Chinese fishing nets in Kochi.
The only location outside of China where Chinese fishing nets are used

CTC Bike Tour Leader in India Days 4 and 5

Starting with loads of examples of leading, managing the group and dealing with incidents out on the road set the group up to practise these options and get feedback. All great fun and really positive learning.

Examples of leading day

Reached the Chinese fishing nets and the main square of Fort Cochin. Looked out to the sea and in the 400m gap between us and the mainland were a pod of dolphins feeding. Swimming gently against the tide they were hardly moving relative to us.  The pod was pretty big - and spread almost from side to side. After a short while of watching, a few popped up only about 50m from us curving over as they dived.  Quite a special sight.

Spice shop and Indian cycleWhat I learned today:

It can take over 90 minutes to have breakfast, 80 minutes of which is waiting.  A relaxed atmosphere is one way of putting it!

Leader practical ride day

The vagaries of cultures came to the fore today.  As learning is going on for most in the UK system, there are indicators of understanding: facial expressions, head nodding, questioning.  These are much less used in other cultures.

Of course, Olly and I were reassured that information was being absorbed through evaluating responses to questions and trainees asking deeper questions, however, it is always good to see our expectations being fulfilled.

The trainees all did really well today.  We had to gain an additional section to enable one trainee another opportunity to lead.  He had been first up, and was full of nerves with cultural differentials also influencing his delivery.  Second time around, with the benefit of seeing others guiding and a better understanding of how the course tutors support and help evaluate deliveries, he did a great job.  It really hit home to the trainees how much they had learned through the day, observing and feeding back to each other.  A great example of learning capital.

There’s a big difference between some people's expectations of an assessor standing there ticking boxes and expecting perfection and the way CTC trainers work.  Of course, we need trainees to show competency, but there are so many ways to evidence this.  We pride ourselves on assessing so discreetly that trainees aren’t even aware they are being verified – especially as it has been ongoing since the course started, and everyone has a good understanding of how we work by this stage.

What I learned today:

The people of India have 33 million gods – Sanjey's intro was a revelation!


Fancy travelling?  Exodus tours run by the guides on this course:

All photos © Dan Cook and Olly Townsend

Dan Cook