What is Bikeability?
Bikeability is the new cycling training scheme for the 21st Century, which aims to get more people cycling, more safely, more often.
Cycling is healthy and fun, but many people are reluctant to cycle because they have a perception that it's unsafe. In fact, the health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks, and cyclists, on average, live longer than non-cyclists.
Many thousands of children across the country now have the chance to undergo a Bikeability training award as part of this national scheme, and we're an accredited provider. In Shropshire it's our aim that every child leaving primary school at the end of Year 6 will have had the opportunity to take a Bikeability Level 2 training course. We are now able to offer the three Bikeability Levels more flexibly. We are also offering the new ‘Bikeability Plus’ scheme which is a suite of additional cycling activities and training modules based around the core Bikeability course.
Bikeability training is provided free of charge to schools in Shropshire using Government Grant Funding.
What courses are on offer in schools?
There are three Bikeability levels:
Level 1 (Years 2 to 4)
This course involves new riders learning to control and master their bikes in a space away from traffic usually a school playground.
Level 2 (Years 5 and 6)
This 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.
Level 1/2 (Years 5 and 6)
This course combines Level 1 and 2. This combined course has been running successfully in Shropshire for many years and will continue to remain the focus of the cycle training service.
Level 3 (Year 6 and above)
This builds on Level 2 training and equips trainees with skills for more challenging roads and traffic situations – busier streets, queuing traffic, complex junctions and roundabouts. It also includes planning safe routes for cycling. Shropshire Council is keen to offer Level 3 to Year 6 pupils who have previously taken Level 2 in the final months of the primary education. Also for children in secondary schools, either during the school day or if more conveniently as an after school activity in Years 7 and 8 in particular.
Bikeability Plus modules
(places are limited)
Bikeability Balance (Year 1 and 2)
Four 45 minute sessions that aim to prepare young children with the skills they will need to ride a pedal bike, using games and balance bikes to develop bike handling and awareness skills. This would suit any schools who already have some balance bikes though Shropshire Council is now able to provide its own fleet of balance bikes. Alternatively a course can be provided for a group of children whose parents are prepared to remove the pedals and stabilisers from their own child’s bike to make it available for the course.
Bikeability Family provides a tailored training package of up to 3 hours to help people living in the same household cycle together.
Riders must already be able to cycle so the training is not suitable for very young children still on stabilisers and riding balance bikes.
The training comprises: an on-line self-assessment, a training session in a traffic free environment to work on the basics of bike control and best positioning to ride as a family group and an on-road family bike ride using a pre-planned and agreed route. The training is delivered close to the family home and at a mutually convenient location.
Learn to Ride (Year 2 and above)
For ‘not-yet-riders’, this module is designed for anyone who has yet to master pedalling. Suitable for any age but ideally for year 2 and above. Learn to Ride offers progression from Bikeability Balance and is excellent preparation for Bikeability Level 1. Can involve non-riding parents and school staff.
Learn to Ride is delivered to small groups and each rider will receive up to 3 hours training free of charge.
Bespoke – tailored training
We are also able to provide a bespoke service which is generally charged at £28 per hour. Please contact Learncycling using the contact details at the bottom of this page.
Who does the instructing?
The training is delivered through Learncycling, an accredited national training scheme who use a team of professional local cycle instructors who visit schools and colleges to carry out the training. They're fully qualified and DBS checked.
How much does it cost?
The Bikeability Levels and Modules described above are provided free of charge using Government grant funding.
How can I apply for a course?
If you wish to arrange a course for your school or college, please contact our Learncycling coordinator using the contact details at the bottom of this page.
If you're a parent, please ask your child’s head teacher when the next school course is or if training can be applied for.
Want to know more?
Download our leaflet which can be found beneath 'related information' on the right hand side of this page for more information about Bikeability and Bikeability Plus training.
Parents and carers
Go to the Bikeability website for lots of useful information.
Take a look the following videos, available on the Bikeability website:
- ‘This is my bike’ – taking a Level 1 journey
- ‘This is my adventure’ – a Level 2 journey
- ‘This is my independence’ – a Level 3 journey
- ‘Our bikes our adventure’