Bikeability is the government’s national cycle training programme, delivered across England by professional, qualified instructors. It helps those interested in cycling to learn practical skills and, more importantly, to understand how to cycle on today’s ever more busy roads.
Those that are slightly older amongst us will probably remember doing Cycling Proficiency at school as a youngster. Bikeability is the updated and renewed version of the scheme that takes into account the changes that have taken place on our roads in the last 30 to 40 years.
It is delivered across three distinct levels which are aimed at different groups with varying levels of knowledge and skills.
Level 1 is delivered in a safe location, off of the highway and away from traffic. It covers things such as basic observation skills, cycle control, correct clothing and simple cycle checks. It also provides instructors with an opportunity to assess individual abilities and identify any areas that may need more focus. Often, Level 1 is delivered in the first session when delivered in a school environment.
Bikeability Level 2 is delivered on the highway in areas with low traffic volumes and speed (30 MPH or less) and good visibility. It covers correct riding positions, starting and stopping, turning left and right into and out of simple junctions and dealing with parked vehicles or similar potential obstructions on the road. Level 2 can be delivered as part of a course within school or as part of one of Suffolk’s FREE Family Cycling Sessions.
Bikeability Level 3 is the most advanced of the Bikeability levels and is aimed at older cyclists in their teenage years and beyond. It will often be delivered through a journey along a prescribed route (often chosen for it’s use by the person or people attending the training) and covers things like negotiating more advanced junctions while maintaining suitable riding positions. It will often use roads with higher traffic volumes and speeds, taking into account things like bus lanes and traffic queues in busier areas.