Using a city park to teach mountain biking skills
You can use a city park to teach mountain biking skills

Mountain biking is important in the city too – cycle training for all

We are sometimes asked why we offer mountain biking skills in a flat city. Doesn’t it just encourage people to drive out of the city to cycle somewhere else – aren't we increasing motor traffic instead of increasing cycling?

John has come along to monthly skills sessions, and tells us something entirely different:  "I have learnt that my daily commute can be fun.  I skinny along kerbs, manual over obstacles and drop off ledges every single day.  Rather than a chore, my commute is now a playground."

As part of promoting more cycling in Leicester, we provide all sorts of cycle training, often making it up a bit as we go…Does this neighbourhood especially want a women-only course?  Can we take advantage of a new facility?  Can we host a crèche?  (We call this tailoring, adapting, piloting, but all of it comes out of trying something new and building on what has worked before.)  We are learning that mountain biking does contribute to the way people travel, as well as offering some exercise.

The single clearest way for us to know that we are doing well is that people keep showing up, they bring friends, and they say nice things about the training or support they have received.  It’s harder to know that real change is possible in the city, and its residents’ lives, due to the courses.  We appreciate John's comments, letting us know there is merit in the entire course and its impact.  

See our list of upcoming courses in Leicester and join us for the fun, both off and on road, including families and women-only sessions, learning to ride and - mountain biking!

ElizabethBarner