With our daughter, Amber, doing 'Bikeability' this week it took be back to my childhood when it was called 'National Cycling Proficiency'. Today's standard of cycling proficiency is worlds apart from when I took mine way back in the early 80's - with advances in technology and much more understanding and recognition of road safety.
I now fondly remember taking my test, but not at the time. I took mine on a bright orange 'Raleigh Chopper' - pretty cool by today's retro standards you'd think. But no, not at the time. It was the early 80's and 'Raleigh Grifters' and 'BMX's' were all the rage! God I wish I still had that bike now, but I ended up snapping it in half going over a massive jump on some rough ground somewhere and it was thrown in a skip!
Back to present day and one of the most important safety advances are helmets which were never available in my day, plus the advantage of riding your cycle on actual roads and not just up and down the playground around a few road cones.
'Bikeability' is designed for the 21st Century and actually prepares your child for the real world adapting the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today's busy roads. On the different levels you get to master the handling of your bike, experience cycling out on the roads around your school monitored under a controlled environment and further training on different scenarios and traffic conditions.
'Bikeability' isn't just an essential part of your child's growing up, but it keeps them fit too. It may be an arduous task to separate your child from their games console to go on a bike ride, but our daughter has actually been begging me to take her out on her bike. As a slightly over protective parent I was waiting for her to get stronger on her bike and gain more knowledge of the road going to school on her scooter and now with 'Bikeability' the time is right to take her out on busier roads and country lanes.