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i-Contact November 2012

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Victorian ladies riding in formation
The earliest Bikeability session?
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.
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Welcome to the November issue of i-Contact, CTC’s e-newsletter for cycle instructors and those interested in cycle training. CTC will be launching its course timetable for 2013 in the next month. There will be a one-day mentoring course for instructors and a one-day senior instructor course. If you are interested in either, contact CTC Senior Cycle Training Officer Greg Woodford.
Revised National Standard
The revised National Standard for cycle training has now been approved by the CTSB (Cycle Training Standards Board). A review earlier this year sought feedback from a wide range of interested parties, including instructors. Changes include a new Level 1 outcome: "Share space with pedestrians and other cyclists". Level 2 is largely unchanged and Level 3 now has compulsory outcomes around advanced road positioning and passing queuing traffic. It also includes understanding of lorry drivers’ blind spots and an optional module on locking your bike. Overall, the Standard is clearer and more robust. All registered schemes can continue to use the old Standard for now but they will need to incorporate the changes by 1 April 2013. CTUK will be running a Mentor Training Day on Wednesday 12 December for those who wish explore them.
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Absolute beginners
CTUK is also responsible for new publication ‘Teaching New Cyclists’. The booklet is aimed at anybody who wants to help someone, whether adult or child, to pedal independently. With clear step-by-step instructions and detailed photographs, the guide takes you through all the stages of teaching someone to ride a bike. Pictured trainees range in age from three-and-a-half to the over 70s.The emphasis is firmly on fun and encouragement to help people get to grips with this essential life skill. Priced at £5 plus P&P, the book is a great addition to an instructor's teaching toolkit.

 

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Call to ban BMXs
Graham Allen MP has called for more cycle training in schools after seven riders, including three children, have died this year in Nottinghamshire. However, he has also asked Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport Stephen Hammond to make helmets compulsory for all cyclists and all bikes to be fitted with lights. In addition, he wants BMX bikes banned from public roads. CTC Senior Cycle Training Officer Greg Woodford said: "It is always tragic to read about cycle fatalities, but we should encourage cycling as a normal activity. This is the only way cyclists will get accepted and recognised on the roads."

 

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In the driving seat
According to a recent report, three quarters of driving instructors think cycle awareness training should be part of driving tests. The poll was carried out by RED Driving School, who asked 600 driving instructors. Apparently, 88 per cent believed that cyclists should also have some training. Meanwhile, in Plymouth, mutual cooperation between driving instructors and cyclists has allowed them to see each other's difficulties.

 

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So last, last century
You may be surprised that since the earliest days of riding bikes, people have been demonstrating their cycling skills. More surprising is that it was caught on camera. Dating from 1899, this film shows Victorian women elegantly gliding around a line of flags in formation, possibly to music. And of course they are not wearing Lycra, hi-viz and helmets but long, white dresses and straw boaters!

 

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Second sight
Blogger LondonCyclist believes the reason many cyclists are not seen by drivers is a phenomenon called ‘saccadic masking’. It may sound like a new rock band but is actually a scientific term that explains the brain’s inability to ‘see’ some objects in its line of vision. RAF pilots are trained to scan the sky around them to take account of it but car drivers usually aren't. However, one day motorists and cyclists may be able to read each other’s minds!

 

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Map yourself
All cycle instructors registered with CTC can advertise their services to the public. If you have already registered with the site, you can also check and amend your details. Instructors can choose to define the area in which they offer their services but CTC recommends you only advertise availability for the whole of the UK if you can actually provide this. We also recommend that you add some information to the comments box to help trainees in their choice of instructor.

 

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The breakfast club
With The Times’s CycleSafe campaign maintaining momentum, a hospital in Birmingham has launched its own cycle safety initiative. Its aim is to get drivers and cyclists to watch out for each other more and cyclists wearing more 'safety' gear. An item about it on BBC Breakfast featured a nice interview with cycle instructor Stephen Holt and a pupil pointing out the benefits of cycle training. Also interviewed was Chris Boardman, who neatly put safety concerns around cycling in perspective.

 

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