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Cycling Merit Badge Helps and Documents

About the Cycling Merit Badge

Scouts learn how to enjoy excursions on their bicycles while working on the Cycling merit badge. There is an emphasis on safety and planning in the requirements. There are options for completing the requirements by road biking or by mountain biking. The requirements can be completed by Scouts with any level of experience in 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.

Help with Answers for Cycling Merit Badge Requirements

Find specific helps for some of the Cycling merit badge requirements listed below. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for older Scouts to introduce these concepts to new Scouts.

Requirement 1: Safety and First Aid

Do the following:

  1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in cycling activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards. Explain to your counselor how to ride predictably, be conspicuous, think ahead, and ride ready.
  2. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while cycling, including cuts, scratches, blisters, sunburn, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, hypo-thermia, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, and snakebite. Explain to your counselor why you should be able to identify the poisonous plants and poisonous animals that are found in your area.

Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

Cycling Hazards

Motorized Vehicles

Sharing the road with cars and trucks can be dangerous. Vehicles can stop suddenly so don’t follow them too closely. Parked vehicles can open a door in front of you, so always be aware of your surroundings . Vehicles may follow you too closely so wear bright colors so they can see you.

Use hand signals so that drivers behind you know your intentions before you turn, stop, or change lanes.

Be extra careful on busy roads.

Hazards in the Road

Paved roads may have potholes. Trails may have large roots or rocks. Loose gravel is also a hazard. Crossing railroad tracks can also be very bumpy. Keep an eye on the road and be prepared to stop or avoid obstacles.

If you come to a railroad track, look both ways to check for trains. Never ride on railroad tracks! Trains can’t stop quickly.


Pedestrians have the right of way. Always be alert for them. Slow down or stop if necessary. Do not ride too close to them. They may not be aware of you and might take an unexpected turn.


Distracted drivers might not notice you.

But distracted cyclists are also a hazard. Don’t try to use your cell phone or read a map while riding. Find a safe place to stop instead.

Stay in Control

Being out of control or riding too fast is also a hazard. Sit on your bike the right way. Slow down around turns, especially on wet surfaces. Know your own ability.

Clothing and Helmet to Stay Safe

Always always always wear a helmet. This is one of the best ways to mitigate hazards. Wear bright colored clothes so others can see you. If it is dark or getting dark, wear reflective clothing.

Responding to Accidents

First get yourself to a safe place. Then assess the scene. If you are not the victim, assist them in getting to a safe place, but do it carefully, watching for hazards. You can’t help another person if you also get hurt.

Check for head or spine injuries. These can be the most serious cycling injuries. If necessary call 911.

Requirement 2: Laws

Describe your state and local laws concerning bicycles. Discuss what is the same and what is different from laws applying to motor vehicles. Explain where and how you should ride on roads and streets to include lane position, changing lanes, making left and right turns, and riding through intersections.

Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

State Bike Laws

This site lists bicycle laws by state. Don’t click on the map. Instead scroll down to find your state.

Requirement 3: Helmet and Safety

Explain the importance of wearing a properly sized and fitted helmet while cycling and of wearing the right clothing for the weather. Know the BSA Bike Safety Guidelines.

Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

Bicycle Helmet Fitting

Your helmet isn’t going to do you much good if it doesn’t fit correctly. Use these guidelines to ensure a good fit.

BSA Bike Safety Guidelines

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet
  • Adjust your bicycle to fit
  • Assure bicycle readiness
  • See and be seen
  • Watch for and avoid road hazards
  • Follow the rules of the road

See the details.

Requirement 4: Inspection

Using a bicycle safety checklist, clean and adjust a bicycle and present it to your counselor for inspection. Do the following:

  1. Show points that should be checked regularly to make sure the bicycle is safe to ride.
  2. Show how to adjust the saddle and handlebars for a proper fit.
  3. Show how to adjust brakes and gear shifting (derailleurs).
  4. Show all points that need regular lubrication.
  5. Show how to repair a flat by removing the tire, replacing or patching the tube, and remounting the tire.
  6. Show that the bicycle meets local laws.

Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

Bike Inspection Checklist

Before riding a bike for the Cycling merit badge, use this checklist to ensure that your bicycle is in good working order.

Bike Repair Tips

These tips will help you understand your bike correct any problems:

Requirement 5: Handling Skills

Demonstrate basic bicycle handling skills to your counselor, to include how to properly mount your bicycle, starting and stopping (to include emergency stops), riding in a straight line, turning, shifting gears, scanning, and signaling.

Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

Requirement 6: Rides

Using the BSA buddy system, complete all of the requirements for ONE of the following options: road biking OR mountain biking.*

  1. Road Biking
    1. Take a road test with your counselor and demonstrate the following:
      1. 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.
      2. Properly execute a right turn.
      3. Demonstrate appropriate actions at a right-turn-only lane when you are continuing straight.
      4. Show proper curbside and road-edge riding. Show how to ride safely along a row of parked cars.
      5. Cross railroad tracks properly.
    2. 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 for the routes traveled, and interesting things seen on the ride.
    3. After completing requirement b for the road biking option, do ONE of the following:
      1. Lay out on a road map a 50-mile trip. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in eight hours or less.
      2. Participate in an organized bike tour of at least 50 miles. Make this ride in eight hours or less. Afterward, use the tour’s cue sheet to make a map of the ride.
  2. Mountain Biking
    1. Demonstrate the following mountain bike handling skills to your counselor:
      1. Neutral position, ready position, bike body separation (side to side, and forward and back), and body positioning for cornering
      2. Show shifting skills as applicable to climbs and obstacles.
      3. Show proper technique for riding up (seated, crouched, and standing) and down hills.
    2. Take a trail ride with your counselor and demonstrate the following:
      1. Show proper trail etiquette to hikers and other cyclists, including when to yield the right-of-way.
      2. Demonstrate how to correctly cross an obstacle by either going over the obstacle on your bike or dismounting your bike and crossing over or around the obstacle
      3. Cross rocks, gravel, and roots properly
    3. Describe the rules of trail riding, including how to know when a trail is unsuitable for riding.
    4. On trails approved by your counselor, take two rides of 2 miles each, two rides of 5 miles each, and two rides of 8 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates for the routes traveled, and interesting things seen.
    5. After fulfilling the previous requirement, lay out on a trail map a 22-mile trip. You may include multiple trail systems, if needed. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in six hours.

Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

Bicycle Riding Log

You need to log your rides for the Cycling Merit Badge. Keep track of how many miles you have cycled with this bike log.

Resources and Related Achievements

50 Miler Award

The 50 Miler award is not just for hikers! You can also earn it by riding your bike.

National Outdoor Badges – Riding

If you ride a lot, you can also earn the National Outdoor Award for Riding. This is an advanced award which requires some dedication.

Cycling/Mountain Biking Ranger Elective

Older Scouts who are Venturers and want to challenge themselves further can earn this Ranger elective.

Cycling Troop Program Feature

This troop program feature will help youth leaders plan a series of meetings and a weekend outing around a cycling theme.

Bicycle Safety Crossword Puzzle

This crossword puzzle make a good starter activity for a meeting focused on bike safety.

Bike Hike Safety and Etiquette

Know the rules of the road before you go out riding.

Bicycle Rodeo Applause, Cheer, and Song

This is just something to add a little silliness to a cycling meeting.

Powdered Sports Drink Recipe

Save some money and make your own sports drink with this recipe.


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