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Cycling is taught to the National Standards for Cycle Training – otherwise known as “Bikeability”. This is now the standard that replaces what some may fondly remember as “Cycling Proficiency”.
Schools in Bolton provide training for children, and parents can speak with their school to find out more details.
FREE Adult (16+) cycle training is available from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) for people who live or work in Greater Manchester:
- If you’ve never learnt to ride, or you haven’t ridden for some time, the Learn to Ride training will get you going on your bike with basic skills and simple checks to make sure your bicycle is safe. Tuition is in a group of similar ability with a qualified instructor.
- If you want to build up your skills and confidence to ride on the road, with 1-to-1 instruction from a qualified instructor, the On the Road training is what you need. This is arranged with a time and start point to suit you. See the TfGM link below for more details.
- Keeping your bicycle running is covered by the free, hands-on, Cycle Maintenance starter course.
Some of the group courses are held in Bolton. For details of all free ride and maintenance training and to book, go to TfGM training and follow the links.
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Cycling to work is a great way to lose weight and get fit, cut travel costs and beat congestion – all in a journey you’ve got to make anyway.
Making it easier
Until they’ve tried it, some people are worried about cycling in traffic. But there are ways to deal with that:
- Plan your route to avoid traffic. There are several online sites and phone apps that help to work out quieter routes – as well as finding places to ride for fun at the weekend;
- Use the free adult training offer from TfGM (see above) for 1-to-1 training on the route that you want to use;
- Team up with a colleague – meet up en route and ride together;
- Just do it. The more you ride, the better it feels.
Easing the burden – Cycle to Work scheme
Many employers and their employees make use of the government’s Cycle to Work scheme. This is a scheme that allows an employee to borrow or hire a bicycle from their employer. Typically, it uses salary sacrifice to make monthly payments from your pre-tax/NI pay – so you save around a third or more of the cost of the bike. The scheme is also attractive to employers, who also make a saving on NI contributions as well. Your employer needs to participate for you to access the scheme.
Employers can operate their own scheme, or they can use one of a number of scheme operators to do the hard part for them. These operators usually have end-of-hire options that make sure it’s cost effective for the employee to take ownership of the bike afterwards.
Why not check if your employer operates a Cycle to Work scheme? To find out more about the scheme, go to the government web site for more details.
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TfGM provides information for cyclists and those thinking of cycling on how to get started, what facilities there are, tips on equipment, commuting, and more. Go to the TfGM cycling pages and have a look round.
TfGM can help businesses support employees riding to work. For more information, go to TfGM's Commuting and Help for Business pages.
The Wheels for All initiative is a nationally recognised programme that embraces all children and adults with disabilities and differing needs, to engage in a quality cycling activity. By using specially adapted cycles, the activities are both physically and mentally stimulating and above all fun for everyone involved.
Sessions are £2 per person. Siblings, parents and carers are welcome to join in. Sessions are 'drop in', but large groups are advised to book ahead. Bikes and helmets are provided. Suitable clothing is advised. Sessions are subject to weather and may be cancelled if necessary; please call to check.
Sessions are now available at:
- Leverhulme Park Community Club, Long Ln, Bolton
Weds, 6pm-7pm; Thurs, 10am-12noon
- Bolton Arena, Arena Approach, Horwich
Thurs, 10am-11am & 5.30pm-6.30pm
- Castle Hill Centre, Castleton St, Bolton
Mon, 4pm-5pm (4-10 years)
- Also available to book for the Sky Ride Bolton (see next item)
Please see the attached document ("Wheels for All") via the Downloads tab above. For more information, contact Jamie Agar on 01204 33 2323 (mobile: 07554 117 260) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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British Cycling ‘Sky Rides’
Sky Ride Bolton
2014 was the third year Bolton Council and British Cycling have been working together to encourage people to get cycling. Each summer there has been a big Sky Ride: a route through Victoria Square and Queen’s Park has attracted thousands to take to closed-off streets around the town centre and enjoy the freedom of cycling without cars. On Sunday 1st June 2014, it offered a dedicated, inclusive route for adapted bikes and cycles, using the bikes from the Wheels for All initiative.
But that's just the start...
British Cycling also organises ‘Sky Ride Local’, where people of all abilities can take part in rides led by qualified ride leaders. Rides are grouped by ability:
- ‘Easygoing’ – Not cycled for a while and looking for an easy way to get back in the saddle? Fancy a fun way to get your friends or kids riding? Easygoing rides are great for all abilities and ages, taking place along relaxed, mostly traffic-free routes
- ‘Steady’ – If you’re fairly confident on your bike and ready to broaden your cycling horizons, Steady rides are ideal. At a comfortable pace, and possibly with some modest hills along the way, rides take place on mainly quiet roads with plenty of sights along the way.
- ‘Challenging’ – You don’t have to be the next Bradley Wiggins, but you’ll need to be fairly fit to take part in Challenging rides. As well as covering a good distance, there may well be a few climbs along the way! If you fancy a fresh challenge, these rides are perfect for you.
‘Breeze’ Rides are like Local rides, but aimed at helping women feel confident and comfortable about going on a ride. Led by and for women, they are fun, sociable rides at a suitable speed for everybody.
As well as the organised rides, the Sky Ride web site also has a social cycling network for ‘Buddy’ bike rides – informal rides outside the main timetable of led rides.
Go to Go Sky Ride to find out more and to book onto a local ride.
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September 2013 saw the inaugural Bolton Bash Cycle Sportive, organised for Bolton by Epic Events and repeated in 2014. The event offers challenging 35 mile and 60 mile options. Please see Epic Events for details of the next Bolton Big Bash ride.
Cycling is a low cost form of transport that offers a healthy, congestion-free and non-polluting way to travel around the borough and beyond. The Council supports this mode of transport by providing cycle routes. The facilities on these routes can include simple signing, cycle lanes marked on the road, cycle tracks segregated from the footway or footways which are shared by both pedestrians and cyclists.
Any requests for new cycle routes will be considered in the context of the Council's transport strategy and available resources. To suggest a new cycle lane / route please contact the Network Planning Team.
A free map of Bolton’s cycle network is available from Transport for Greater Manchester's website.
The website provides detailed information about cycling in the Greater Manchester area. In addition to Bolton, there are online maps of cycle routes throughout the 10 boroughs of the county, order forms for printed maps, downloadable magazines, leaflets and much more info.
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