Teenage girls cycling in Leicester
A group of teenage girls from Leicester on their bikes

Teaching people to cycle

About once a month, CTC's cycling development officer in Leicester Elizabeth Barner sees someone out on a bike who she taught to ride.

Teaching people to cycle is what I do, well to you tell the truth, now I mostly organise for someone from CTC's network of cycle instructors to do the actual teaching on the ground.

However, I’ve usually met the people who are learning once or seen their photo and they don’t recognise me out of context. So when I see them cycling around Leicester,  I smile a bit as I ride comfortably past the person who has become a fellow cyclist.There is always pleasure in seeing the fruits of your labour, but especially so when I know I’m enjoying my city more because of the work that I do. 

I have the privilege of hearing an endless set of stories that all start with ‘I always wanted to learn to ride a bike but ....’ They fall into categories of:

  • I was never allowed to as a kid
  • I fell off and was too scared
  • I hate being left behind by my children (mainly from mothers - about 80% of people who come to adult cycle training in Leicester are women.)
  • I just wanted to learn a new skill
  • I’ve been ill and want some gentle exercise

And they all end with "I can’t believe I’ve learned to ride a bike."

I rarely know what happens next but I’m sure when I see them out riding around Leicester that they went beyond learning to ride and are confidently travelling by bike.

This is such a precious dividend to a role devoted to promoting cycling to people who might not otherwise ride.

If you want to learn to cycle in Leicester please contact CTC's Cycling Development Officer Elizabeth Barner.