Cycle training can be very effective in helping you cycle safely and confidently. Assertive riding that includes clear communication with drivers often lessens conflict between cyclists and motorists, reducing your chances of being hit. Often conflict is created when a motorist does not understand where a cyclist is going or what they are doing.
There are 3 basic principles of cycle training:
2. Be seen
3. Communicate effectively with other road users
National Standard training is delivered in three levels.
Level 1 concentrates on basic bike checks and handling skills and is normally conducted off road. It progressively works through the skills needed to be capable of riding safely in a non-road environment. Level one paves the way for making safe manoeuvres on road, by practising looking behind, cycling with one hand, giving clear hand signals whilst demonstrating full control of the bicycle.
Level 2 is done on quiet roads and works through the skills needed to cycle safely and assertively in this setting. It covers how to start off and stop safely , how to pass by parked cars and avoid being knocked off by occupants opening doors. It covers how to pass side roads safely, by keeping well out from the kerb and making your intentions clear. Left and right hand turns at junctions are covered with practice in safe positioning and looking behind to ensure the manoeuvre can be carried out safely, and giving clear hand signals to other road users. Making eye contact with other road users is encouraged as a very important communication tool.
Level 3 covers cycling safely on the busiest of roads, tackling more complex junctions and other road systems such as roundabouts in a safe and assertive manner. It teaches how to make sure that you are visible to other road users, to be observant and to make your intentions clear.
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