Getting children interested in cycling at an early age is a great way to encourage them to exercise. However, young people between 11 and 15 are most vulnerable on the roads, and only one third of children ever do any cycle training.
The three-level National Standard for Cycle Training provides all the skills required for safe cycling on-and-off-road. Although primarily aimed at children, this training is also relevant for adults. The levels break down as follows:
- Level 1 (age 7-8): Beginners and basic cycling skills - held off-road; children learn how to control, balance and manoeuvre
- Level 2 (age 9-10): Introduction to on-road cycling - held on quieter roads in groups; children learn where to position themselves when riding on the road and how to observe traffic, signal and turn/manoeuvre safely. Also includes basic understanding of the Highway Code
- Level 3 (age 11-12): Advanced cycling - held on busier roads; children learn skills required for making longer journeys. Children also learn how to deal with all types of road conditions such as roundabouts, traffic lights and multi-lane roads
Since 2007, Bikeability courses have been held, which are based on the National Cycle Training Standards process.