Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:00 am

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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:48 am

When any MB states specific ways of doing the MB that is it, there are no other options. Those items are NOT open to local interpretation.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby FrankJ » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:53 am

wagionvigil wrote:When any MB states specific ways of doing the MB that is it, there are no other options. Those items are NOT open to local interpretation.



Exactly. The requirements require the use of a bicycle. They do not require the use of a specific type of bicycle. As a MBC, you are not allowed to require what is not there.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby WeeWillie » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:35 pm

Because a requirement doesn't specifically state you can't doesn't mean you can. If we allow tandem bikes, do we have to write another rule that states the Scout actually has to pedal. Does the Scout have to sit up front 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, 10%. Expand that to every requirement for every merit badge and how thick does the book become.

I noted that the Scout offerring the help was athletic. In other words, rather than rely on his own efforts to complete the requirement, he is going to rely on his athletic partner. Advancement Policy is pretty clear that a Scout should be evaluated on his own efforts.

What do you plan on telling the Scouts who completed all the rides on their efforts?

What are you telling the Scout. When the going gets tough, find a loophole! That he is not as good as his peers that completed all the requirements on their own!

This is an opportunity to really build self confidence and pride in accomplishment. Work with him. Develop a training plan to develop the skills and stamina to complete the task on his own.

On my honor I will do my best...
Last edited by WeeWillie on Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:40 pm

FrankJ wrote:
wagionvigil wrote:When any MB states specific ways of doing the MB that is it, there are no other options. Those items are NOT open to local interpretation.



Exactly. The requirements require the use of a bicycle. They do not require the use of a specific type of bicycle. As a MBC, you are not allowed to require what is not there.

I Believe it states which type of bicycle. A tandem is a specific type like BMX, Or mountain tandem is not mention so therefore is not allowed.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby FrankJ » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:46 am

wagionvigil wrote:I Believe it states which type of bicycle. A tandem is a specific type like BMX, Or mountain tandem is not mention so therefore is not allowed.


The requirements are on line at scouting.com & usscouts.org. There is not a list of allowed bicycles in the requirements.

I think my main bone of contention is not really about tandems, since they are really a rarity, but the idea that you can have a strict zero tolerance kind of no more no less policy and then have a set of poorly written requirements. There are examples out there that are far worse than the cycling merit badge.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby Quailman » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:44 am

The list is in the MB pamphlet. I thought the requirements book was the requirements.

Count me among those who doesn't think tandems should be used, but the "requirements" make no reference to bicycle types.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:01 am

FrankJ wrote: [The requirements are on line at scouting.com & usscouts.org. There is not a list of allowed bicycles in the requirements.

I think my main bone of contention is not really about tandems, since they are really a rarity, but the idea that you can have a strict zero tolerance kind of no more no less policy and then have a set of poorly written requirements. There are examples out there that are far worse than the cycling merit badge.


I don't disagree but that's why there is a feedback system for guys like us to use to help the couple of folks that work on over 120 MBs to send in recommendations for word changes

I just sent in a recommendation for Camping MB to help clarify our favorite "How do you count 20 days and nights?" I said 1,2,3 :lol: No one can agree on what a week is so I just said put 6.

The web sites and annual BSA book are never going to have the level of detail on what bike you can use, what types of tents there are or what constitutes a federal facility. That type of info and believe it or not, the MB requirements are in the MB Pamphlet.

No having and reading the MBP is not required (used to be :( ). The web site and BSA book wording says "should" not "must or shall". However any MBC, who is supposed to be a Subject matter expert, must guide the scout and be able to answer any of the scout's questions on how to meet the requirements. Hey Mr. Frank, can I use a tandem bike to do cycling? Well let's look at the MBP and see what it says. I don't see that as one of the bikes listed.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby Quailman » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:59 am

I guess that also means that my son wouldn't have been able to use an adult tricycle, even though that was discussed here a while back and cycling MBCs said they'd allow it.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby ThunderingWind » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:33 pm

Have shared this with the law students.......

Using the 2008 printing of the Cycling MBP.....they could not find any launguage that expressly excludes tandem bicycles from being used.

They do feel that the language in requirement 6 would allow the use of a tandem bicycle IF AND ONLY IF the scout was in command of the bike (ie: the Captain to use a term already posted in this thread). The remaining rides could be as the "Stoker."

Again, this is based on the National Office not requiring the use of the MBP by the Scout, only the requirments therein.

The OP stated that the boy does not have a lot of skill on a bike. And when one looks at the goal of earning a Merit Badge (to learn and experience something), this is what the boy is trying to do. He wants to improve his skills and is asking the BSA to help him reach his goal.

So, for me, under the covering of "In the Spiritof Scouting," I Personally, I think I might let a boy use a tandem bike. We are not cutting any safety issues out and we are not violating any laws.

I respect that a call/e-mail to National has made it clear that the intent is not to allow a tandem bike. But the language in the requirements does not support it and the National Legal team should have noticed this.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:58 pm

ThunderingWind wrote:the National Legal team should have noticed this.


:lol: :lol: :lol:


Sic them on the Law MBP next!!! Especially 1. Define "law." Tell some of its sources. Describe functions it serves.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby FrankJ » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:08 pm

I was riding more or less today with some riders today with a triandem. Like a tandem but three seats. I guess that would not be approved of either. :) Not to worry. The 8 scouts I am working with are all on singles. 58 miles today.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby WeeWillie » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:37 pm

Let’s be honest about the real reason for allowing your non-outdoorsy Scout to ride tandem with an athletic Scout. The reason is physical fitness. Without another Scout to assist him, this Scout does not have the stamina to complete the rides. Right! Allowing another Scout to ride tandem is deleting from the requirement because the Scout is not doing his own work. Sorry, stoking does not guarantee equal effort, nor does it guarantee that the combined effort is comparable to the effort needed for each Scout to ride singly.
The Guide to Merit Badge Counseling is clear, group testing is not allowed. The guide also states that a Scout should be allowed to progress at his own pace. In other words the Scout should be allowed to develop the stamina to complete the ride at his own pace instead of pace established by the troop’s activity schedule (or aging out.)

The Requirements Handbook is just that, a list of the requirements.

The Guide to Merit Badge Counseling provides MBCs the guidance to implement the requirements. When a unit recruits an adult to become a MBC the unit has a responsibility to insure that the new MBC has the tools to effectively do their job. There is no excuse for not using the tools available.

What is going to happen when the athletic Scout realizes that his partner is not carrying his own weight and that may cause him not to complete the ride?
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:31 am

WeeWillie wrote:Let’s be honest about the real reason for allowing your non-outdoorsy Scout to ride tandem with an athletic Scout. The reason is physical fitness. Without another Scout to assist him, this Scout does not have the stamina to complete the rides. Right! Allowing another Scout to ride tandem is deleting from the requirement because the Scout is not doing his own work. Sorry, stoking does not guarantee equal effort, nor does it guarantee that the combined effort is comparable to the effort needed for each Scout to ride singly.
The Guide to Merit Badge Counseling is clear, group testing is not allowed. The guide also states that a Scout should be allowed to progress at his own pace. In other words the Scout should be allowed to develop the stamina to complete the ride at his own pace instead of pace established by the troop’s activity schedule (or aging out.)

The Requirements Handbook is just that, a list of the requirements.

The Guide to Merit Badge Counseling provides MBCs the guidance to implement the requirements. When a unit recruits an adult to become a MBC the unit has a responsibility to insure that the new MBC has the tools to effectively do their job. There is no excuse for not using the tools available.

What is going to happen when the athletic Scout realizes that his partner is not carrying his own weight and that may cause him not to complete the ride?



Nicely stated.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby FrankJ » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:41 pm

Sorry Mike I just do not buy your line of reasoning. Take it the other direction. What if allowing use of a tandem would allow a non fit scout to start down a road to make him fit? The whole point of merit badges is to spark interest in a subject. If the scout was really that out of shape, I would suggest he take the swimming merit badge. That one requires a minimum level of fitness.

But you make a good point about requiring qualified merit badge councelors. The councelor is in the best position to determine if a particular action meets requirements or not. I expect bad counselors is what created concept.. :)

We went 63 miles yesterday. Today was a short day only 48. One of scouts had to change a shredded tire. Tommorrow is either 0, 46. 51, or a 100. We will have a crew meeting in bit to decide.

I did see an recumbent tandem today. That is just weird. Sorry in advance to all you recumbent bikers out there.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby Mrw » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:55 pm

If you really want to see a weird looking bike, look up a Bilenky triplet. It has a recumbent front rider, middle rider in a traditional upright position and a recumbent third rider on the back who faces backwards. The captain is the one in the middle.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:35 pm

I've sent a request to change the Cycling MB requirements from Bicycles to use a Unicycle and perform in a circus. Approval is anticipated within the next 24 hours. :P
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby FrankJ » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:27 am

50 miles on a unicycle, I would be impressed.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby Mrw » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:55 pm

I do know someone who rode her first century (100 miles in a day) on a high wheeler several years ago.
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Re: Cycling - Tandem Bikes?

Postby WeeWillie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:08 pm

Frank
Your objection is with BSA Advancement Policies not me.

The MBC application states: As a merit badge counselor, I agree to: Follow the requirements of the merit badge, making no deletions or additions, ensuring that the advancement standards are fair and uniform for all Scouts.

Two Scouts riding on a tandem bike to complete a requirement is group work. Exceptions to the prohibition against group work are specifically cited when applicable. For example: “Note to the Counselor: While orienteering is primarily an individual sport, BSA Youth Protection procedures call for using the buddy system. Requirement 7a can be completed by pairs or groups of Scouts.” Cycling MB doesn’t have a similar exception.

The decision to allow a Scout to ride tandem is not discretionary, regardless of the motive.

A Scout is obedient. So is a MBC!

Although MB may spark in interest in a subject; the WHOLE purpose of merit badges IS NOT to spark interest in a subject. Merit badges are a component of the Advancement Method of Scouting.

“Advancement - Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps to overcome them through the advancement method. The Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he overcomes each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a boy grow in self-reliance and the ability to help others.”

Experience and physical fitness are surmountable obstacles and it is the MBC’s responsibility to help the Scout overcome them and not avoid them. If experience and physical fitness are issues then the MBC could propose riding tandem with another Scout during conditioning. The MBC should follow up with periodic phonecalls and meetings to check on progress and provide encouragement. When it is time to conduct the actual rides the Scout will have the experience, stamina, and confidence to meet the requirement. That is the role of a MBC.

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