About the Bikeability Scheme
Every year, junior schools in Medway are offered the chance to book cyclist training courses that meet Level 2 of the National Standard for Cyclist Training.
These courses are delivered within school hours, taking place at your child’s school.
If you would like your child to take part in a Bikeability course, please contact their school to discuss booking with the Bikeability team.
Bikeability is a cycle training programme which can help to develop practical skills and understanding to keep children safe when cycling on the road.
It also gives them the confidence to get out and about with all kinds of cycling.
Bikeability is practical and professional training that aims to leave cyclists more skilled and confident once they’ve taken part.
Who can take part
Children must be a minimum of 10 years of age and able to ride their bike without stabilisers.
If your child achieves a Level 1 standard in the playground assessment the training will then be on the public highway. For this reason your written consent and your child’s commitment to good behaviour is needed.
Children will not be permitted to take part in the training without these.
What you'll need
All cyclists and instructors will be issued with high visibility safety wear.
All cyclists must have their own cycle helmet and roadworthy bike.
Instructors will not carry out bike repairs. Most bike shops offer a free bike checking service which we would encourage you to use. To avoid disappointment please contact your local shop to book this service before the course takes place.
These local shops offer a free bike checking service:
- Halfords: you can use their online service to book an appointment or phone 01634 829 091
- The Bike Warehouse: email email@example.com or phone 01634 571 093
- Create The Way: 01634 799 803.
Bikes will be checked as part of Level 1 and if considered unsafe by the instructor, training cannot take place.
In the interest of safety for all, we reserve the right to decline training to any child who cannot physically control their bike or if it is felt that your child's behaviour is affecting the safety of the scheme or others enjoyment.
What your child will learn
Your child will need to demonstrate the following:
- ride your bike using the gears (if it has them)
- make your bike go where you want it to, including moving around objects safely
- control the bike with one hand while signalling the correct way
- stop quickly if needed
- look all around you when you’re riding, including behind, without wobbling.
You can use bikes without gears on this training but it will make it harder for your child.
Levels 1 to 3
There are 3 Bikeability levels. Each is designed to improve cycling skills for all levels of experience.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 take trainees from the basics of balance and control, all the way to planning and making an independent journey on busier roads.
New riders learn to control and master their bikes in a space away from traffic such as a playground or closed car park. Trainees will usually be trained in a groups of 6 to 12, though individual training may also be available in your area.
At Level 1 trainees can:
- maintain your cycle: make sure your ride is in good condition and make simple repairs
- glide: smooth calm and collected movements
- control your bike: including
- setting off
- slowing down
- learning to pedal one handed
- pedal without feeling wobbly or out of control
- be aware of your surroundings: look behind and turning around obstacles.
Level 2 takes place on local streets, giving trainees a real cycling experience. Trainees learn how to deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school or the local shops. Trainees are usually trained in small groups (up to 6 trainees per instructor) although individual training may also be available.
At Level 2 trainees can:
- start and stop with more confidence
- pass stationary vehicles parked on a road
- understand the road: signals, signs and road markings
- negotiate the road: including quiet junctions, crossroads and roundabouts
- share the road with other vehicles.
Level 3 gives trainees the skills for more challenging roads and traffic situations such as. It's taught in smaller groups or 1-to-1 so every course is tailored to the rider's needs, for example, a route to work or school.
At Level 3, trainees can:
- use the best riding position for any situation
- ride alongside other cyclists
- ride on more complex roads: this might include:
- busier roads
- more complicated roads
- roads with speed limits over 30mph
- negotiate more complex roads: for example:
- junctions controlled by traffic lights
- multi-lane roads
- cycle lanes
- respond confidently when a situation changes, for example, when a vehicle pulls out in front of you.
It also includes planning routes for safe cycling. Level 3 training is delivered one-to-one or in groups of up to 3 so can be tailored to a trainee’s individual needs, such as a route to work or school.
More about cycling in Medway.