Preparing for Bikeability: Parents - What you need to know
What is the Bikeability Course?
On these courses Cycle Training UK teach control skills in an off-road location. The children who demonstrate the necessary competences are then taken to ride on local roads where they are taught road position and how to communicate with other road users. There’s more information at the Bikeability website.
Find out more about Bikeability
What does my child need to take part in Bikeability?
Your child will need a bike which is in a roadworthy condition to take part in Bikeability. Your child’s bike should be 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 them to complete the training on.
More information on Bike Checking
Cycle Training UK also deliver a number of public Dr Bike sessions where you can bring along bikes to be checked for free.
Dr Bike Locations & Times
The instructor leading the Bikeability session 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.
Loan bikes might be available if your child does not have a suitable bike for training on. Please check with your child’s school if bikes will be available before the training takes place.
What should my child wear to take part in Bikeability?
Your child may wear their normal clothes, suitable for the season and weather. In colder months, warm layers, waterproof coat and gloves are recommended. Sunscreen when it’s hot and sunny. A small bottle of water is advisable when the weather is hot.
If you have said your child will wear a helmet to take part in the course, you must provide an approved cycling helmet and must ensure that the helmet fits correctly.
Helmet Fitting Guide
My child has special needs/medical condition. Can they participate in Bikeability?
Yes, but you must tell us before the course. Most children with special needs should be able to take part in Bikeability training with their peers. Instructors make every effort to integrate any special needs requirements into their mainstream courses. Where practical problems arise, instructors will try to find alternatives.
During Bikeability training
The Legal bit – please read
Cycle Training UK (CTUK) will not be held liable for any injury which it is established may have been prevented by wearing of a helmet or any injury which it is later established may have been caused by the wearing of a helmet. The instructor will advise on the fit of a helmet, but will not necessarily be able to judge from its appearance if it is in good condition. CTUK is not responsible for any injury or loss or damage not caused by an instructor, or which happens outside these lessons, including journeys to and from school. Instructors may at any time refuse to continue to train your child if their behaviour or ability level is considered to be unsuitable.
My child is absent from school and will miss Bikeability. What can I do to make sure they can still take part?
If your child misses one of their Bikeability sessions it may be possible that they can still take part in future sessions with the rest of their group, but they might not be able to complete all of the outcomes at their level because they won’t have had the opportunity to practise everything the group has been taught. The instructor leading the Bikeability Course will have the final say on whether they can rejoin and allowances will be made wherever possible.
What happens in the event of poor weather?
Bikeability training will usually still take place in the event of poor weather – the training is supposed to reflect what it is really like to cycle on today’s roads, and rain, drizzle and cold are very realistic conditions! For this reason, your child should wrap up warm in the colder months and wear waterproof clothing if rain is likely. The lead instructor will decide if training should go ahead in the event of very poor weather. Training might finish early if conditions become too cold or wet during the session. If training does not take place or finishes early, the session will be rescheduled.
After Bikeability training
What will my child receive now that they have completed Bikeability?
Children who successfully complete Bikeability are awarded a badge and certificate. The badge is red for Level 1, orange for Level 2, and green for Level 3.
My child has completed Level 2. What next?
Having training does not mean that it is safe for your child to cycle in all circumstances. To become a proficient cyclist takes much more practice than lessons of this kind can provide. Having said that, 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, racing, or touring. Look out for local publicity for such groups, and ask your Bikeability instructor for advice on which groups are good for junior members and beginners.
A great way to practise the training that your child has received during Bikeability is to try cycling as a family, or let them cycle by themselves to school, to the local shops, cinema or swimming pool.
Level 3 training is recommended for older children who would like to learn how to ride in different and more challenging traffic situations.
My child didn’t complete Bikeability Level 2. What happens now?
Your child will be given some feedback from their Bikeability instructor on areas that they need to do a bit more work on. 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 practise these areas, or you might want to ask for some extra tuition.
At what age can children start Bikeability?
Children can start Bikeability Level 1 when they can ride a bike well. Doing Level 1 they can master their control skills before moving on to Level 2, where they gain the skills and experience needed for making on-road trips. Most children take part in Level 1 when they are in Years 4 or 5 (aged 8-10), and Level 2 when they are in Years 5 or 6 (aged 9-11). Level 3 training can start in Year 6 and is delivered in secondary schools.
My child can’t ride yet. Can Bikeability help?
Bikeability training has most impact when children start from the point at which they can already ride well. Getting to grips with balance is often the hardest part of learning to ride – you can help by giving your child a balance bike to practice on, or by removing the stabilisers and pedals from their normal bike. Cycle Training UK can provide one to one tuition to help your child ride without stabilisers.
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Can adults take part in Bikeability?
Yes, adults can take part in Bikeability. The skills taught as part of Bikeability will last a lifetime, and it is never too late to learn. Adult cycle skills sessions are FREE in Ealing and built around your specific training needs – so, if there’s a particular route you would like to practise or a skill you’d like to work on, please make your instructor aware.
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