How We Train
One of the principal differences from the Cycling Proficiency Test of old is that the training takes place largely on-road so that trainees, whether children or adults, learn how to interact safely with other road-users.
There are three levels of training within the National Standards, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.
Level 1 normally takes place off-road e.g. on a playground and is designed to develop the basic control skills and understanding fundamental to being able to ride on the road. These skills include getting on and off the bike, starting, stopping, pedalling, riding in a straight line, looking behind and signalling without wobbling.
Level 2 normally takes place on-road, starting off with quiet junctions and roads but progressively moving to busier junctions and roads as the trainees’ skills, understanding and confidence develops. The list of manoeuvres and skills that trainees learn to carry out is quite long and includes turning right and left from a minor road to a major road and vice versa, passing parked vehicles, passing side roads, understanding where to position themselves on the road and being able to explain decisions made whilst riding and thereby demonstrating an understanding of safe riding strategy.
Level 3 is for those who want to cycle further afield using busier roads and more complex road features such as (bigger) roundabouts, traffic lights and multi-lane roads. This training is increasingly being combined with Level 1 and 2 training for secondary school pupils.
Will they be safe?
The course is all about giving the trainees the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be able to ride safely on the road. During the training process we ensure trainee’s safety through:
All trainees wear high visibility jackets/waistcoats, when training.
- Moving progressively to more demanding cycling situations, i.e. from classroom to road riding with the need to demonstrate satisfactory competence at each level before being allowed to move forward.
- Undertaking a bike check, and teaching the trainees how to do this, so that they will always cycle on a roadworthy bike.
- Careful selection of junctions and roads used for training. Instructors position themselves so that they always have the trainees in view and more generally have good visibility of the area so that potential hazards can be spotted, in case the trainees themselves haven’t.
- Using a minimum of 2 instructors, accredited to the National Standard, to 6 trainees, for the road riding sessions. When riding on the road one is positioned at the front and the other at the rear and slightly ‘outboard’ of the line of trainees and one at the rear.