What is Bikeability?

More information is available at but what follows is a brief overview of Bikeability training.

Bikeability was designed to replace the existing Cycling Proficiency training and has government support and is administered through CTC (Cycling Touring Club) and Sport England. A lot of local authorities are providing training to as many year 5 and year 6 pupils as possible, in that it is actively promoted and available to all pupils.   Manchester is one such authority. Bradford Council currently has a pilot scheme running to provide Bikeability training within the district..

Bikeability training is different to the traditional cycling proficiency test in that it takes place on road as opposed to being playground based. This is so that it is realistic, and has the aim of providing the children with the skills needed to make journeys on the roads that they will actually use when out cycling.

The course is very structured and layers the childrens' learning so that their learning is progressive throughout the course. There are usually four sessions and the first two hour session teaches basic bike handling skills such as starting and stopping in the playground, and there is an assessment at the end of this session to make sure that the children are skilled enough to participate in on road training.   The following three, two hour sessions take place on quiet roads, and the training is layered so that the children build from being able to start and finish a journey to being able to carry out left and right turns at junctions.

The mechanics of the session are that instructors from BeCycling take the children out, talk them through each manoeuvre with them not on their bikes. Then after giving a practical demonstration, the children run through each drill until they are confident and competent.   They would not move onto the next drill until they were confident in the drill they have been practising. With it being carried out this way, there is no group riding on the road, there is only one child riding on the road at any one time, and the children are never further than a few metres from the instructor.   The training would not take place on busy roads as the aim of the training is to equip children with the skills needed to make short journeys on quiet roads.  BeCycling also provide high visibility jackets for the children to wear during the training.

BeCycling carry out comprehensive risk assessments before each session with regards to the childrens' abilities, and also to any hazards that may be existent on the roads they are using. BeCycling instructors also carry out dynamic risk assessments during the sessions, for example there may be a lorry delivery taking place on a road we had planned to use, and if this was the case, then we would move to another, safer street.

BeCycling has public liability insurance up to a maximum amount of £10,000,000 for carrying out this training as well as professional indemnity insurance to a similar amount.