As the fight against COVID-19 continues, many of us will be looking for alternatives to public transport for those essential journeys*. Behold, the humble bicycle — a cheap, fast and green mode of transportation that most of us already know how to use.
But the difference between a leisurely ride through your local park and pedalling in central London traffic can seem vast. Luckily, there's help at hand for Londoners who want to improve their cycling skills from Cycle Confident.
What is Cycle Confident?
This training organisation wants to empower everyone to cycle with — you guessed it — confidence on London's roads. Since 2007 the organisation has provided National Standard Cycle Training to thousands of adults and children. It runs a variety of cycle skills and bike maintenance across over a dozen London boroughs.
What's on offer?
There's individual cycle skills training, in which a qualified instructor will guide you through either an off-road or on-road environment according to your level. While absolute beginners cannot be accommodated at present due to social distancing measures, help is available even if you know only the very basics — ideal if you're looking to incorporate some cycling into your daily exercise but are feeling a bit wobbly. At the other end of the spectrum, more experienced cyclists can improve their performance by learning how to tackle complex junctions, heavy traffic, or cycling at night.
Other courses include basic and advanced bike maintenance, family cycle skills session, and group training where you can improve your cycling while making friends — though the latter, alongside some other courses, is understandably on hold during the national lockdown.
Where can I access free cycle training?
Cycle Confident operates across more than a dozen London boroughs, including Lambeth, Southwark, Hackney, Barnet, and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Click here and select your borough from the drop-down menu to see what's available in your area.
*At the time of writing, these include travelling for medical appointments, grocery shopping, and work that cannot be undertaken at home. Always check the latest government information before planning your journey.