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Ride Together Club - teaching adults how to ride with their children on the road

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This project runs a series of adult and children bike rides to teach children the skills and confidence how to cycle safely on the road. Parents or carers receive independent training before accompanying children to cycle training sessions.

The project delivers between 6-10 adult sessions, and between 8-10 children’s sessions.

The first stage of the project is for two trained cycle instructors to work with parents after school drop-off or another agreed time to get them trained to Bikeability level 2 or 3 standard, and comfortable on the road during group cycling. Adults learn skills and confidence on single-lane roads and simple junctions.

In the second stage, children accompany an adult to receive training on how to navigate the road together and independently. Children learn how to navigate junctions, turns, basic manoeuvring skills and where to position themselves on the road with an accompanying adult.

The children are trained up to Bikeability level 2, which can then lead to short solo rides such as cycling to school, or the local shops.

Towards the end of the project, there can be an option of an end-of-project celebration ride. This could involve cycling on a pre-planned ride to a pre-agreed location for a picnic or party before cycling back.  This cycle could be slightly longer than rides previously undertaken. Feel free to adapt the celebration event or ride to what your participants would prefer.

The rides are a great opportunity for parents/carers to network and for children to meet with other children while gaining a recognised cycling qualification. The project can lead to a more connected community, can reduce social isolation, and give adults and children the freedom to explore their local area, commute to school, or go on other similar journeys by bike.

 

 

Target audience and engagement

 

  • The key target audience are parents who are competent road riders who want to cycle with their children
  • Engagement is through schools, and children’s and parent’s provisions in the area. Twitter and social media can also help to reach those who might not be fully engaged with children’s schools
  • Posters and flyers, available both at events and for targeted promotion, will help to spread the word by traditional methods

 

Reach

 

  • Small (6-10 adults and 6-20 children, 12-30 participants in total)
  • Geographically - anywhere

 

Equipment needed

 

-For sessions

  • Cycles for adults
  • Cycles for children
  • High-vis vests
  • Helmets for adults and children
  • Basic cycle repair equipment (for brakes and wheels)

-Other

  • Advertising materials (posters and flyers)

 

Resources needed

 

Staff

-Project leader

  • Form relationships with other community organisations
  • Oversee project
  • Recruit participants
  • Ensure continued attendance from participants
  • Attend and help at all sessions
  • Ensure all funding criteria and documentation is met
  • Minimum of 2 cycle instructors, ideally 3 as one instructor can remain working with the group while two instructors take each family group out (after general principles of riding with children are covered with everyone)

-Other

  • Storage space
    • Somewhere to store bikes and tools in between workshops and pop-up mechanics
    • Local councils may give advice on where to store bikes or they could provide space
    • A well-secured shipping container can be a good option for bike storage, and for running training out of
  • Advertising materials
    • Online advertising via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
    • Posters and flyers

 

Estimated project costs

 

  • Adult cycles   £2,000
  • Children's cycles   £1,000
  • Cycle instructors   £1,500
  • Basic repair equipment   £100
  • Celebration ride   £100
  • DBS checks (if needed)   £130-£200
  • Public liability insurance   £170

 

Top tips/key learnings

 

  • Best to work with adults during term time in preparation for children to join during summer holidays / half term
  • Once children join, best to deliver short sessions daily rather than once a week, to enhance retention of training. Daily practice riding as a family unit builds confidence and skill level rapidly
  • Take advantage of the training programme that is offered by Walking and Cycling Grants London

 

Maximising local contacts

 

  • Engage with any existing community networks you may have to recruit participants
  • Talk to schools, children’s clubs, youth clubs or parents associations in your area, as you may be able to recruit participants through them and provide a training venue with suitable flat surfaces such as a playgroun

 

This project idea was provided by SustransFacebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube

 

If you decide to run your own version of this project in your community, please email us at wcgl@groundwork.org.uk. We love to hear that we are inspiring people to walk and cycle

 

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