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Group of freight drivers in orange hi-vis and on cycles receiving instruction from a cycle instructor

Cycle skills

Make sure you have the skills to cycle safely on busy roads.

Cycle skills

Cycling Safely in London means that you will need the skills to cycle in busy traffic, even if only occasionally. LCC are campaigning for a network of safe cycle lanes and you can plan routes to avoid busy roads as much as possible. Don’t worry, you can build up to it and free cycle training is available plus lots of community projects and resources to build your confidence.

You can check your skills in this short video – it’s a good reminder if you’ve not cycled in a while.

Cycle Training

There are qualified cycle trainers across London who provide cycle training for adults and children. These are normally one-on-one sessions or in small groups that last up to two hours. Most London boroughs offer free or subsidised cycle training if you live, work or study in the borough.

Bikeability  is the new name for Cycling Proficiency and is supported by the Department for Transport. Originally developed by LCC member Simeon Bamford and turned into a nationally recognised programme. LCC has always strongly backed Bikeability training and we would like to see it available in all London schools and also offered to adults who need more confidence to cycle on urban roads.

There are three levels – 1, 2 and 3 – and whilst Bikeability is aimed at children and families, adult cycle training is broadly the same.

Broadly Level 1 teaches you how to ride a bike, Level 2 gives you the skills to cycle on quieter roads whereas Level 3 means you will know how to tackle busy roads and junctions.

Adult cycle training starts in an off-road traffic free area and progressing to busier roads and junctions. Your cycle trainer will take you through at your pace and you are not expected to learn everything in one session.

If you are volunteering on a community cycle project, guided rides or as a cycle buddy then LCC recommend that you should have had a cycle training session and be at level 3. It’s important to be a good example when helping people build confidence in cycling.

How to book a cycle training session

Children – Most primary schools offer cycle training but it is less common in secondary schools. You should contact your school to see what they offer.

Adults – Most London Boroughs offer free cycle training and the TfL website will tell you how to book them. Some cycle trainers will arrange home or workplace visits and many will even provide you with a bike.

Cycle Buddies

Going on a LCC Cycle Buddies session is a great way to build on the skills you have learnt in cycle training and build your confidence. Your cycle buddy can help your practice on the routes you’ll cycle or help you explore your area.

Cycle Safely around Lorries

Be extra careful cycling near large lorries –most of the worst collisions involve these vehicles. Be extra aware of left turning lorries:

  • They do not always indicate
  • They often swing right before turning left
  • The gap between a lorry and the kerb will decrease or disappear as it turns
  • And lorry drivers often can’t see the left of or immediately in front of their cabs easily creating a risk zone for cyclists


Transport for London have an extensive page on cycle skills including an online training course.

LCC community events – check out our listings for community rides and projects in your area where you can build your confidence cycling with others.

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Do you want help to cycle more?

Nervous about riding on busy roads? Want to plan a journey to work or to the shops? Cycle Buddies offers free session to build cycling confidence.

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