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80, we’ll get you rolling in no time. With our safe, easy, effective method, Learn to Ride students learn how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bike, as well as adjust a helmet for proper fit. Most people learn to ride in one session, but even if they don’t, they’ll leave equipped with an easy, low-stress way to teach themselves—or, they can join us for another free class.


Bike Skills 201: Basic Skills for the Road - Adults

Bike Skills 201 is an on-bike class for adults and mature teens who have recently learned how to ride a bike or who want to improve their core cycling skills. Participants will learn to perform a simple mechanical inspection to ensure the bike is road-ready, start and stop with confidence, shift gears, scan and signal turns, and navigate around common road hazards.


Bike Skills 202: Bike Path Ride for Adults

This on-bike class gives novice and intermediate adult cyclists more opportunities to sharpen their skills on short, easy, mostly flat group rides. Teens who are 14 years old and up are welcome too. For those participants that know how to ride their bike non-stop for at least one mile, this is a class to learn how to ride in a group and use good etiquette on a multi-use trail. For novice cyclists that recently learned how to ride, this is a good way to practice starting and stopping and  handling the bike to avoid obstacles, and a good way to build physical endurance. Take one of our Learn to Ride classes (Bike Skills 102) if you still need to learn to balance and pedal smoothly. It's also a chance to meet other people who live riding their bikes and explore the New Haven area.


Street Skills 301: Rules of the Road - Adults

Our Street Skills 301: Rules of the Road class is a presentation and discussion for adults and mature teens who want to better understand the rules of the road, as well as their rights and responsibilities on the road. Topics covered include how to avoid common road hazards, basic traffic principles, where to ride on the road, how to safely change lanes, how to utilize bike infrastructure, what to wear, and more.  This class can be taught in person or virtually.


Street Skills 302: On-Road Ride - Adults

After you’ve taken our Street Skills 301: Rules of the Road class, you can use your newfound knowledge to tackle our bike-handling skill drills, and then top it off with a road ride of 5-8 miles with similarly-skilled cyclists and League-certified Cycling Instructors.

Street Skills 303: Gearing and Hills - Adults

Street Skills 303 is for people who know how to ride their bike on the road and are looking to improve their use of their bicycle's gears. The class will teach you how to use your gears for efficient shifting to ride up and down hills, and participants will practice on their way to the top of East Rock Park (and down).

Smart Cycling Full Class - Adults

The Smart Cycling Full Class is for cyclists who know how to ride a bike, have at least some experience riding on the streets, and want a higher level of instruction and practice.

 

Completing this class will qualify you to register and begin the League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Seminar if you want to go further and get certified to teach others.

The comprehensive course includes proper helmet fit, pre-ride checklist, responsibilities and etiquette of cycling on the streets, scanning, lane positioning on challenging roads, crash avoidance, and starting and stopping smoothly and quickly. There will be parking lot drills and a group ride to practice skills learned in class. You will be assessed on what you learned during the day, including a multiple choice test.
 

Custom Courses

NCAT's League Cycling Instructors and Mechanics can design a bicycle safety, road riding, or maintenance course to fit the needs of your group. NCAT can let you know what funds, resources, and logistics are needed to make your course a success.

 

Email us if you would like to discuss setting up a custom course or series of courses, but first check the Course Calendar to make sure there isn't already a course that would fit your needs.

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Class Guidelines

Instructors

Instructors are certified League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) who live in the New Haven area. Bilingual (Spanish) instruction is available.

 

Fees

NCAT wants everyone in New Haven to ride a bicycle safely and with confidence and does not charge for its classes. Please register at least 3 days in advance of the chosen class.

Equipment Requirements

Each participant is required to bring
a bicycle in good working condition and
a bike helmet.  New helmets will be available at no charge for those who need one. Loaner bicycles can be arranged.

Food/Water

Please bring your own snacks and water.

Age Requirements

Please see the individual class descriptions.

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NCAT's classes are based on the Smart Cycling curriculum of the League of American Bicyclists, the only nationally recognized cycling education program with trained and certified instructors. 

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Participants work together!
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