FAQs

CYCLE TRAINING: BEFORE THE LESSON


Q. How do I book a cycle lesson?
Click here (the 'Lessons’ icon at the top of our website) and fill in the form. A booker from our office will call you to arrange a lesson. When the lesson is booked your instructor will call you 2 days before the lesson to confirm the lesson details, arrange a place to meet, discuss your goals and any queries you might have.

Q. How much does a lesson cost?
Cycle Training is funded in many London Boroughs. We provide subisidised training in Brent, the City, Hackney and Ealing. You can find more about subisidised costs here. We offer private one to one, paired (two people together with similiar skill level) and family cycle training at £35 per hour. A lesson is normally 2 hours.

Q. Where will the lesson take place?
In those areas where we are the Local Authority’s cycle training provider the lesson will take place initially in a park/off road area near where you live, work or study.

Q. How long is the training?
Each lesson is two hours (for children under 6 this might be reduced to one or one and a half hours).

Q. When can I have the lesson?
We provide cycle training in daylight hours, at weekends and during the week all year round.

Q. What ages do you teach?
We teach all ages, from 4 years olds upwards. We often receive calls from adults who didn’t receive training as children and want to learn now. No-one is too old to learn to cycle! All our instructors are Enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked so they've been vetted to work with children and vulnerable groups.

Q. Do you teach people who can’t ride at all?
Yes. Our instructors have lots of experience of teaching complete beginners – children and adults. The instructor will help you balance and support you. Often we have trainees up and cycling on their own in the first lesson.

Q. Do I need a bike?
Yes. You need to bring a bike that is roadworthy. If you haven't got a bike you can use the bikes at our offices for free (but you'll have to come to us for the training). If you are a complete beginner i.e. cannot ride at all and you haven't got a bike, you can either come to us or hire the instructor's bike (£10 per sesson and the training can take place near to where you live).

Q. How do I know if my bike is roadworthy?
Your bike should be safe to cycle on the road. Here is our bicycle check list.

Q. I haven’t got a bike and I'd like to buy one. What bike should I buy?
We recommend that you go to your local bike shop and ask them about what type of bike you should purchase. One of the main things to consider is what you will be using the bike for - i.e. for commuting, leisure, off road cycling etc. It's always a very good idea to 'try before you buy'. Bikes come in different sizes and most bike shops will let you whizz around on the bike before buying.

Q. What special equipment will I need?
You don’t need any special equipment. Just bring a roadworthy bike and dress appropriately (waterproof clothing if it might rain, sunscreen in the summer, sensible shoes with grip etc). We recommend that trainees do bring a bottle of water and it’s a good idea to wear light colored clothes if the light is bad.

Q. Do I need to wear a helmet?
No. Helmet wearing is not compulsory. If you would like to wear a helmet you will need to bring one with you (we do not supply helmets - you can read our helmet policy here). Should you decide to wear a helmet for the session, our instructor will ensure that it is fitted correctly.

Q. How many lessons will I need?
The honest answer is that we won’t know until you’ve had your first lesson with your instructor. At the end of the first lesson the instructor will be able to advise you on how many more lessons you may need (and what you need to practice between sessions!) . As a rough rule of thumb – complete beginners may need three lessons, leisure cyclists – two and regular commuters just the one.

Q. I’m an experienced cyclist how will I benefit from training?
Even regular commuters can benefit from cycle training. A session often enhances a cyclist’s existing riding techniques, offers refresher advice and tips for the road. We also offer a travel plan service where the instructor accompanies the trainee to their workplace/travel destination.

Q. Do you offer gift vouchers?
Yes (and, even if we do say so ourselves, what a great idea for a present!). We have gift vouchers for both cycle training and maintenance courses. Click here for more info.

 

CYCLE TRAINING: THE LESSON


Q. What is taught in the lesson?
We teach 'Bikeability' which is the name for the UK’s National Standard for cycle training. Bikeability has three levels:
Level 1 – learn basic controls skills such as swerving, emergency braking, signaling and looking behind (this is off road usually in a park near where you live or work)
When you have built up confidence/skill you move on road:
Level 2 – learn about positioning, communicating and basic on-road manoeuvres - such as passing parked cars, turning at junctions and choosing the correct lane.
Level 3 – learn to cycle on busier roads utilising traffic lights, roundabouts, filtering and multilanes


Q. I’m a very experienced cyclist, do I need to start the training in the park?
We have to make sure that everyone has the skills to go on road first, that's why we take everyone from the beginnning (Level 1). For experienced cyclists the off-road session might only take 10 minutes or so. As soon as the instructor observes that you have the required control skills you will be taken on road.

Q. How many people do you teach in a lesson?
We provide one-to-one training – one instructor trains one trainee. This means the instructor focuses on your training and the lesson is tailored to your experience and skills. That said, we do offer group training – for families, businesses and community organisations and 'paired riding' where two traineees of similar skill level can be trained together. We also provide group training for unconfident cyclists that may benefit from social cycling around parks, canals or to places of interest.

Q. Do you teach family groups?
Yes. One instructor can train a family group together. We recommend that the adults take a lesson first then a subsequent lesson can be arranged for the family group.

Q. What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my lesson?
The lesson can often still go ahead if the weather is poor (we often train between light rain showers etc). Obviously if there is any danger due to the weather i.e. icy surfaces, the lesson will be cancelled. The instructor will contact you if the lesson is to be cancelled because of adverse conditions.

Q. What happens if I have to cancel the lesson?
Please do give us the earliest possible notice if you have to cancel so we can rearrange your lesson. If you cancel your subsidised lesson with less than 24 hours notice or do not show up for your lesson we will unfortunately have to charge your local authority for the full cost of your lesson. You may lose your right to receive further subsidised lessons.

For privately paying individuals, cancellations made with less than 24 hours notice will incur a full charge regardless of circumstance.  We can offer a rebooking at no charge for cancellations made with 24-48 hours notice or for cancellations due to bad weather. If you give us more than 48 hours notice we will be happy to refund your money.

 

MAINTENANCE: MAINTENANCE COURSES

Q. What type of maintenance courses do you offer?
We offer one-day basic, intermediate and other types of courses including Brompton, women only and wheel truing. We also offer bespoke maintenance. If you have a particular session in mind please do call us and we'll try to help. Here is an outline of what we teach in the basic and intermediate courses.

Q. How much does the one day maintenance courses cost?
The basic maintenance course is £65, the intermediate £85.

Q. When do the maintenance courses take place?
We run around five maintenance courses every month (9.30-5.30pm) - these mainly take place at the weekend but we run offer mid-week courses too. Here are our maintenance course dates. The courses take place at our training centre in The Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey which is a 10 minute cycle ride from Tower Bridge.

Q. How do I enrol on a maintenance course?
Contact or email Andy tel: 0207 232 4390 / andy@cycletraining.co.uk

Q. Do you provide food/Where can I eat?
We provide tea/coffee and biscuits. For more substantial fare you can visite the Biscuit Factory cafe on-site open during the week. At the weekends there are cafes on Southwark High Street. You are also most welcome to use our kitchen which has a microwave, fridge and kettle.

Q. What do I need to bring to the maintenance course?
We strongly recommend that you bring your bike as the lesson is very hands-one i.e. you will be working on your own bike. That said, we have bikes you can work on if you can’t bring your own or you can share a bike. We provide tools that you can use on the day. We suggest you bring an apron or wear old clothes.


MAINTENANCE: DR BIKES

Q. What is a Dr Bike?
At Dr Bikes our instructors will come to your school/organisation/workplace and check over and carry out minor repairs on bikes. The types of repair include: adjusting brakes, replacing worn brake blocks, indexing gears, ensuring that the tyre pressure is correct. We will also give you advice about your bike and its upkeep. Note that many London Boroughs often offer FREE Dr Bike events.

Q. Where and when is the next FREE Dr Bike?
You can find out about forthcoming FREE Dr Bikes here.