At the Camden Cyclists meeting in November 2012 at Sidings Community Centre the priority was Cycle Training. We thought it wise to wait for some warmer weather and publicised two training sessions at Sidings with Camden’s Cycle Trainers. Four people came to the first session all who had once cycled but not for ten or many more years, with varying levels of confidence. The first session dealt with the basics of riding: staying upright, steering, braking, using gears, signalling and following a leader.
Three new people came to the second session and one of the original group had to drop out. For the first half-hour the new people were put through their paces ensuring they were up-to-speed and ready to go out on the road. For the remaining time we went riding on local roads and learned good road technique, how to see and be seen and where to position yourself. Despite being on quite a busy side road all the beginners were encouraged by their experience and they information they’d been given.
The following Saturday four of the trainees and four more experienced cyclists set off around the parks of Brent. Gladstone Park was first with a short hill to give our beginners their first challenge. Then down along busy Dollis Hill and Willesden High Street to Roundwood Park which also allows cycling and a cafe for some welcome refreshment. Next stop Queens Park, which unfortunately has a no cycling policy but also has a cafe where we had our lunch. A quick ride along quieter roads brought us all safely back to Sidings.
All the trainees had thoroughly enjoyed their first ride. One older woman remarked “This is the best Saturday I’ve had in years!” All of them were keen to become involved in slightly longer accompanied rides. There were other adults who got in touch who were too late to take part in the training, pointing up the need for more training in the future.
Photos and article by Geoff Stilwell the organiser of these sessions.