About once a month, CTC's cycling development officer in Leicester Elizabeth Barner sees someone out on a bike who she taught to ride.
A group of teenage girls from Leicester on their bikes

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 [2] 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. [3]