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7.2. Strategy 1: snaking

Snaking is a way for Bikeability instructors to move groups of riders. This video shows how to move riders using snaking.

Snaking is a way to move groups of riders. You need two or more instructors for snaking.

For a rider to take part in a ‘snake’, they first need to show that they can control their cycle off road. But they do not need a full understanding of road riding. Riders should first practise snaking in a traffic-free environment before trying it on the road. They will need to practise starting and stopping.

The order of the riders within the snake is important. The slowest or least confident riders should be positioned towards the front of the snake. They will set the speed of the group. The faster and more confident riders should ride towards the back of the snake. The last rider in the snake should be confident enough to be left at the back to signal to road users behind. This then allows the rear instructor to move forward if they need to.

You and your co-instructors need to work as a team to help the snake move together as one ‘vehicle’ if possible. Sometimes this is not possible because of busier roads and the snake becomes split (see below on how to manage this). You each have your own role as either the ‘rear instructor’ or the ‘front instructor’. Make sure you agree on what signals you will use to communicate with each other before you start the session.

This diagram shows a standard start. The rear instructor enters the road first and positions themselves to give protection to the group. 

This diagram shows a staggered start: an alternative method of starting when there is limited room available, appropriate for busy urban areas.