Posted on

Learning to Fly

Questioning someone’s cycling ability is a bit like questioning someone’s driving or bedroom ability  – you just don’t go there!

However, you sometimes wonder whether you are doing things right and could you do things better.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to the National Standards Instructor training course for Bikeability. For those not in the know, Bikeability is the 21st century name for Cycling Proficiency.  However, where the old course was sometimes run by enthusiastic parents and normally was restricted to the playground, Bikeability includes exposure to real roads and real traffic and is run by trained professionals.

The course is split into three levels. Level one is playground based and covers the basics, including setting off, stopping and steering.  Level two moves onto the road and covers the outcomes of junctions and road positioning and level three builds on the previous two courses and includes route planning, roundabouts and more advanced junctions.

Well how did I get on after 40 years in the saddle and no previous training?  Being a driver was a help as I had a knowledge of the Highway Code and traffic.  The main thing that myself and the three other trainees took away was road positioning and observation.  Being assertive and “controlling the lane” enables you to communicate where you want to go and what you want to do.  Reflection was another message that was given.  If things don’t go to plan – what can we do differently to avoid that situation in the future.

If you ever get the chance to do the Bikeability course as either a trainee (many local authorities offer level 3 training for free) or doing the instructor training – do it.  It will open your eyes and may get you thinking of cycling in a different way.