Teaching community cycling teachers

Published: 01 August 2019

A group of keen cyclists volunteered to go back into the classroom to learn how to teach people to bike ride.

The 10 community based teachers have been put through their paces so they can help people regain skills on two wheels.

The Ride Leader course was organised by the council’s sustainable transport team Better by and funded by the Access Fund.

It will mean the 10 community volunteers can guide, support and encourage people who want to learn how to cycle safely.

The main aim of the project is to get more people on their bikes for leisure rides to enable them to gain the confidence they need to consider commuting sustainably.

Health benefits can also be achieved through regular cycling as well as reducing the number of vehicles on the road which in turn, reduces pollution.

The teachers are from St George’s Church, Britwell, Freewheelers Cycling Club, Slough Gurdwara as well as individuals who just want to support continued cycling growth in the borough.

The British Cycling Ride Leadership Award course blends online learning with an assessed one-day course. The course covers a wide range of areas including managing risks, emergencies and route planning.

This qualifies successful participants, who gain an industry recognised qualification, to lead groups on the road in a safe manner and are now able to deliver guided bike rides for groups of beginners up to a distance of 50 miles.

Misha Byrne, project manager for the Access Fund, said: “Being flat and compact, Slough is a great borough to cycle in.

“This initiative means we can train keen cyclists who can then go on to help those that need a little more support and encouragement.

“By joining a led ride with one of these newly trained teachers, inexperienced cyclists can really build up confidence and hopefully consider using their bikes for short journeys, instead of choosing to jump into a car.

Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for transport and environmental services, said: “It’s great to see people willing to give up their time to learn new skills so they can pass it on to others in their community.

“There are multiple benefits of people getting on their bikes. Getting over the first hurdle is becoming confident on two wheels and the more community volunteers we have, the more people we can help.”