The following information is provided by Cycle Confident and aims to answer any questions you may have.
Bikeability is the nationally recognised cycle training programme.
It’s about acquiring the practical skills to cycle safely and with confidence on today’s roads.
For children to participate in school Bikeability training, they must have basic riding skills (without stabilisers). Free individual training may also be available for you and your child in your area and is a great way to get your child riding prior to the course commencing, so they can then participate. Check the Cycle Confident website at www.cycleconfident.com for details on our individual and family group training.
There are three Bikeability levels.
Level 1 is designed to give your child control over his / her bike and takes place in groups in a space away from traffic such as a playground or closed car park.
Level 2 will ensure your child is prepared for short journeys such as cycling to school. Training takes place in small groups on quiet, local streets, giving trainees a real cycling experience.
Level 3 (not offered in primary schools) is recommended for older children and adults. Trainees are equipped with skills needed for more challenging roads and traffic situations. Training is delivered one-to-one or in groups of up to 3 so can be tailored to a trainee’s individual needs. Route planning is also covered, making this ideal for getting advice on and then practicing a school or work commute.
What does my child need to take part in Bikeability?
Crucially, your child needs to be able to commit to the full length of the course. If they miss a session, they may not be able to re-join the course since their cohort will have moved on. In terms of equipment, your child will need a bike which is in a roadworthy condition, the right size for them, have pumped up tyres and two working brakes. Instructors will show children how to check their bikes at the start of the first session and will ensure that your child’s bike is safe for training purposes. BMX bikes are permitted in most circumstances so long as the bike has working brakes, and has not been adapted to the extent that it is no longer suitable for use on the road. The instructors will have the final say on whether your child’s bike is safe for them to complete the training on but allowances will be made wherever possible.
What if my child does not have a bike?
Cycle Confident may be able to arrange for your child to borrow a bike for the training. Please check this with your school.
Can my child share their bike with a child who does not have one?
There is a provision on the consent form which you can tick if you are happy for another child to borrow your child’s bike when his or her group is not in training.
What should my child wear to take part in Bikeability?
In most cases, your child may wear their normal school clothes, suitable for the season and weather. Excessively loose clothes may be hazardous and should be avoided. In colder months, warm layers and gloves are recommended. High visibility tabards will be provided by Cycle Confident.
Does my child need a cycle helmet?
Please see the consent form for more information on whether the borough stipulates that helmets are required for training. This is usually left up to parental discretion so if you do require your child to wear a helmet, please be sure to provide one or check with your school if they are available to borrow.
My child is not able to participate in Bikeability. Can he/she do it outside school time?
In many boroughs, Cycle Confident runs free holiday courses that cover the same outcomes as the Bikeability school courses. Children are welcome to join these whether or not they have done training at school. Check out the services the council offers on the Cycle Confident website www.cycleconfident.com
What will my child receive on completion of Bikeability training?
Children who successfully complete Bikeability training are awarded a badge and certificate.
My child didn’t complete the Bikeability training. What happens now?
Your child will be given some feedback from their instructor on areas that need a bit more work. It is recommended that you discuss these with your child so that they can be clear on how they can improve their skills and confidence. You might be able to help your child practice these areas, or you might want to sign them up for further free training or holiday courses. Check out the Cycle Confident website www.cycleconfident.com for details.
My child has completed Level 2. What next?
Bikeability is the gateway to all kinds of fun experiences by bike – the training is just the start! If your child is interested in cycling and wants to do more, they might want to join a local cycling club for BMXing, mountain biking or racing. Ask your child’s Bikeability instructor for advice on which groups are good for junior members and beginners.
A great way to practise the Bikeability training your child has received is to try cycling as a family (family training sessions are also available through Cycle Confident), or let them cycle independently to school or the local shops.
Is there free cycle training available for adults?
Yes, most councils offer free individual or group training for adults and this can be a great way to understand better what your child has been taught and support them towards independent cycling. See the Cycle Confident website for details www.cycleconfident.com