Why would I do cycle training?
Why would I do cycle training?
29 November 2018
The number of adults who sign up to cycle training within The City of London is very low, but why is this?
Picture a conversation between two cyclists...
Cyclist 1: ‘I’ve been riding my bike to work for years, I ride hundreds of miles at the weekend, to be honest I’m pretty much a pro.’
Cyclist 2: ‘Have you ever considered cycle training?’
Cyclist 1: '???'
For many seasoned or even the ‘Oh it’s sunny, I’ll dig the bike out from the back of the shed’ riders a puzzled look is often the de facto response followed by one, or all, of the following: ‘It’s not going to teach me anything I don’t already know’, ‘All they’re going to say is don’t undertake a lorry’, ‘Cycle Training is for children’ or, ultimately ‘I can already ride a bike’.
In years gone by Cycle Training, or Proficiency as it was known back then, was the dominion of the disgruntled council officer heaving mis-matched cones and an un-loved bike out of a van into the school playground, followed by some less than energetic encouragement of un-enthusiastic children to make some turns before presenting them with a certificate destined to be lost at the bottom of a rucksack.
Cycle forward several decades and what was once a minimum standard has blossomed into the National Standard, the theory behind what is now called Bikeability. However, despite its growth into a far more comprehensive and structured course the stigma of it’s haunted past is clearly still attached. After all, cycling is easy, anyone can do it, so why would you need someone to teach you about something you already do?
In the simplest terms it’s because you might learn something you didn’t know, but despite this there is still a reluctance among adults to take part in training. Many cyclists are confident, but this does not mean that they are competent.
Most people are willing to learn new things, within reasonable limits, but when it touches on an area in which they feel pride, and cycling skills are, of course, a prime example of this, they're much more likely to refuse. However, there are skills that all cyclists, from beginner to professionals, have that can be improved - their awareness, assessment and appreciation of risk.
Bikeability is an odd thing in that the syllabus is the same for ten-year olds as it is for adults, however, and this is the important thing, it’s tailored to the trainee, not the other way around. A trainer will observe what you do well and where you might have some room for improvement and work on it with you, fine-tuning. Every session is, and should be, different. Part of the instructor’s skill is to figure out, very quickly how to pace the session, if you’re a confident rider the structure of the session will reflect this.
The point being that even though you could be a very competent cyclist, there might be something you weren’t even aware of that can be improved.
So, when it comes down to it, what is there to be lost from doing some training? Money? No, it’s free.
Time would undoubtedly be another answer, and while this is true consider it time on the saddle, also the session would be at a time that suits you. Other than this there really isn’t anything to lose, but there is the huge potential to learn something, improve something, overcome something, you did, or perhaps didn’t know could be. It might even boil down to picking something up that could save your life.
Just go into it open minded, you never know what you may learn.
If you work, live or study in the City of London click here to for more information or to book a 1:1 session.