Bikeability is today’s cycle training programme. It’s like cycling proficiency, but better! It’s about gaining practical skills and understanding how to cycle on today’s roads. Bikeability gives everyone the skills and confidence for all kinds of cycling.
There are three Bikeability levels, each designed to improve cycling skills, no matter what is known already. Levels 1, 2 and 3 take trainees from the basics of balance and control, all the way to planning and making an independent journey on busier roads.
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:
- prepare yourself and your bike for cycling
- get on and off your bike without help
- start off, pedal and stop with control
- pedal along, use gears and avoid objects
- look all around and behind, and control the bike
- share space with pedestrians and other cyclists
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:
- prepare for on-road cycling
- start and finish an on-road journey
- recognise typical hazards
- let others know what you are about to do
- know where to ride on the road
- pass parked vehicles and side roads
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:
- prepare for a journey
- understand advanced road positioning
- pass queuing traffic
- perceive and deal with hazards
- understand driver blind spots
- react to hazardous road surfaces
Bikeability trained cyclists receive a badge and a certificate in recognition of the level they’ve achieved. The certificate also includes areas for further practice noted by the instructor.