Over 300 pupils are taking training lessons at Barking and Dagenham schools this year, as the delayed 2020 Bike to School week gets underway.

The national ride-to-school initiative, which was rescheduled from its usual spot in May due to Covid-19, will see bikeability training delivered in 25 local schools.

Bikeability is a cycle training programme that provides children with the skills, knowledge and understanding to cycle safely on the roads. Lessons will be delivered by local cycling experts, Vandome Cycles, on behalf of Be First and Barking and Dagenham Council.

Funmi Atolagbe, Be First’s London Riverside Travel Plan  coordinator, explains: “We’re delighted to finally give Bike to School Week a push start. Some 25 local schools have signed up to bikeability cycle proficiency training and everyone stands to benefit.

“For the children and parents, cycling is a great way to fitness and better health and we all benefit from better air quality and reduced traffic.

“Bike to school week is a great way for children, parents and teachers all to give travelling to and from school by bike a go.”

Local bikeability instructors, Vandome Cycles, will deliver the training at each of the schools.

Vandome’s Russell Coe, said: “Our training starts with the most basic skills but teaches children to cycle safely and responsibly, showing them how to share the road and communicate with other road users and to understand signals, signs and road markings.

“Importantly we make sure that we give them confidence for all kinds of cycling in the future, in a fun and enjoyable way which is not only is good for the children’s health & fitness but also is better for the environment, and us, than a car journey.”

The bikeability training is provided with the financial support from the Mayor of London.  Anyone interested in getting started with cycling is encouraged to go to https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/cycling-in-the-borough


And as part of the push get more people to cycle, Sustrans are encouraging residents to take up cycling in the Becontree Heath area.

They are running a series of learn to ride sessions in Valence Park. These will take place every Friday until the 30th October 2020.

Isaac Olalokiki (17) who took part in one of the sessions, said: “I thought I would struggle so badly as previous attempts, when younger, failed miserably but Sustrans’s methods really worked and have greatly improved my confidence in cycling. I can’t wait to get own bike and cycle everywhere.”

If you are learning to cycle, cycle training by an experienced instructor is a useful way to gain confidence and riding skills. Sustrans are offering cycle training to everyone who wants to undertake it, free of charge.

To find out more and book a session please visit: https://www.greeningthefiddlers.org/upcoming-activities or contact hana.goodman@sustrans.org.uk