Promotion and Encouragement

ElizabethBarner's picture

Social justice and cycling - notes from the Youth Bike Summit in New York

As I was in the right city at the right time, I spent a snowy Saturday in February at the Youth Bike Summit in New York. I was delighted by the spark of the conference and by the huge show of projects and people – 484 people from 25 states, apparently.
Group photo from the Youth Bike Summit 2014

A lot of the conversation I joined was about equity and cycling, and I was struck by how many projects merge cycling and social justice, - or, actually, don't merge them, but treat them as if they were never separate.  (A few projects and links below.) 

This felt different from my experience in England. I think it reflects the foundation of the summit, born from looking around the US’s National Bike Summit and realising that the activists and advocates assembled looked a lot like the Congress they were trying to influence. 

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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 by boosting trainees’ riding skills and confidence, particularly in imperfect cycling conditions. It also grounds them in the rules of the road.
  • Cycle training should be widely available not just for young children, but also for teenagers (i.e. as they become more independent and start using busier roads). It should also be readily accessible to adults of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to help them discover cycling, or overcome their fears about rediscovering 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.
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’. 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.

 

Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
February 2014

Cycle Chilterns summer Bikeability sessions give children more confidence!

Last summer, 37 children took part in a successful series of Bikeability courses run by the Cycle Chilterns project. The courses took place over two weeks in Tring and Amersham.
Morning Bikeability level 1 session at Amersham

For those of you not familiar with Bikeability, it is the new 'cycling proficiency'. Two levels were offered during the week, with Level 1 covering basic bike skills in a playground and Level 2 covering road skills. The course aims to give children more confidence and awareness of being on the road.

Many parents signed up for the course to give them a bit of peace of mind for when their children cycle with their friends on the road, arming them with the right skills and increasing their awareness.

Boathouse Youth Blackpool

Back in 2009, the CTC community cycling offering was in its infancy and Boathouse Youth (BHY) was just beginning its work in the deprived community of South Shore, Blackpool, an area which is in the worst 1% of most deprived wards in the country.
Blackpool Boathouse Youth

Our Cycling Development Officer,  funded by the Department for Transport, was able to work with the staff at BHY to devise a programme of activities that would capture the interest of the young people and provide them with a fun and healthy activity which they could engage in straight from the youth centre door.  The programme was delivered in conjunction with local partners including British Cycling and the local council's Cycle Blackpool programme.

Supporting Healthy Streets

CTC were funded by the Lancashire County Council Gateway programme to deliver Community Cycle Clubs in partnership with "Healthy Streets". Over the first eighteen months 23 community cycling projects were identified and supported through the work of CTC Cycling Development officer Damian Bonsall.
Healthy Streets Maintenance

The Lancashire County Council 'Healthy Streets' initiative is a community led programme intended to build on what communities already do best. It works alongside the County’s 20mph speed limit programme to promote the feeling of safer walking and cycling opportunities around Lancashire communities.

CTC delivers a Ride Managers' Course in Reading to the Public Sector

CTC has developed a course for people looking to organise their own cycle rides in their sectors of work. This is a report of the course we delivered in Reading.

This course was delivered to people who work in the public sectors in Reading.

It was designed to give the participants the skills needed to organise and run group cycle rides in their given sector of work, ensuring that they have the capability to go out and lead their own rides safely, with confidence and knowledge.

The skills taught include:

Sara Randle's picture

Free bike safety checks in the Chilterns this winter

Cycle Chilterns will be running a number of free bike safety check sessions at town markets and train stations across the Chilterns this winter.
Free bike safety checks from Dr Bike

To help keep your bike running smoothly and safely this winter we will be holding regular Dr Bike sessions at a variety of locations across the Chilterns. During each session a qualified mechanic from a local bike shop will perform a free, basic bike safety check while you wait.

Basic bike maintenance is important at any time of year, but particularly during winter when weather conditions, dirt and grit on the road can cause problems with brakes and gears much quicker than in the dry summer months.

Suzanne Forup's picture

Inspiring women from the saddle - Glasgow Women's Library

CTC's Cycle Development Officer in Scotland, Suzanne Forup, is hoping that CTC will be able to fill a new shelf at the Glasgow Women's Library - with books by female cycle authors.
Paperback edition of Two Wheels in the Dust

Last week marked the 4th anniversary of the death of Anne Mustoe, ex-headmistress and intrepid cycle traveller. Her travels by bike started in 1987, when she embarked on a round-the-world trip. She wasn't slim or sporty, and couldn't fix a puncture.

Cherry Allan's picture

Cycle-friendly employers (CTC views)

Doing everything possible to encourage employees to commute by cycle and to cycle for work purposes helps improve the health and productivity of a workforce, lowers the cost of business transport and eases congestion at peak time.
Cycle commuters arriving at work
Headline Messages: 
  • Encouraging employees to commute by cycle and to cycle on business, can result in a healthier, more productive workforce and lower transport costs.
  • Workplaces that encourage cycling help mitigate their negative impact on the local and wider environment.
  • If employees are encouraged to cycle rather than drive, congestion is less severe at peak times, which is good for business and the economy.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Employers should recognise the health, environmental and economic benefits of promoting the use of cycles for commuting and work purposes.
  • Actions that employers should take include:
    • making cycling an integral part of a Travel Plan
    • paying the full, tax-free cycle mileage rate
    • subscribing to other tax incentives (e.g. the Cycle to Work scheme)
    • incentivising cycling through workplace challenges, events etc.
    • providing good quality facilities (e.g. cycle parking, showers and lockers
    • supporting a bicycle users group (BUG)
    • supplying ‘pool’ bikes
  • Employers should not be discouraged from promoting cycling because of liability fears, neither should they make cycle training or wearing a cycle helmet a prerequisite for cycling on business.

See also CTC's guide to becoming a cycle-friendly employer.

Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
November 2013
CTC's picture

CTC's 'Bard on a Bike' helps get Rochdale cycling.

With the 40km Connect2 network well established around Rochdale, CTC’s local Cycling Development Officer Seamus Kelly decided to use poetry to revive interest in cycling along the routes.
The Larks poem by CTC Development Officer and poet Seamus Kelly

Seamus, a writer and poet in his spare time, came up with the initial concept  to display some poetry along the pathways and shared the idea with colleagues in the council and local arts groups. The Library Service, through the Maskew Bequest offered funding for the project and along with match funding from Cartwheel Arts, the idea of displaying poems on the routes became a realistic possibility.

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