Not having your own bike doesn’t need to be a barrier to learning to cycle for Dorset youngsters, thanks to 20 bicycles gifted to Dorset Council.
The bicycles are free to use (subject to availability) by primary-aged school children during Bikeability sessions in the Dorset Council area.
Bikeability is a national cycle training programme that equips children with the necessary skills, knowledge, and understanding to cycle safely on roads. It also gives confidence for cycling in the future.
Instructors deliver the training at schools and nominated centres on behalf of Dorset Council. At the end of the course, participants will receive a certificate and badge for the Bikeability Level they have completed.
Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “Gaining cycling skills early on is important for a child’s safety and confidence, and ultimately enables them to cycle to school and enjoy trips with family and friends. It’s also a great physical activity.
“They say you never forget how to ride a bike, so I am delighted that we have been gifted free bicycles, making it easier for all Dorset’s children to gain this skill for life at an early age.
“We are committed to protecting Dorset’s environment and, with so many places to visit by bike, equipping more people to cycle will help them safely enjoy this beautiful area.”
Dorset Council received £100,000 of funding from central government’s Active Travel Fund to provide the free training. The free bicycles have been provided by the Bikeability Trust.
Ask your child’s school about Bikeability. If the school doesn’t offer Bikeability, visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/bikeability to enquire about courses in your area and during the school holidays.
If your child doesn’t have a bike, always ask if a free bicycle is available when enquiring about courses.
The sessions take place outdoors and cover three progressive levels:
In the playground, focussing on preparing children for their cycling journeys.
On quiet local roads, participants receive guidance on cycling safely and responsibly, identifying and responding to potential hazards.
On busy and more challenging roads: planning journeys, riding assertively where cycling is permitted, maintaining suitable riding positions, and cooperating with, and respecting, other road users.
Cycle training for adults
Dorset Council offers courses for adults who wish to brush up their skills or learn to cycle. Whether it’s to improve fitness, save money, cut traffic congestion or reduce our carbon footprint, cycling has something for everyone.
Many people cycle to work, get out on their bikes for pleasure, or enjoy time with family and friends. If you are put off by traffic or because you feel out of practice, a refresher cycle training session can give you added confidence to get in the saddle.
Find out more about adult cycle training at Adult cycle training – Dorset Council