Since I am focusing on cycling this month, this is a good time to remind Boy Scouts that there is a merit badge for cycling. Either the Cycling merit badge OR the Hiking merit badge OR the Swimming merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouts who earn more than one of these badges may count the additional badges as electives.
We haven’t had anyone earn this badge in recent memory. The Scouts in our troop always earn the Swimming merit badge their first year at summer camp. The troop does go out riding occasionally, especially on Grant’s Trail which is very close to us. They have considered doing a longer camping/biking trip on the Katy Trail, but no Scout has stepped forward to plan that yet. I know some troops in the area do this sort of outing regularly and I’m sure it would be fun.
Cycling Merit Badge Requirements
- Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while cycling, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, snakebites, blisters, and hyperventilation.
- Clean and adjust a bicycle. Prepare it for inspection using a bicycle safety checklist. Be sure the bicycle meets local laws.
- Show your bicycle to your counselor for inspection. Point out the adjustments or repairs you have made. Do the following:
- Show all points that need oiling regularly.
- Show points that should be checked regularly to make sure the bicycle is safe to ride.
- Show how to adjust brakes, seat level and height, and steering tube.
- Describe how to brake safely with foot brakes and with hand brakes.
- Show how to repair a flat. Use an old bicycle tire.
- Take a road test with your counselor and demonstrate the following:
- Properly mount, pedal, and brake, including emergency stops.
- On an urban street with light traffic, properly execute a left turn from the center of the street; also demonstrate an alternate left-turn technique used during periods of heavy traffic.
- Properly execute a right turn.
- Demonstrate appropriate actions at a right-turn-only lane when you are continuing straight.
- Show proper curbside and road-edge riding. Show how to ride safely along a row of parked cars.
- Cross railroad tracks properly.
- Describe your state’s traffic laws for bicycles. Compare them with motor-vehicle laws. Know the bicycle safety guidelines.
- Avoiding main highways, take two rides of 10 miles each, two rides of 15 miles each, and two rides of 25 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates, routes traveled, and interesting things seen.*
- After fulfilling requirement 8, lay out on a road map a 50-mile trip. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in eight hours.
* The bicycle must have all required safety features. It must be registered as required by your local traffic laws.