Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cycle Training

I passed my Cycling Proficiency back in 1980, I think it was.  In those days, there was far fewer cars on the roads, less journeys made by car and they did not travel as fast.  The bike training was in the playground, around cones, and up and down.  We learned hand signals - including one for 'slowing down' which I don't think I ever used.  

The training is now called Bikeability (National Cycle Standards), and comes in levels 1-3; 1 being very basic and probably the level I did with CP.  Level 2 takes you around side streets with some talking time, demonstrations and then riding time.  Level 3 is then for the more scary stuff - roundabouts and large junctions.

Today's training is about confidence, road positioning and positive manoeuvres.  It is not just for schoolchildren and young people.  I spent some time with an instructor last year - in 50 yards I had done several things 'wrong'!  We talked over points and walked through some positions in a quiet side junction.  We then rode about a bit, before heading back to Chester (in his van) to stand and discuss roundabouts whilst nervously watching the cars fly around Hoole Roundabout.  Then we rode round it - which was (to be honest) much less scary than looking at it!

Cycle Experience is a company who deliver such training, and have been commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council to deliver sessions locally to us, for free.  So I arranged a couple of sessions for the ladies.

Talking to the group



...whilst being watched


more practicing

knowing when to stop and wait

talking through roundabouts

Riding roundabouts

I learned a few pointers, and it is well worth taking part in a course like this.  There may still be some courses on until the end of March 2015, check the Cycle Experience website.

I did gather some quotes from the ladies:

"Remember to look behind, look behind and look behind!"

" Do things [when riding] that make people know you are doing things"

" Very, very good [training] - enlightening"

"[the training gave] Confirmation you are doing the right thing, gives you confidence to ride with authority"

"Body language - can be seen by all road users"

"valuable to understand why we do something"

"Good to get some individual feedback [on riding]"

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