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Cycling can be an enjoyable pastime. It can also be a great way to beat the congestion on your way to work or school, and keeps you fit and saves money. Following a few simple road safety rules can keep you out of trouble, and keep you and your bike safe on the roads.
Getting children interested in cycling at an early age is a great way to encourage them to exercise. Young people between 11 and 15 are most vulnerable on the roads, yet only one-third of children do cycle training, and often at an earlier age. It's important that all young people, whatever their age, know the basics of road safety and have some proper training before cycling on the roads.
All cyclists, whether experienced or novices, need to know the basic skills for cycling on the roads, and should consider investing in cycle training.
A three level National Standard for Cycle Training provides all the skills needed to cycle safely on and off-road (although primarily aimed at children the training is equally relevant to adults):
- Level 1, (Age 7-8) Beginners and basic cycling skills - held off-road and teaching children how to control, balance and manoeuvre
- Level 2, (Age 9-10) Introduction to on-road cycling - held on quieter roads in groups, children will learn where to position themselves when riding on the road and how to observe traffic, signal, turn/manoeuvre safely and basic understanding of the highway code
- Level 3, (Age 11-12) Advanced Cycling - held on busier roads to teach skills required for making longer journeys and to develop strategies to deal with all types of road conditions - such as roundabouts, traffic lights, multi-lane roads
To find an accredited instructor near you, call the National Cycle Training Helpline on 0870 607 0415. A list of instructors is also available on the Cycling Tourists Club (CTC) website.
All cyclists should be aware of the Highway Code and how it relates to them.
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