Bike Ability

screenman

Legendary Member
We have quite a few people coming on the forum asking for cycling advice, how to pedal that sort of thing.

A few times in reply to these questions I have mentioned Bike Ability, why am I the only one, is my advice poor? We talk about poor motorist etc, yet very few cyclist it seems are prepared to take training.
 

Drago

Guest
I've got more customers than I can keep up with. I got 2 search and rescue groups wanting training now.
 
As riding a bike is often something which many people pick up as a child, perhaps a small minority of adults feel a bit embarrassed to admit they need training for it, unlike say learning to drive a car which is a more complicated set of skills?

Having said that, a couple of years ago, in order to do Ride Leader training, I had to do Bikeability Level 3 first, which I initially thought was a bit silly as I'd been riding a bike for over 30 years, but in fact I enjoyed and have learnt a lot from it, and am in fact currently doing the Instructor's training. So you're never too old to learn new things.
 
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ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
It is over 50 years since I learned how to ride a bike and the exact details of how I did it are lost in the mists of time. I do remember that my parents made it a condition that I must enrol to prepare for the Cycling Proficiency test before they would agree to buy me a bike. We did after-school classes and were taken out round quiet local roads. (Actually, all roads were much quieter then than they are now - the quietest of the quiet!) I assume that this is very similar to what Bikeability does now?

What I don't remember is having any tuition on the basics of how to actually ride a bike! As far as I can remember, I didn't find it difficult, and picked it up in an hour or two in the alleyway behind the house. I could be wrong - I might have been falling off my bike for weeks, but I would expect to remember something like that.

The other thing that I can't remember is learning how to fix punctures, or actually fixing any. I used to ride miles from home and we did not have a car or a phone then so there was no way that I could summon my parents to come and rescue me if I had problems when cycling. I therefore deduce that I must have been fixing my own punctures. I don't believe that I cycled for 4 or 5 years without getting any!

After that, my bike got stolen from school and I didn't cycle again for 20 years.

There is a saying about never forgetting how to ride a bike. That was certainly true for me. I bought the adult bike from Harry Halls in Manchester, before the IRA bombing wiped out their shop near Victoria Station. I walked the bike to the station and out of the station when I arrived in Hebden Bridge. In all honesty, I then got on the bike and rode it home without a wobble or a worry. The only thing I really noticed was that it was vastly better than any bike I had ever ridden as a child! I loved it immediately.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
You don't look that old Colin.
I was 50 when my current avatar photo was taken! (It will get changed this year, but I may incorporate a flash of the old one to remind people who I am!)

I'm looking a lot older now, having turned 59 this week. THAT illness aged me very quickly, as has losing a lot of weight - the skin on my face doesn't fit properly any more so I have more, er, jowls! The hair is much greyer, and half of it has receded or fallen out.

Apart from that, I look fine! :laugh:
 
Quite agree @screenman. All inexperienced riders should attend these type of courses. Problem round these 'ere parts is that it is only available to 'children'. i.e those between 10 - 16. Adults not allowed - truly bizarre!
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
The other thing that I can't remember is learning how to fix punctures, or actually fixing any. I used to ride miles from home and we did not have a car or a phone then so there was no way that I could summon my parents to come and rescue me if I had problems when cycling. I therefore deduce that I must have been fixing my own punctures. I don't believe that I cycled for 4 or 5 years without getting any!
At risk of thread napping, I can't ever remember getting a puncture as a kid either (and did a reasonable number of miles between the ages of 14 & 17). At a guess the tyres were never inflated as highly and nobody was so worried about how heavy the tyres and tubes were so they were all thicker?
 
Location
Hampshire
Bike
Quite agree @screenman. All inexperienced riders should attend these type of courses. Problem round these 'ere parts is that it is only available to 'children'. i.e those between 10 - 16. Adults not allowed - truly bizarre!
Bikeability training is available all over the country to any age, but it's only government funded for primary school children to do level 1 & 2. Oldest trainee I've had was 73.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Bike

Bikeability training is available all over the country to any age, but it's only government funded for primary school children to do level 1 & 2. Oldest trainee I've had was 73.
A friend of mine has a 10 year old lad who can't ride, but would like him to learn. There is no family member who could and she can't find anything locally one-one, in bagshot. If anyone can help, it would be appreciated.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I think there is an issue and a degree of embarrassment as he can't ride, and I think the courses are aimed at further training rather than basic learning? Hence asking about one on one tuition. Doesn't have to be free
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
With regards to the OP, I've not sought out more training because I'm comfortable with where I am currently. I've got almost 30 years of road sense built up from cars and motorbikes and have taken IAM training in both thanks to a wish to learn to be better. I see a lot more near misses than I'm involved in and am comfortable commuting on busy urban roads. Most of the extra cycling skills I was after, largely group riding, I got by joining up with the Fridays last year. I could almost definitely do with learning some more bicycle handling skills, but am not looking at Bike Ability because of time constraints and a feeling that what I'm after might be a bit specific for what a cycling group could teach me. I'd probably get more by taking the 20 year olds polo bike out of the garage and mucking about on that for a bit with a stick and a ball.

I'd doubt I'm alone in having a similar history, and would expect a fair number of cyclechat members to be in similar, or even more comfortable, positions so it's not so much that your advice is the wrong advice, just that a lot of regulars on here aren't really looking for it.
 
Location
Hampshire
I think there is an issue and a degree of embarrassment as he can't ride, and I think the courses are aimed at further training rather than basic learning? Hence asking about one on one tuition. Doesn't have to be free

Most training providers/instructors will offer one to one private sessions (I do) for a fee and tailor the training to individual requirements. When running a school course there are usually some 'non-riders' who would spend the week just learning to ride and control a bike in the playground, although often the parental consent form says they can, they say they can and it's only when it comes to the crunch that you find out they can't, not well enough to take out on the road at any rate.
 
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