Modules and Classes


The 12-class ACTC Academy session consists of three modules of 4 classes each. The Academy classes start at various locations in and near San Jose. Each successive ride becomes increasingly longer and more challenging. Classes start promptly at 8:30 am and generally take most of the day. Because new instruction is presented at every class students are required to attend regularly to graduate.

Riding during the week to practice skills and maintain endurance is strongly recommended.

Bike Touring classes are also offered. See information about the Bike Touring curriculum at our Bike Touring page.

Module 1: Fundamental Bicycling Skills
(Classes 1 to 4)

Fundamental Bicycling Skills consists of lectures, demonstrations, and supervised rides with the goal of getting each student comfortable riding on the street. Students will learn fundamental bike driving skills which include shifting, signaling and lane positioning. They will gain proficiency in basic bike maintenance and will be able to change a flat tire. The course includes an introduction to group riding. By the end of the 4-week course, students will be able to ride 25 miles of mostly flat terrain at a leisurely pace.

Space is limited to 16 students on a first come first served basis.

Fixing a flat
Group Cycling and Safety in Traffic

Module 2: Intermediate Bicycling Techniques
(Classes 5 to 8)

Intermediate Bicycling Techniques is for students who want to increase their cycling competency on city streets, expressways and rural roads. They will learn and practice pacing, drafting and ascending/descending techniques. Instruction in training zones, nutrition and ride recovery topics are included. Instructors will offer guidelines for purchasing a new bike that fits a rider's needs. By the end of the 4-week course, students will be able to ride 40 miles with some climbing.

Prerequisite: Graduation from Module 1. Riders who are already comfortable riding 20 miles on the roads can qualify for Module 2 by attending class 4 of Fundamental Biking Skills, the instructor led presentation ""Mastering the Road"" which reviews safe road-riding practices.

Time Trial

Module 3: Road Cycling Skills
(Classes 9 to 12)

Road Cycling Skills, the final four classes of the session, help students build endurance and gain proficiency in mastering more complicated traffic conditions, climbing hills with technical descents, and increasing bike maintenance skills. By the end of the course, students will be able to ride a metric century (62 miles) with a moderate amount of climbing.

Pequisite: Graduation from Module 2.

Bike Maintenance
Metric Century

Academy Curriculum

This is a basic course of study presented over 12 weeks. Topics will be introduced and students will have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate understanding and competence on a practice field or on the staff supervised class ride. Topics are often reviewed in later classes and for some topics, additional details will be presented. Lesson plans are provided, but may be modified to suit the current needs of the students and occasions. Students are responsible for asking questions when the information presented is unclear or insufficient.
Feel free to ask questions on any topic not covered!

  • Riding in traffic
  • Group riding safety and etiquette
  • Descending and climbing techniques
  • Taking the lane on narrow roads
  • How to adjust helmet for proper fit
  • Size and fit of bike
  • Guide to selecting the right kind of bike for your intended use
  • Saddles: types, adjustment
  • Gears-understanding how gears work. Making a gear chart
  • Tools to have on a ride and those nice to have at home
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Types of pedals
  • Accessories: mirrors, computers, bags etc
  • How to fix a flat, remove and replace wheels
  • Lights and Reflectors (for night riding)
  • Maintenance of bicycle: cleaning, chain care, etc.
  • Minor brake adjustments
  • Minor Derailleur Adjusting
  • Bike security - locks and safety
Fitness and Health
  • Keeping a journal
  • Aerobic heart rate
  • Nutrition and how to eat
  • Hydration and hydration systems
  • How to build endurance
  • How to increase strength
Skills and Techniques
  • How to “start” the bike.
  • Pedaling rhythm/cadence
  • Holding your line
  • Shifting effectively
  • Proper lane position.
  • Changing lanes safely
  • Left turns - from left turn lane and box style
  • Cornering system
  • Climbing and descending
  • Using momentum on rollers
  • Starting and stopping smoothly and effectively
  • Drafting.
  • Emergency maneuvers - Quick Stop.
  • Riding in the rain.
  • Riding at night
  • Details about ACTC (History, Communication, Rides, Events etc.)
  • Bike Advocacy

Should the above contact link not work, please send an email to

Almaden Cycle Touring Club