It is incredibly important that your children learn to ride their bikes safely. In the old days when we were children it was all about the cycling proficiency test, but now there’s a new scheme called Bikeability – Cycling Proficiency for the 21st Century. Designed for both adults and children, it’s a fun scheme that aims to give you the confidence to deal with modern road conditions.
The Bikeability Scheme:
In order to give the next generation the skills and confidence to tackle riding their bike safely on the roads, the scheme is split into 3 levels. Level 1, often offered to Year 5 children or those just turned 10 years, involves learning to control and master a bike effectively usually in a safe place away from cars and traffic like a school playground. Once completed children are awarded a red badge and should be able to do things like handle their bike with one hand, put on their own helmet and ride their bike using the gears.
Level 2 takes place out on the local streets, usually in groups of 3-12 and gives you the skills and confidence to tackle short cycling journeys like riding to school or to the shops. Children will also gain a better understanding of the highway code at this stage, particularly around road signs. Once completed, children are awarded an orange badge and will be able to do a U-turn, react to hazards in the road and decide if a cycle lane will help their journey. Both Level 1 and 2 are usually completed when the children are at Primary School.
Once at Secondary school they are able to tackle the more complex Bikeablility Level 3. The aim here is to enable adults and children to be able to tackle more challenging road and traffic conditions. It is often delivered on a one to one basis or in groups of up to 3 people so ideal for tackling individual needs and concerns. Once you’ve completed your Level 3 and have been awarded the Green Badge, you’re able to cycle almost anywhere safely and confidently.
Delivered by the Department for Transport, Bikeability schemes are set up all over the country. The Bikeability website will give you lots more information and help you find your nearest scheme. You may well find that your own school runs the scheme so do ask them first.
With today’s challenging and complex road conditions it is never more important that we give our children the skills to ride their bikes safely and confidently. For this reason alone it is worth investing the time in a Bikeability scheme and becoming a proficient cyclist of the 21st Century.
Have you done your Bikeability yet? We would love to know how you got on!