The joys of cycling

[Photo (credit Clive Dellard) – From left – Emily Cherry, CEO The Bikeability Trust; Cllr Sarah Warren, Deputy Leader B&NES Council; Adrian Vatcher, Bikeability Instructor; Bath resident Kim Kyi Chaw May and Benoit Cuvier, Bikeability Project Officer and instructor.]

A national charity that is helping local residents of all ages become confident cyclists has won praise from Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse and Cllr Sarah Warren, Deputy Leader of Bath & North East Somerset.

Wera Hobhouse is the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport and Cllr Sarah Warren is Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Transport. Both are committed cyclists. 

Bikeability is a national charity which has over 3000 active cycle instructors delivering to nearly 500,000 children through Active Travel England grant funding. This scheme has already delivered training to more than 4 million children since 2007.

To mark Cycle to School Week, Cllr Sarah Warren met with Bikeability Trust CEO Emily Cherry, Benoit Cuvier, Bikeability Project Officer and instructor, and local resident Kim Kyi Chaw May who is very enthusiastic about the training she has been receiving from Adrian Vatcher at Odd Down cycle track.

Bath resident Kim Kyi Chaw May commented on her experience of cycling training:

“As an architect committed to sustainable design, I try my best to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. For instance, I mostly shop local and have been vegetarian for 10 years. I signed up with Bikeability as I wish to choose a sustainable commute to work through the ‘cycle-to-work’ scheme provided at my workplace. The training sessions that Adrian has provided me with have given me confidence and the skills I need to bike safely.”

Cllr Sarah Warren, Deputy Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said:

“I am delighted that 900 children in our area were trained to cycle last year. It was lovely to meet one of the adults taking up cycling training. We are so proud of the Bikeability team who are doing a great job. My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I are committed to improving cycling infrastructure in our local area and to getting everyone trained so that they can take full advantage of it as we are committed to providing real transport choice.”

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, commented:

“Cycling is a healthy, environmentally friendly way to get about. Bikeability’s training enables people of all ages to become competent and confident cyclists. I look forward to seeing their training expanded further and taken up by more Bath schools. I also encourage adults to access training so that they can rediscover the joys of cycling.”

Emily Cherry, Chief Executive of the Bikeability Trust, said:

“It was a pleasure to catch up with the team in Bath & North East Somerset to discuss our achievements as well as the challenges we face. We are very excited that the government has recognised the value of our programme by committing 2-year funding which will include £50 million to expand Bikeability cycle training to a million more young people nationally. Cycle training is currently not on the curriculum. We would love to see this have a statutory target in the same way swimming is seen as a life-saving skill.”


  1. I appreciate cycling brings joy to many of its participants, and that it makes a small(very small) positive difference to our city’s congestion and air quality.
    And I commend Bikeability for trying to promote the transport(no, not a sport, not on the public highway).
    But …… I see in your picture a bicycle with no safety features(bell and mirror) and a cyclist with little in the way of personal protection (inadequate helmet, no body armour and no safety visor nor glasses).
    When cyclists start taking responsibility for their own safety, instead of leaving it to everyone else, I am sure they would enjoy more care and respect from other road users. It IS dangerous on our roads, so why not dress accordingly. Motorists, by law, must have rear view mirrors, an horn and seat belts as the minimum of safety devices. Cyclists are not obliged to have any.
    Bikeability, include that on your courses.

    1. Dear Carson,

      I confirm the brand-new bicycle in the photo has a bell but the customer has her hand on it. The bike has red and white reflectors and the helmet is CE EN 1078 standard, so adequate. You also probably noticed hi-vis jackets were used.

      Compared to a car driver, a person who cycles a bike checks behind their shoulders and doesn’t have blind spots. There is no need for mirrors unless you have a stiff neck or specific body coordination issues. In addition to this, UK cyclists’ average speed in an urban environment is around 10mph. A speed that doesn’t require body armour in the case of a fall (i.e. it’s not a life-saving equipment like for motorists).

      When you say cyclists should start taking responsibility for their own safety. Rule H1 of The Highway Code establishes a hierarchy of road users which ensures that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to other road users. The hierarchy places vulnerable road users before motorised vehicles so the top of the hierarchy would therefore be:
      1. pedestrians, in particular children, older adults and disabled people
      2. cyclists
      3. horse riders
      4. motorcyclists

      The objective of Rule H1 is not to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in every situation, but rather to ensure a more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users. This does not detract from the requirement for everyone to behave responsibly. This is why Bikeability programme promotes safe riding techniques through four key skills: observation / position on the road / communication / priorities. For more information about this last point, I invite you to read the UK Govnerment National standard for cycle training:

      1. Thankyou Benoit for your response.
        My post focussed on the realities of cyclists sharing our highways with vehicles capable of inflicting more harm on them than a bump on the head or grazed knees from a fall.
        Cyclists currently do not adequately protect themselves against collisions with such vehicles. Those collisions will continue to happen – you cannot legislate against the possibility of such accidents.
        As for mirrors – if a cyclist turns to appraise the situation to his rear, he destabilises himself and is distracted from the road ahead. A mirror all but removed those two problems.
        Finally, 10mph is a huge underestimate of the speed most of Bath’s university and sporting dad cyclists hare along our roads at. Such underestimation only serves to weaken your argument.
        Cyclists, take responsibility for your lives and well-being – wear protection appropriate to the hostile environment you choose tho cycle through. Accidents do happen, and some are lethal.

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