Now’s the busiest time for ‘Bikeability’ cycle training in Worcester’s schools. With Government funding the County Council is doing a great job offering it to all schools in Worcestershire. In reality, its mainly the Primary Schools that are taking up the offer with a large percentage of Year 5 or 6 pupils completing both a Level 1 and Level 2 course.
Level 1 is delivered on the school playground and teaches pupils to check their bike is safe, how to control it and in preparing them for cycling on the road.
Level 2 is delivered on quiet roads around the school and teaches them how to cycle safely on single-lane roads and using junctions.
Level 3 is better suited to secondary school children and adults. It provides the more advanced skills needed for multi-lane roads and complex junctions.
More detailed information can be found at www.bikeability.org.uk.
For many children this training is one of the highlights of the year. Its amazing how, in only a week, they pick up the skills and self-confidence needed to cycle safely on less trafficked and slower roads.
Research has demonstrated that the skills and knowledge gained is retained well and, if put in to practice, makes them better, safer and more considerate motorists when they’re old enough to drive.
So, if your child has recently completed a Level 2 course, what can you be doing to built on their newly acquired skills and enthusiasm? Here’s a few suggestions:
- If they need a new bike, pop along to a local independent bike shop to get advice on which one to buy.
- Go through the handbook they’ve been given to consolidate their skills and perhaps pick up tips on how you and other members of the family can become better and safer cyclists.
- Check out whether there’s a safe cycle route to school they could be using.
- Get your own bike out of the shed and take them out on rides. You can download details of several signed and family friendly routes from the County Council.
- Check out the Push Bike! ‘Cycling What’s On’ www.pushbikecampaign.org to see if there are any child friendly cycle events they and the whole family could be going to.