First, check your skills in this short video – it’s a good reminder if you’ve not cycled in a while.
Cycling safely in London often means that you will need the skills to cycle in busy traffic, even if only occasionally. Don’t worry – you can build up to it. We are campaigning for a network of safe cycle lanes and you can plan routes to avoid busy roads as much as possible.
When you’re cycling on roads in London, it’s likely that you’ll also find yourself sharing road space with lorries. Lorries pose a particular danger to people on bikes, so check out our advice page specifically for cycling safely around lorries.
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.
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.
Transport for London have an extensive page on cycle skills including an online training course.
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 sessions to build cycling confidence.
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