cycle training

Cherry Allan's picture

Cycle training

Cycle training is a very effective way to encourage more people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to cycle. It boosts skills and confidence, particularly in imperfect conditions, and teaches the rules of the road.
Cycle training at school
Headline Messages: 
  • Cycle training is a very effective way to encourage more people to cycle. It boosts trainees’ riding skills and confidence, particularly in imperfect cycling conditions, and also grounds them in the rules of the road.
  • Widely available cycle training benefits not just young children, but also teenagers as they become more independent and start using busier roads. It can also encourage adults of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to discover cycling for the first time, or help them overcome any fears they have if they decide they’d like to rediscover it later in life.
  • By improving trainees’ road skills, cycle training could also affect how quickly teenagers and others learn to drive and enhance their ability to manage the risks both to themselves and to others with whom they share the roads.
  • Cycle training could also play a role in tackling offending cycling, in the same way that driver training is used as a remedial response for acts of unlawful driving.
Key facts: 
  • In a 2010 survey, 93% of parents whose children had been ‘Bikeability’ trained said that it had a positive impact on their child’s on-road cycling safety; the survey also found that, post-training, 93% of children felt more confident about cycling in general.
  • Children who have received Bikeability Level 2 training are more confident and significantly better able to perceive a hazard on the road and respond appropriately than untrained pupils of the same age.
  • A Cambridge survey found that 13% more trained than untrained pupils reported ‘normal frequent cycling’ to school; and that 37% of untrained pupils cycled on pavements, cycle paths or lanes separated from traffic, but only 10% of trained pupils did the same.
  • The benefits of providing cycle training for all ages outweigh the costs by at least 7.4 to 1.
  • In 2007-08, English local authorities between them claimed about £1 million from the Government to fund 27,000 Bikeability training places; in 2013-14, they claimed almost £9 million to deliver 231,859 million places.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Cycle training in the UK should comply with the National Standard. This represents best practice because it introduces trainees to real-life, on-road conditions, helping to equip adults and children with the skills they need to ride confidently in today’s traffic.
  • National government should establish and fund a national target to give every child the opportunity to take part in ‘Bikeability’[i]. Children should be offered training at least to Level 2 free of charge before they leave school/college. The best way to guarantee this is to include Bikeability in the curriculum for all schools.
  • Local authorities should support and encourage all schools to organise age-appropriate Bikeability training. They should also offer inclusive programmes to help people with disabilities reach National Standard outcomes, Bikeability courses for adults and special groups, and joint parent/child training classes.
  • Providing cycle training is one of the most important ways in which schools and workplaces can directly encourage people to cycle and help realise the many benefits of increased local cycle use.
  • The Government should require local authorities and schools to collect data directly from pupils on the impact of Bikeability training, and provide the tools to do this.
  • Integrating cycle awareness and cycle training itself into driver instruction and testing would promote better understanding between cyclists and other road users and contribute to road safety objectives. It should also become a compulsory element of the professional training/qualifying process for the drivers of large vehicles (lorries, buses, coaches etc.).
  • Disqualified and offending drivers should be offered a course of cycle training to improve their driving behaviour and encourage them to use a cycle for their transport needs during and after their period of disqualification. The police and courts should also have the power to require drivers who have been convicted of offences involving cyclists to participate in such a course.
  • The Government should commission and fund comprehensive, long-term research into how quickly Bikeability trainees subsequently learn to drive and how safe they prove to be once qualified. Motor insurers should also consider offering discounts to those who have completed Level 3 Bikeability.
  • National government should continue to maintain/support: the National Standard; the training of National Standard Instructors (NSIs); regular reviews; quality assurance processes and registration systems; and an accessible national database of qualified NSIs.



[i] ‘Bikeability’ is the brand name for certain cycle training courses that conform to the National Standard. Some instructors offer National Standard training that is not publicised as ‘Bikeability’.


Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
May 2015

Brenda’s story – learning to ride a bike with CTC

Brenda was keen to join in one of the local led rides; the only problem was, she’d never ridden a bike before! Through the help of CTC’s Ross Adams, she’s now riding a bike and cycling with her family.
CTC cycling Case Study

CTC’s cycling development officer, Ross Adams, received an enquiry from Brenda who was keen to take part in one of the newly launched ladies only cycle rides in Sefton, Merseyside. The only problem was, she’d never ridden a bike before!

Ross was eager to make sure that everyone had the same opportunity to attend the rides and arranged a day to meet Brenda for some one-to-one cycle training at Litherland Sports Park. On the first day, Brenda arrived with bags of enthusiasm, and, with a bike, helmet and a dedicated cycle track to practise on, everything was set to begin.

Cycle Courses & Cycle Training

A CTC Trainer discussing methods with a group on a MTB Trail Leader course
CTC offers a wide range of qualifications and training courses for every type of cycling leader, guide, instructor, rider and trainer across road, off-road and mountain biking environments. To book call our Training Line: 0844 736 8463 or 01483 238301.

With the largest course provision available, CTC are the undoubted experts. We've been enabling learning and delivering the perfect course for longer than anyone else - and we believe that our success is due to the superb qualifications we offer, plus our Cycle Trainers' vast breadth and depth of experience.

Article Tags

i-Contact November 2012

Publication Date: 
November 2012
Victorian ladies riding in formation
The revised National Standard; Teaching New Cyclists; a call to ban BMXs; drivers and cyclists cooperate; Victorian cycle skills; second sight; map your services; and a Birmingham hospital's cycle safety scheme.

Cycle Activity Provider Insurance

A group being given off-road training by a CTC instructor
If you are an instructor, whether on or off-road, you may wish to take out CTC's Cycle Activity Provider insurance.

This policy is designed for individuals providing or organising cycling activities who usually have some sort of recognised qualification such as National Standard instructors; holders of CTC's Trail Leader or Skills Instructor awards and so on. It costs £79.95 per year for CTC members and £109.95 a year for non-members.

To obtain the cover, please contact the Membership Dept on 01483 238 301.

Article Tags

Share This Page

WWF partners with the CTC to get employees on their bikes

CTC ran cycle training and personalised travel planning at WWF's office in Godalming, Surrey, to help encourage more employees to cycle to work.
CTC cycle instructor and trainees

Lucy Potashnick, WWF’s Environmental Manager, says: “In a staff travel survey in March 2010, Of the 19% of staff that live within 3 miles or less from work, 40% still use their car to travel into work.”

- 23 July 2012

CTC's Julie Rand gives cycle training advice to BBC WM's Joanne Malin. Who has just bought a bike and is cycling again for the first time in years.

If you are inspired to ride a bike again and don't know where to start. Listen to the discussion on BBC WM where CTC's Julie Rand - who is a national standards cycle instructor - offers advice and help to the BBC's Joanne Malin. 

You can listen again on BBC iPlayer for 30 days. Simply scroll to 0.15.

Cycle Swap - cab and bus drivers get lessons in cycling in Reading

Inspired by the phrase 'putting the shoe on the other foot', CTC Cycling Devleopment Officer Javed Saddique is planning to deliver cycle training to professional drivers in Reading in an effort to get them to understand how road conditions affect cyclists.

Cycle Swap will start with an awareness exercise involving cab and bus drivers in Reading. Participants will be given cycling awareness skills throughout the morning and in the afternoon they will be provided with helmet cameras to document how they navigate through the varied conditions in Reading.  This exercise will raise awareness and help build a better relationship between road users and cyclists. 

Anonymous's picture

Free cycling training for the over 50s in Swindon

The Over 50’s Cycling Courses in Swindon have been so popular that it is fully booked months in advance and more dates have been added to cope with demand.
Over 50s begginners line up for their first lesson

Many people have continued cycling in their learning groups many months after their courses finish, which has created a growing cycling scene for older people in the area.


Be the first to comment on this article. Login or register to comment.

All comments are reactively-moderated and must obey our moderation policy.

Deaf children in Derby learn to cycle

Deaf and hard of hearing children from all over Derbyshire have had the opportunity to cycle as part of this year's Royal School for the Deaf Summer play scheme.
Deaf children in Derby learn to cycle

The CTC Cycle Champions project provided training for two volunteers, Ellie Hill and Garry Leivers, who have gave up their own time to gain the National Standards Instructor training qualification. They have been running cycle activities with the help of a young leader Andrew for children and their siblings attending the RSD holiday play scheme. This was the third year that the play scheme has taken place and it has doubled in its popularity.

Syndicate content


Audio files of cycle magazine are available, please log in to access the audio files.

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

Copyright © CTC 2015

Terms and Conditions