Robin, a Bikeability instructor in Bristol, shares his experience of teaching families to cycle:
“Parents often talked about taking “cycle proficiency” as a child. They remember when the local policeman told you to stay to the left as much as possible when cycling on the road. But that isn’t what Bikeability is about; cycling has changed. Often, this means that parents are not as well equipped to cycle with their children as they would like to be.
Family cycle training helps us teach parents and children to cycle with confidence. It also teaches you how to cycle together; cycling alone as part of a commute is very different. It’s wonderful to see families learning to cycle together. We teach everyone to observe the four core functions; look, move, communicate, ride. It’s not about cycling in the gutter, as the kids are always keen to show Mums and Dads!
Rural cycle paths are the dream destination for a fun family cycle, but getting there can be a challenge. One family in Bristol would load their car with bikes and drive to their favourite cycle spot.
After one family training session, they had developed a route to the nature reserve by bike. Now, they no longer need to drive to their weekend cycle location – they can cycle the whole journey. That’s what we want; more families cycling together, more often.”
Stories from our Bikeability champions
“I feel really happy and relaxed when I ride my bike, and it’s given me independence and freedom. “
“It really is a joy to watch our son Josh cycle with a big smile on his face and it brings a tear of happiness to our eyes.”
“Cycling gives you the freedom you need when the world around you is locking down – free your mind, free your body and free your soul-build confidence, strength and do your bit to save the environment!”
“Cycling has been our saviour this year, and feels like it was the only things that wasn’t cancelled.”
“These sessions provided an excellent foundation. It helped to improve our confidence cycling on the roads. Very well experienced, professional and friendly trainers.”
“Cycling is a real life skill. Something you only have to learn once and remember forever.”
“We started family bike rides at the start of lockdown2020 as a way of keeping fit, and sharing an activity that the whole family can continue to enjoy.”
“Giving them the skills to feel more confident on the road is a great step for both them, and myself.”
“Cycling for me is a way to get around; a way to exercise; but most of all it’s a way to have fun together as a family.”
“We went from “I don’t want to!” To “Mummy, can you take me on a bike ride around the estate please?” Her bike has got her away from too much screen time and gained fun, fresh air and exercise!”
“The children are so happy, they feel so accomplished and they are, rightly, so proud of themselves. And we’re so incredibly proud of them too.”
“Using a bike rather than taking the car helps reduce air pollution. We are giving children the skills to make that choice easier and safer”
“I am so unbelievably proud of them. Here’s to many more memories together as a family…on our bikes. Whoop Whoop!!”
“It has been a tremendous help to gain the knowledge to comfortably ride on roads in the correct way and with confidence. Look forward to growing our journey with you in the future.”
“I’m back cycling after a long break, I’m a bit rusty but got some wonderful hints and tips on this website”
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