Go Velo runs a recognised Bikeability Scheme registered with the Department for Transport. Bikeability is the modern version of Cycling Proficiency, designed for current road conditions to teach how to ride a bike confidently. There are certificates and badges for each level.
At Level 1 new riders learn to control and master their bikes in a space away from traffic such as a playground or closed car park. Trainees will usually be trained in a group of 3-12, though individual training may also be available in your area. At Level 1 you can:
Level 2 takes place on local streets, giving trainees a real cycling experience. Trainees learn how to deal with traffic on short journeys such as cycling to school or the local shops. Trainees are usually trained in small groups – up to 6 trainees per instructor – though individual training may also be available. At Level 2 you can:
Level 3 equips trainees with skills for more challenging roads and traffic situations – busier streets, queuing traffic, complex junctions and roundabouts. It also includes planning routes for safe cycling. Level 3 training is delivered one-to-one or in groups of up to 3 so can be tailored to a trainee’s individual needs, such as a route to work or school. At Level 3 you can:
You should plan where you are going and how long it will take. Make sure all the family, or group, can cope with the distance, terrain and hills.
Check all equipment and make sure you have food and drink if necessary.
Make sure everyone has suitable clothing and be prepared for changes in weather.
Make sure everyone is clear on the order you will be cycling in and how you will tackle turnings, junctions or obstacles.
Ensure everyone’s shoelaces are tied and that there is nothing hanging down that could get caught in the chain or brakes.
Ensure helmets fit tightly around the circumference of the head and the strap is secure below the chin, with enough room for two fingers between the strap and the chin.
Before you set off on any ride, check all bikes in the group are in good working order. Remember your ABC: A – air, B – brakes, C – chain.
Brakes – check the front brake by rolling the bike forward and applying the brake. The bike should stop quickly. Ensure you can fit two fingers between the brake lever and handlebar. Roll the bike backwards to check the rear brake.
Tyres – squeeze the sidewall of the tyre to check the air pressure. There should be no give and the tyre should feel solid.
One of the most important things children learn as part of Bikeability is where to position themselves on the road.
Primary Position In the middle of the lane. This is the default road position for cycling on busy roads and complex junctions. It gives you the greatest control of your road space. It offers most options for avoiding hazards and makes you more visible to other road users.
Secondary Position Giving up some of the lane. This position provides sufficient space and visibility when you need to share the road, riding to the left of the traffic stream. It should be used when there is plenty of space for you to be overtaken.
Position in Traffic Stream Ensure that you and your children ride in the traffic stream when you need to. This should prevent a driver from passing too close.
This is especially relevant when passing parked cars and junctions and on narrow roads. Always avoid riding in the gutter to miss drain covers and debris as well as to be more visible.
Ride confidently and position yourself where you are most visible.
Riding behind your children Riding behind your children will often be the most practical option. Ride behind and slightly to the right, where you can see your children and ride at their pace. This will create more space between them and the passing traffic. Ensure that you are close enough to hear each other. Encourage your children to check behind regularly to check you are still close.
Riding as a group It is a good idea to position the children who are most proficient at cycling (e.g. trained to Bikeability Level 2) at the front. If there are two adults in the group then the best option is to have one adult in front and one at the back. If there is only one adult, make a considered decision about whether it is safe enough to have more than two children in the group.
Riding side by side You may ride side by side with your children, positioning yourself on their right. (The Highway Code advises you not to ride more than two abreast.)
Passing Vehicles and Side Roads Bikeability teaches your child how to cycle past side roads, pass parked vehicles and overtake slower traffic. To pass correctly, this means looking behind and ahead, understanding who has right of way and moving out when there is time and space to do so.
Anticipate the manoeuvre before your children reach a side road or pass parked cars.
You can use the same process when approaching traffic islands, ‘pinch points’ or when riding on narrow streets where there is not enough room for a cyclist and a driver to safely pass each other.
Passing a side road, the cyclist has right of way over the traffic coming out of the side road.
Junctions Bikeability teachers your child what to do at junctions.
T-junctions, side roads, crossroads and roundabouts are all negotiated using the same basic sequence.
Multi-lane roads and junctions – Only Level 3 teachers multi-lane and major road skills. Be sure that you are confident in your group’s abilities before cycling on these roads.
When turning right: You must check over your right shoulder for overtaking traffic including people on bicycles, before completing the turn.
Turning right into a minor road, oncoming traffic on the major road has right of way.
When turning left: You must check over your left shoulder for undertaking traffic, including people on bicycles, before completing the turn.
Turning left onto a minor road, the cyclist has right of way.
Give way line When approaching a ‘give way’ line:
Go Velo runs a registered Bikeability Scheme. Bikeability is like the old cycling proficiency – but is even better! Its designed for current road conditions and progressively teaches how to ride a bike confidently. We can even teach you how to ride a bike!! Certificates, badges and booklets are issued for each level.MORE INFO
If you don’t cycle and want to learn how, haven’t ridden for a while or even want to use your bike as a mode of transport then this FREE training could be just the ticket. Bikes and helmets can be provided.MORE INFO
Inclusive Cycling – Go Velo provides cycling opportunities and experiences for everyone wishing to take part, including riders with a disability. Go Velo makes every effort to include everyone and actively seeks specialist equipment where necessary to enable full participation.
Go Velo loves events! Globe Velo 24 and The Santa Ride saw riders taking part at The Steven Burke Sports Hub raising money for charity. If you want to promote cycling and sustainable transport or raise money for charity, get Go Velo to come down and support your event with our Ride leaders, pedal powered Smoothy Maker, Dr Bike and Try a Bike roadshow.MORE INFO
Go Velo in partnership with Specialist Training & Consultancy Services are offering the Safe Urban Driving course. This course is approved as a 7 hour course by JAUPT for Driver CPC aimed at professional drivers who need to attend 35 hours of Driver CPC training every 5 years.MORE INFO
Let Dr Bike have a look and diagnose any problems. Minor ailments will be remedied on the spot, anything more serious will be given a prescription. This fab scheme is offered to schools, colleges, places of work, in fact to whoever wants it!MORE INFO
Cycling as a leisure activity, a sport and a means of travel is equally suitable for the very young, the very old, male and female, and riders with a disability. It is universally popular. We are able to help just about anyone!
“Go Velo provide wonderful fun and interactive learn to ride sessions which enable the children to develop their balancing and coordination skills. Their wonderful instructors provide the perfect environment for Foundation or KS1 children to learn to ride a bike.”
Elizabeth and Nigel’s daughter contacted Go Velo after hearing about the courses via British Cycling where she worked.A course was arranged quickly with Pip Riley. “Pip, the instructor was very patient with us” Elizabeth explained. “Both my husband and I bought bikes in a moment of madness and wanted to make use of them. Both of us had not ridden a bike since we were children, over 40 years ago and we need a confidence boost. Pip gave us that confidence with his patience and encouraging personality.” The course was held at a location close to their home and Mr and Mrs Brookes took part in the session together using their own bikes and helmets. “We both learnt a lot and feel very confident taking the bikes out to ride around for the day, sightseeing. We originally wanted to learn to ride out bikes again to take part in the Sky Rides happening around our local area. Since completing the training, we have taken part in 3 Sky Rides and look forward to many more.”